Here are a few tips on how you can protect the Kootenay region from invasive species this holiday season:
- Seek out a Christmas tree from a local source: Small bugs, eggs and tree killing diseases can be in your tree and you may not know it. Source a tree that is within a 20 km of your house.
- Use local wood for your wood stove & fire pit: Moving firewood long distances is one way invasive species can spread. Buy firewood close to your destination. Firewood that has been cut within 20 km of your fire is ideal.
- Make holiday décor using local, invasive-free plants: homemade wreaths and center pieces made from natural materials can be beautiful, but ensure your are using invasive free materials. Some common invasive species that have been traditionally used for holiday décor are English ivy and holly. Ivy in particular has become problematic on the west coast of B.C., the escaped garden ornamental and has taken over natural spaces. Some people in our area have used Scotch broom, teasel and common tansy to decorate their homes and business. You can learn more about invasive ornamental plants and their alternatives in the Grow Me Instead guide.