Overview

Weeds, or invasive plants, are non-native plants that adapt quickly and aggressively to the Alberta landscape causing lasting damage.

The negative effects of weeds include:

  • Reducing the habitat available for native plants species, which in turn threatens species of insect, plant, fish and animal that depend on native plants.
  • Reducing property values for residents and agricultural producers.
  • Production from agriculture and forestry industries.
  • Increasing land management expenses for counties and municipalities, businesses and property owners.

We all have a role to play in response to weeds. Here's how:

Prevention and control

Gardeners and landscapers

  • When planting, choose plants that are Alberta native species – they're adapted to thrive and are better for supporting our province's bees, butterflies and birds.
  • When buying soil, sand or gravel, select a company that practices good weed control.
  • Scrutinize seed packets as they may include the seeds of invasive plants. Use local seed mixes or buy individual species to make your own mix.
  • Before going to the gardening centre, brush up on your knowledge of native and invasive plants:

Learn more about Alberta native plant species:

Learn how to identify an invasive plant:

Get the kids involved:

Lakeside and riverside property owners

  • Let the native plants flourish. It's the best option to provide habitat for native wildlife and fish and for maintaining the health of the lake or river.
  • Never introduce non-native plants into any natural waterbody. Avoid planting any aquatic plants near the lake or river, or where run-off can wash the plants into the water.

To learn more about identifying and preventing some of the most damaging plant species for lake and rivers, see:

To learn more about healthy lakeside living, visit:

Agricultural producers

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry provides information on weed control to address the unique needs of producers:

Provincial legislation

Alberta’s Weed Control Act states that prohibited noxious weeds must be destroyed and noxious weeds must be controlled.

See the full list of Provincially regulated weeds.

This Act has the most authority in dealing with invasive plants in Alberta, and is administered by Agriculture and Forestry. It is enables legislation for eradication and control of invasive plants, which is conducted by municipalities.

This regulation includes a schedule of declared noxious and prohibited noxious weeds. It also describes seed cleaning facility licensing procedures and the requirements of the appeal process for notices.

Related acts

Public land (Crown land) is not privately, municipally, federally owned, or used for provincial infrastructure. This Act governs most of the 60% of Alberta that is considered public land. This Act incorporates the Weed Control Act so that zero tolerance for prohibited noxious weeds and control of noxious weeds is applicable to all public land dispositions, including those under reclamation.

This Act allows government staff to make regulations for destructing weeds on forest reserves. Also mandates that a person take precautions to prevent spread or introduction of weeds in forest reserves. Section 19 references weed control.

This Act prohibits the possession, transportation and important of aquatic invasive plant species. For a list of the prohibited species (including invertebrates and fish), visit: Don't Let it Loose.

Weed control forms a key condition of the reclamation process on all dispositions. The Act also places restrictions on pesticide use for weed control.

Details the safe handling, use and application of pesticides to ensure environmental protection. Section 11 deals with Forest Management Pesticide use and Section 12 involves Industrial Vegetation Management.

Controlling weeds increases expenses for municipalities, producers and property owners. Section 28 regulates forest pest control.

Federal legislation

Designed to prevent the import, export or spread of pests that can injure plants or their by-products, or have potential to do so. Section 6(1) and 7(1) and (2) deals with import and export.

Regulates inspection, testing, quality and sale of seeds in Canada. Weed Seeds Order lists the allowable amounts in seed being brought into Canada.