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Invasive WEED (none water spcies) - - - 4 messages. Showing 1 through 4.
sportsnut218
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Joined 05/15/2005
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 12:45 PM 07/19/07 (CST)
News Tribune Source

Leafy spurge, a European weed that has been wreaking havoc on western states’ grasslands for years, has made its move into the Northland and is expanding.

The noxious invasive plant is popping up in locations across Duluth and experts are warning people that the plant can cause skin rashes.

One of the biggest problems with leafy spurge has been that it chokes out native grasses and can kill cattle — it’s a huge, multi-million dollar problem in western states —but it also is a public health threat, said Greg Kuyava, St. Louis County agriculture inspector.

“If you rub against it, it can make you highly susceptible to sunlight and skin problems,’’ Kuyava said. “This is probably the worst invasive weed you can have.’’

Kuyava first spotted the weed in tiny clumps in Duluth a decade ago. Now, it’s expanding rapidly.

“It’s growing like mad all of a sudden, all over town,’’ Kuyava said. He said there are large stands along I-35, near Rice’s Point, near the Spirit Mountain soccer fields and along Becks Road.

Minnesota state law requires that landowners immediately remove and destroy the noxious weed, but many don’t. Kuyava has been trying for years to get the city to get rid of a patch near The Depot skateboard park, for example.

Kuyava said the weed hitchhiked into the Northland on grain trucks or trains from western states. It can be spread by graders and snowplows, vehicle tires and even shoe treads.

The weed is hardy, surviving on little water and in compacted soils. It seems to outmuscle almost every native plant it encounters. Leafy spurge’s roots can dig 15 feet underground.

“It’s rendered some land worthless,’’ Kuyava said. “We may not have a lot of farming up here any more, but we have more horses than ever and it’s going to have a big impact on hayland.’’

Ryan Magana, northern region ecologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the weed also can hitchhike inside hay bales and other animal feed that moves on highways.

“Where we’re really starting to see more of it up here is wherever there is a disturbance, or wherever roadsides are mowed when the plant has seeds,’’ Magana said. “It seems really able to take advantage whenever any ground is opened up.’’

Wisconsin’s worst case of leafy spurge, for example, is at Fort McCoy near Sparta where tank tracks and explosions expose soils.

The Wisconsin DNR and Minnesota Department of Transportation are trying to kill leafy spurge.

On a large scale, weed experts have been killing leafy spurge with beetles imported from Europe where the plant is native. So far, however, that hasn’t worked in the Northland.

“I’ve released thousands of beetles but they don’t seem to like it here. Maybe because of the clay soil’’ or cold winters, Kuyava said. He suggests mowing the weed before July when the plant sprouts its seeds as a way to keep it in check. “Once it starts going dormant in the early fall, you can’t even kill it with herbicides.’’







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Iceman
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 02:42 PM 07/19/07 (CST)
thanks for the update sportsnut ..
just something to look out for.. whats next ?


Iceman
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nofishfisherman
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 03:41 PM 07/19/07 (CST)
Seems like there is always some new dooms day weed, bug, fish to watch out for.


sportsnut218
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Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 10:58 AM 07/20/07 (CST)
I didn't even realize.. the way they control this plant out west, is with a beatle.. which obviously isn't native either.......



Even a BAD day of fishing is better than a good day of work; paydays excluded!

My Photography Website, includes sports and outdoors pictures

My Photos Blog, I update my website in blog entries.

Invasive WEED (none water spcies) - - - 4 messages. Showing 1 through 4.
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