Click below for links to a full description and tips on how to control the spread of noxious weeds
Bull Thistle is a class B listed weed and is widespread throughout Wasco County. It can be found from the Cascade Mountains, along the John Day River in Southeast Wasco County. It can be found in wheat country on the rangeland in Southern Wasco County and everywhere in between. The plant tends to like moist sites, riparian areas but can be found anywhere. if you think you have Bull Thistle on your property but aren't positive, contact the Wasco county Weed District or the Soil and Water Conservation District office today.
Photo credit Google search: flickr.com
Ventenata is class B listed weed rapidly spreading throughout counties in Eastern Oregon, including Wasco County. Infestations have been identified in rangeland in the southern portion of the county. Vantenata has very little forage value for livestock and wildlife. Ventenata is beginning to replace perennial grasses and forbs along roadsides and in hay, pasture, range and CRP fields in the western United States. In addition to having minimal forage value for livestock and wildlife, Ventenata is also undesirable because of its shallow root system which can cause the soil to be more prone to erosion. Over time, decline of productivity and land value occurs.
Yellow Flag Iris was detected in May 2019 by Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District Staff. the infestation was investigated along a small slough that parallels the west bound lane of Interstate 84. Yellow Flag Iris is listed as a Class B noxious weed by ODA, and is listed as a Class A weed by the Wasco County Weed Board. Yellow Flag is a non-native invader, that out-competes native riparian vegetation, displacing native sedges and rushes. It is a perennial aquatic plant that forms dense stands in wetlands and along lake shores and rivers. This invasive aquatic plant can grow 3-4 feet tall, with leaves that are long, flattened and sword-like, typical of most iris.
Photo credit Google search: flickr.com
Yellow Starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) is an annual weed that blooms in May-June. The plant has a blue/green stock with yellow flowers. Limited in distribution in Wasco County; Yellow Starthistle has the potential to become widespread if not treated and managed. Known sites include the Northeast portion of Wasco County. There are also known sites near Maupin. Pulling the plant and placing them in bags after seed set is an easy way to prevent spread. Bio-controls have proven to be extremely affective controlling this noxious weed as well. If you find Yellow Starthistle please contact the Wasco County Weed Department or the SWCD office for resources.
Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) can be found throughout the Western United States. Plants thrive in higher precipitation regions throughout Wasco County. They bloom in mid-Summer and are easily identified by its light purple flower. If an infestation is not controlled, Spotted Knapweed will take over pastures, roadsides and disturbed areas. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has approved over 10 bio agents that are currently being used throughout the state to control Spotted Knapweed. Keep an eye out for the plants in bloom now through September. If you find this plant growing on your property, please contact the Wasco County Weed Department or the SWCD for technical assistance and resources.
This month we wanted to shine light on Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris). Puncturevine is widespread and a huge menace in Wasco County. If you've ever stepped on a "goathead" with your barefoot in the house, you know the pain this plant can inflict. Puncturevine is a summer annual germinating in the late spring and maturing in the Summer and early Fall. The plant grows horizontal to the ground with small yellow flowers. Seeds from puncturevine have several sharp spikes that can set viable on the ground for years. Puncturevine flourishes in well drain sandy soils but can be found in driveways, disturbed areas, barnyards, cropped fields and roadsides. Removing puncturevine before seed set will help prevent the spread of puncturevine in Wasco County. Several herbicides have labels that are approved to apply on puncturevine. Contact the County Weed Department for recommendations. To help stop the spread of puncturevine, always check footwear and tires before heading out. For more information about puncturevine and other noxious weeds contact the Soil and Water Conservation District for technical assistance.