‘Mile a Minute’ Weed Threatens Parts of Poconos

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HAWLEY -- Crews were out in Wayne County Tuesday trying to kill a fast-growing weed that, if left alone, can kill other vegetation.

The weed is called "Mile a Minute" weed because it can grow up to six inches a day.

That weed was recently found growing along the Lackawaxen River downriver from Hawley, so to protect the native species, volunteers attacked the invasive vine the old fashioned way.

They ripped and tore at the weeds growing up trees and brush along the Riverwalk Trail in Hawley. Volunteers tackled the invasive species with triangular leaves that, if left to grow, could doom the plants and wildlife along the Lackawaxen River.

"It's climbing trees, smothering some of the native understory plants, and it can really be detrimental and kill understory that our native birds and animals depend on," explained volunteer Tenley Wurglitz.

The Delaware Highlands Conservancy identified the weed in this area and put out the call for help to stop mile a minute in its tracks.

"That's all we're trying to do today is contain it to this area and hope we can keep it from spreading. We know it's spreading to other areas near Hawley," said Jason Zarnowski, Delaware Highlands Conservancy.

Mile a minute weed, or Chinese Tear Thumb as it's called, really lives up to its name. It grows quite fast and will tear up your fingers if you're not wearing gloves. It runs the risk of choking out native plant species as well as native animals.

"Our native plants are hugely important to the ecosystem. Invasive species like mile a minute have the potential to create real environmental destruction," Wurglitz added.

Whether it was animals that brought seeds to this area or humans somehow inadvertently transported seeds here, this volunteer effort is just one part of the fight to keep mile a minute at bay.

Those volunteers tore out six garbage bags worth of mile a minute weed on Tuesday.

More information on the invasive weed is posted here.


  • tom

    First of all this plant does not spread by spores. It is spread by seeds or by ripping it out, the plant will once again regrow from rhizomes. There are good herbicides on the market which work fine for this weed, that is the only cost effective way of controlling this problem. Oh I forgot that is not politically correct to suggest such a thing

    • horticultural dope

      Rhizomes and spores are of the same genetically mutated reproductive organisms. This is basic horticulture 101. Any entry level horticulturist would know that biochemical enhanced spore organisms can counteract with forms of rhizomes and hence reproduce with or without genetic enhancement. Your welcome.

  • horticultural dope

    They went about all wrong. When you rip, tear and pull this plant you are in return spreading the reproductive spores all over the place. This plant will now be 50 times worse in that area by this time next week. Good job folks!

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