At the impetus of some of the dog owners, there'll be a group burdock-cutting this weekend and they extend the following invitation:
It's currently prime burdock cutting time -- ie: before it flowers. By spending a few hours cutting the plants now, we'll save innumerable hours later in the season pulling or cutting out the burrs from the dogs' fur (and our socks).
BURDOCK IS LARGE LEAFED WITH A SLIGHTLY FUZZY UNDERSIDE. ITS FLOWERS ARE PURPLE WHICH TURN IN TO SPIKY BURRS
Burdock has a 2-year life span, and a lot of removal has been done over the last few years around the bowl in Trinity Bellwoods Park. But since it's growing like weeds (!), not only along the sides of the bowl, but down in the flat areas and along the path that circles the bowl, only by continual cutting and preventing the (millions) of burr-y seeds from falling to the ground can it be reduced and ultimately eradicated.
Some of us are meeting this coming Sunday, May 27th, between 9 and 11 am, to make a concentrated effort to minimise the burdock. Sorry if this is short notice - please keep in mind that if you have the urge to cut burdock but can't join us this week, cutting any time until late June or early July when the plant starts to spread seeds is a tremendous help.
Digging the plant out is the permanent method of removal, but it has a very slender deep root and it can be difficult to get all of the root, and leaving even a little is enough for the plant to re-grow. If you have a proper tool for this, go for it! It's been suggested, though, that if there is a substantial amount of burdock on a steep slope, digging it all out might contribute to erosion, since we don't immediately have plants to replace it. Please use your judgement on this, or ask one of the experienced cutters.
The other, easier method of removal is to pull the plant to one side and cut it off as close to the ground as you can. These plants will likely re-grow by the fall, but they won't flower and produce the burrs. A lot of the plants appear to be in their second year, so cutting it back this year will help eliminate the plants permanently.
The park supervisor knows we're diving into this and has asked that the cut plants be left at the bottom of the hills - they will either be picked up, or left to decay if in an appropriate spot.
So please spread the word to other dog owners and to anyone who uses the park and may be inclined to help. Bring garden clippers and gloves, and tarps to gather up & move the cut plants.