Phragmites australis, also known as common reed, is a perennial, wetland grass that can grow to 15 feet in height. While Phragmites australis is native to Michigan, an invasive, non-native, variety of phragmites is becoming widespread and is threatening the ecological health of wetlands.
Invasive phragmites creates tall, dense stands which can degrade wetlands by crowding out native plants and animals, blocking shoreline views, reducing access for swimming, fishing, and hunting and can create fire hazards from dry plant material.
Invasive Phragmites can be controlled using an integrated pest management approach which includes herbicide treatment and could be followed up by a mechanical removal (such as cutting or mowing), and annual maintenance.
Orion Township currently has a phragmites control program and holds a permit for application. Herbicide treatment for phragmites usually occurs before the first frost of the year, in September or October.
For more information about invasive Phragmites australis, read this 2013 article from Michigan State University. If you are interested in learning more about treatment options, please contact the Department of Public Services at (248) 391-0304 ext. 8500.