Oakville reminds residents to stay clear of Giant Hogweed

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 – for immediate release

Oakville reminds residents to stay clear of Giant Hogweed

Residents are warned to stay clear of Giant Hogweed, a noxious perennial plant that has been spotted growing in Oakville mainly along Sixteen Mile Creek. Oakville’s Parks and Open Space department is currently advising the public through signage, where Giant Hogweed is located in town parks, trails and natural areas.

“Residents should not come into contact with Giant Hogweed provided they stay on established park paths and groomed trails,” said Chris Mark, director of Parks and Open Space for the Town of Oakville. “Signs have been posted in natural areas and parks to advise residents where the plant has been found.”

Hogweed is a large, invasive plant identifiable by its tall growth (up to six metres) and thick stem with reddish spots. Public safety concerns stem from Giant Hogweed’s sap, which contains chemicals that can cause the skin to become hypersensitive to sunlight and erupt in painful blisters.

If you come in contact with the plant, you should thoroughly wash exposed skin with soap and water, and keep the area out of direct sunlight for at least 48 hours. If the skin reacts, seek medical attention.

The Town of Oakville is partnering with Halton Conservation to determine the best means to control Hogweed. Options include mechanically removing the weed or treating it with a controlled herbicide. The town has been treating Hogweed with herbicides since the 2008 with moderate success.

Should residents come across the weed on town property, they are advised to not remove the weed themselves. This can cause harm to the individual and may scatter seeds and result in spreading the plant. All Hogweed sightings should be reported to Conservation Halton for investigation.

Residents are reminded that many plants could easily be mistaken for Giant Hogweed. These include Angelica, Cow and Wild Parsnip and Queen Anne’s Lace. To date, the majority of reported cases to the town have turned out not to be Giant Hogweed but rather look-a-like plants.

For more information about Giant Hogweed or to report a possible location please visit the Giant Hogweed web page. 


Media contact:

Chris Mark
Director, Parks and Open Space
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3111

Janine Ivings
Senior Communications Advisor
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3005

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Oakville reminds residents to stay clear of Giant Hogweed