Proper disposal of invasive plant parts is important to prevent inadvertently spreading the plants during disposal. Some species can re-root from small cut sections. Some may ripen even after a plant has been pulled. Simply composting in a backyard compost pile will not typically provide enough heat to kill seeds and roots. Proper disposal strategies depend on the species and how it reproduces. Some strategies are:
- Bag it: Remove flowers, seeds, roots, and fruits and place them in heavy black garbage bags to dry out before disposing of them. Typically these black plastic bags need to sit in a sunny spot for up to 1 month to fully kill the plants and seeds inside. After the plant material has fully died, it can be composted in your regular compost pile.
- Burn it: Most invasive species can be burned in a brush pile, following local safety regulations and restrictions. Burning should only be done with a burn permit from the fire department during the burning season. Residents can obtain an open burn permit through the Fire Department.
- Compost it: Plant parts that can’t re-sprout or that don’t have fruits and seeds on them, such as woody stems and trunks, herbaceous stems (except from those species list below), and leaves, can be left in brush or compost piles to decompose.
- Herbaceous stems that can re-sprout must be burned or bagged. Tossing these into a regular brush or compost pile will result in the spread of these plants. They include:
- Oriental bittersweet
- Multiflora rose
- Bush honeysuckles
- Common reed
- Japanese knotweed
Note that plants identified as invasive by the Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group may not be left at Weston’s Yard Waste Collection and Compost Facility per Town regulations.