Phragmites Australis

Invasive Species Control and Management


Phragmites australis, known as Phragmites or common reed, is a non-native, invasive plant that dominates the land by out-competing surrounding native vegetation. The spread of invasive species is often the result of human activity but can also spread by wildlife. Management can be extremely difficult without the experience and guidance from a professional. When it comes to Phragmites, an integrated management strategy that incorporates herbicide applications and mechanical techniques is recommended to effectively gain control of Phragmites and restore the native habitat.

Controlling Phragmites is a multi-year endeavor that has an outcome of 95% reduction with the re-establishment of native plants. In order to gain control of these pesky invaders, four management steps are recommended for golf courses, homeowners associations, municipalities and other affected communities. 

  1. Assessment of the InfestationBy evaluating the extent of growth, native plant assemblage and general terrain, a treatment plan can be devised to best meet the needs of the native environment. Also be sure to consult with a wetland management professional about preparing necessary permit applications, where required.
  2. Herbicide ApplicationHerbicide treatments, often the most effective means of achieving long-term eradication, should be area-specific based off your property’s unique characteristics. Low-ground pressure vehicles are often used by professionals to access the remote and sensitive areas of a wetland. While treatment during the fall is often preferred and most effective, treatment can be performed from mid-to-late June through October
  3. Physical RemovalMechanical removal techniques are often used in conjunction with herbicide treatments. Removal of the dead stalks can be accomplished by cutting, burning and hand-pulling. 
  4. Prevention and ProtectionOngoing monitoring is an important component to an effective invasive species management program. Regularly inspections allow invasions to be caught before they spread, saving you the expense of another full-scale treatment in the years to come.

Despite advanced technology and equipment, controlling invasive species takes time. A successful Phragmites control plan can take up to five years of annual management. The single most important step of an ongoing management program is prevention. Having your site inspected regularly will allow nuisance species to be identified early on, giving your wetland management professional the opportunity to eliminate them before they spread.

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Contact the experts at 888-480-LAKE (5253) for all of your lake, pond, wetland and fisheries management needs. 

SOLitude Lake Management is a nationwide environmental firm committed to providing full service sustainable solutions that improve water quality, enhance beauty, preserve natural resources and reduce our environmental footprint. SOLitude’s team of aquatic resource management professionals specializes in the development and execution of customized lake, pond, wetland and fisheries management programs that include water quality testing and restoration, nutrient remediation, algae and aquatic weed control, installation and maintenance of fountains and aeration systems, bathymetry, mechanical harvesting and hydro-raking, lake vegetation studies, biological assessments, habitat evaluations, and invasive species management. Services and educational resources are available to clients nationwide, including homeowners associations, multi-family and apartment communities, golf courses, commercial developments, ranches, private landowners, reservoirs, recreational and public lakes, municipalities, drinking water authorities, parks, and state and federal agencies. Learn more about SOLitude Lake Management and purchase products at