The Truxor machine in action. Photo by the Kincardine News (2017)

September 6, 2017 | Great Lakes Commission

A new tactic is being used against Phragmites in Ontario, and it’s a welcome addition to the management toolkit for controlling the plant in wetlands and coastal areas. A Truxor DM5000 tracked vehicle was imported from Europe this summer and is being deployed by small crews in shorelines along Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. This machine is an important tool for managing Phragmites in wet sites because use of herbicide is prohibited in or near water in Ontario. The machine cuts Phragmites below the waterline, deprives the plant of oxygen and, if all goes well, kills the plant. The cut stalks are then removed from the site using a variety of methods.

The machine was purchased by the Invasive Phragmites Control Centre, a non-profit in Ontario which aims to facilitate Phragmites management in an effective, efficient and environmentally responsible way. Wetland ecologist Dr. Janice Gilbert is at the helm of the organization and aims to provide control expertise, improved management efficacy through research and development, and site-specific management recommendations including the best tools and timing for the site.

The machine has been deployed at several sites in Ontario including Lambton ShoresManitoulin Island, and Kincardine.

We’ve learned that this machine has also been used in Utah for Phragmites control work.

If you know of other cases where this machine or a similar machine has been used for Phragmites and can share your experiences, please let us know.

To learn more about how Phragmites responds to cutting under water, view a presentation by Brian Sorrell about his research on Phragmites “snorkeling”.

If you’re interested in seeing the machine in action, here is a promotional video from Truxor. 

Photo: (c) The Kincardine News 2017