|Water chestnut plant at surface, rooted to bottom. |
Often, the root supports multiple rosettes, each
bearing several nuts. The plant is an annual, so it
does not regrow from the same root the
next year. Rosettes are 6-12 inches across.
|Click on any photo to enlarge|
|Pile of water chestnut plants, to be hauled away to landfill.|
To get an idea of how bad it can get, Vermont spends over half a million dollars a year hiring companies with mechanical harvesters to manage the worst parts of Lake Champlain, plus paying dozens of people to do hand-pulling in less-infested waters on the big lake and elsewhere. The 2013 report described 1,200 tons collected by the harvesters and more than 21 tons by hand.
This posting repeats in part a column that was in the Beacon-Villager newspaper (serving Maynard and Stow, Massachusetts) in July 2015.