2. Limit disturbance

When native plants are disturbed, destroyed, or crushed, they can lose their advantage over invasive plants. Any amount of exposed soil is an open door for invasive plant seeds. Once that door is open, invasive plants can grow and dominate, preventing native vegetation from coming back.

Think about how you can minimize disturbance of native plants while conducting your activities.

a dense infestation of scentless chamomile
Dense infestation of scentless chamomile is taking over a disturbed site.

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Follow these important BMPs:

  • Stay on trails and roads while driving, cycling, or walking, because trampling native species and creating exposed soils allows invasive seeds to take root.
  • Whether it is a large construction project or the quick installation of a sign, always limit the extent of your disturbance of native vegetation and exposure of soil.
  • If conducting ditching work, avoid putting soil on established vegetation—move soil to a disposal site or, if side-casting, ensure any exposed soil is flattened and re-seeded as soon as possible.

invasive disturbance along a walking train that has left the soil exposed to tree roots
Disturbance along trails can leave exposed soils.
image of excavation crew in Vernon, B.C. working on a new dirt road
Limit the extent of disturbance and soil exposure during your projects.
image of work crew and trucks minimizing disturbance while ditching
Minimize disturbance while ditching.

Follow this important BMP:

  • If a site is disturbed, monitor it for the presence of invasive plants for at least three years following the disturbance.

image of Knotweed fragments sprouting in disturbed soil
Knotweed fragments sprouting in disturbed soil.

Follow these important BMPs:

  • Always ensure that desirable vegetation levels are restored by seeding or planting following any type of disturbance.
  • The best time to seed an area is spring or fall.

image of hand holding grass seed
Hand seed small areas after disturbance.
Hydroseeding of larger areas can reduce the introduction of invasive plants.