Japanese stiltgrass update: “degree of alarm”

“I want to share with you the degree of alarm I feel on the issue of Japanese stiltgrass,” asserts Dana Wright, Land Stewardship Director.

“Stiltgrass is not like other invasives we have seen in Michigan, which spread relatively slowly and can be contained. Stiltgrass travels via water and deer, as easily as water itself.

“The six acres where we recently conducted a controlled burn evidenced a 75% cover of stiltgrass, and this has happened over a mere two years. I estimate in year one it was at 10% cover.

“Stiltgrass spreads quickly and completely. After it becomes established, it chokes out all native flora, and burning it becomes both dangerous and ineffective. The thatch (dead plant material from previous years) burns so hot that a burn would kill the surrounding trees.  What’s more, burning also stimulates the seeds of stiltgrass.

“I don’t tend to be dramatic, but in this case, I think it is warranted.  I believe this invasive has the power to completely ruin any woodlands it touches in a very short amount of time, which is why I feel it is very important for Legacy to participate in its eradication.

“We have four weeks until it goes to seed. We are working with Washtenaw County, the City of Ann Arbor, The Stewardship Network, and a few private citizens to build a plan to get stiltgrass under control.”

Register for our workshop:

Japanese Stiltgrass – The Michigan Invasion

JULY 7 @ 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

The first instance of Japanese stiltgrass in Michigan was found in Scio Township by a private resident in 2017. This is a quickly spreading herbaceous invasive. Help keep additional populations from cropping up by learning what to look for and how to eradicate it. Andrea and Jim Matthies have opened up their home as a classroom for residents and professionals alike to learn. Held in partnership with The Stewardship Network. Register for this event by July 6 at dana@legacylandconservancy.org or call 734-302-5263. Registration required for location address.

6 comments on “Japanese stiltgrass update: “degree of alarm”

  1. Surprised that stiltgrass was first noticed in Scio Township. There are hundreds of deer in the township…
    however can we stop the spread of stiltgrass? Aside from this alarming news we really like the

  2. Will this workshop be repeated? I would like to learn about this invasion What does it look like/


    • We will continue to work with partners to offer workshops, educational sessions, and workdays. Check our Events page and Facebook.

  3. There will be another identification workshop this weekend. Saturday, July 21, 10am-12pm
    Email Andrea Matthies to register and for parking info.


  4. My yard was the second area where stiltgrass has taken hold in Scio Township. It has now spread into my lawn. In truth, I first noticed it the summer of 2016, but did not know what I was looking at. I have seen how it quickly kills everything underneath once it takes hold. The grass where it has now encroached upon has been killed quickly. Ultimately, you end up pulling up the dead grass as if you were lifting up a throw rug. It is very disturbing. Any news on an herbicidal treatment? I know you were experimenting in the Hathaway Woods this summer with various mixtures. It has now pretty much taken over Hathaway. Walking in the woods now is a “no no” as you will surely bring it back to your own yard. This makes garlic mustard seem like a simple nuisance now

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