Weeds are invasive plants that adapt quickly and aggressively to the Alberta landscape and cause lasting damage.

The negative effects of weeds include:

  • Reducing the habitat for native plants species, which in turn threatens the other species of insect, plant, fish and animal that depend on native plants
  • Reducing property values for residents and agricultural producers
  • Potentially introducing harmful chemicals into the environment in the form of pesticides
  • Increasing expenses for municipalities, producers and property owners

We can all pitch in to control weeds. Here’s how:

Are you a gardener?

  • When planting, select plants that are Alberta native species – they’re more likely to thrive and are better for our province’s bees, butterflies and birds.
  • Be cautious when buying packets of wildflower seeds, because they can include the seeds of invasive plants. Use local seed mixes or buy individual flowers.
  • When buying soil, select a company that uses weed control measures.
  • If you have weeds on your property, remove them.
  • 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:

Do you own property beside a lake or river?

  • 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.
  • Avoid planting any aquatic plants on or 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:

Are you an agricultural producer?

Are you looking for provincial or federal legislation related to weeds?

Provincial Legislation – Weed Control

  • Weed Control Act
    Used for invasive plant control and enforced by local municipalities. This Act over-rides any other legislation dealing with invasive plants.
  • The Weed Control Act, Weed Regulation
    Lists plant species and their seed that are designated as either prohibited noxious or noxious weeds.

Provincial Legislation – Other Related Acts

  • Agricultural Pests Act
    Allows the Minister to declare animals, plants, birds, insects or diseases to be "pests" and to eradicate them or prevent their establishment.
  • Code of Practice for Pesticides
    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.
  • Forest and Prairie Protection Act
    Controlling weeds increases expenses for municipalities, producers and property owners. Section 28 regulates forest pest control.
  • Forest Act- Timber Management Regulation
    Sections 164.1 (1) (2) and (3) describe importation of logs or other forest products into Alberta that may carry insects and disease.
  • Public Lands Act
    Lists the duties of the land-holder with regard to seed and weeds.

Federal Legislation

  • Canada Plant Protection Act
    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.
  • Canada Seeds Act
    Regulates inspection, testing, quality and sale of seeds in Canada.


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Posted: Aug 5, 2014