decorah envirothon - invasive species

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Weeds to Hate Weeds to Hate

Author: john-kraus

Post on 13-Apr-2017

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Slide 1

Weeds to Hate

Weeds to Hate

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Iowas fertile grasslands make good homes for lots of nasty weeds to grow.

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Bull Thistles can be a big prickly problem

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Bull Thistles can grow six feet tall and flower abundantly in late August

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Bull Thistles have pretty purple flowers

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Butterflies, such as these Great Spangled Fritillaries, like Bull Thistle flower nectar.

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Humans can use Bull Thistles for food too, especially those tender first-year basal rosettes.

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Peel the center stalk and eat like celery

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Bull Thistle roots can also be foraged for food.

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Skin off the outer rind and treat like carrots.

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Bull Thistle seeds can blow for many miles

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Musk Thistles look a lot like Bull Thistles, growing just as tall.

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Musk Thistles have purple flowers that bloom in mid-July. Note the spiny collar at the base of that blossom.

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Canada Thistles are the smallest thistle plants around here, but they present the biggest control challenge.

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Canada Thistles normally grow about knee high. Unlike other thistles that grow from seed, Canada Thistles spread from their roots.

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Canada Thistles can create huge colonies that produce enormous amounts of seeds in late July.

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Wild Parsnip is another big problem plant in Iowa. Growing head high, yellow flower umbels form in late June.

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Wild Parsnip plants are abundant in area ditches and old fields, and can hurt people a lot worse than thistles.

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If your skin touches a Wild Parsnip plant when the suns shining, youre almost certain to get a chemical burn.

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Wild Parsnip blisters look and hurt a lot like Poison Ivy and last just as long, about a month.

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Even small first year plants can burn you, but you can also eat them.

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Dig up the fleshy first-year roots and prepare like garden parsnips.

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Queen-Annes Lace looks similar to Wild Parsnip, but the flower umbels are white. This plant will not hurt you.

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Queen-Annes Lace flowers resemble little white doilies.

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Queen-Annes Lace flowers are real common in road ditches and grassy areas in August.

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Queen-Annes Lace flowers can be turned into jelly.

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Queen-Annes Lace is also called the wild carrot, and is the ancestor of our garden variety.

Dig the fleshy first-year roots and prepare like a regular carrot, but they taste quite bitter.

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Queen-Annes Lace roots make an olive dye too a double dip on the right.

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White Sweet Clover has white flowers and is common in road ditches too.

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White Sweet Clover has sweet-smelling pea-like flowers that honeybees love.

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Unfortunately, White Sweet Clover seeds germinate and crowd out our native plants growing in rare prairies.

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Yellow Sweet Clover doesnt spread quite as fast as its white cousin but watch it anyway.

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Crown Vetch is another invasive legume plant common in grassy areas

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Crown Vetch leaves are somewhat pea-like.

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Crown Vetch flowers are actually quite attractive and were widely planted as a roadside landscape plant years ago.

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Crown Vetch populations exploded into surrounding areas after colonization.

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Reed Canary Grass is another problem plant in grassy areas. This is a tall grass, growing up to seven feet.

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Reed Canary Grass spreads by rhizomes and forms very large dense colonies, killing off the competition.

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Reed Canary Grass blooms in early July.

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Most wildlife avoids the difficult mats of Reed Canary Grass, but this hungry spider found a home on one plant.

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Monocultures, like this Reed Canary Grass stand, are never a good thing in nature as they suppress diversity.

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Our woodlands are equally attacked by invasive plant species

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Garlic Mustard may be the nastiest alien in our woods today

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Garlic Mustard plants in year one have scalloped round leaves in a basal rosette.

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Second-year Garlic Mustard plants bolt and form white flowers in late May.

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Garlic Mustard was brought to this country as a garden vegetable, but it escaped to take over the woods. Enjoy!

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Garlic Mustard leaves ready to be used in recipes.

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Garlic Mustard leaves make salads spicier.

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Make Garlic Mustard pesto too.

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Multiflora Rose was brought to this country on purpose too, planted as a pretty living barbed-wire fence.

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Multiflora Rose leaves look like any regular rose.

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Multiflora Roses are snow white, blooming in June.

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Multiflora Rose hips are scarlet red and decorate the plants by late summer.

Hungry songbirds freely spread their seeds.

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Multiflora Rose makes an impenetrable tangle in infested timbers

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Japanese Barberry is another thorny woodland invader.

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Japanese Barberry has small roundish clasping leaves and forms oblong fruits.

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Japanese Barberry berries turn red as Rudolphs nose in autumn.

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A Japanese Barberry jungle.

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Japanese Bamboo is incredibly invasive and almost impossible to eradicate.

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Japanese Bamboo was brought here as a novel hedge plant, but it quickly grew out of control.

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Japanese Bamboo has distinctive red stems. The plant spreads by underground roots or even detached plant parts.

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Japanese Bamboo flowers in midsummer

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Take advantage and eat some Japanese Bamboo shoots in the spring as they emerge from the soil, and are still nice and tender.

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Japanese Bamboo shoots can be lightly steamed and taste similar to rhubarb.

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Stinging Nettle, otherwise known as Burning Weed, can form extensive patches in open woodlands.

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Stinging Nettle leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals that burn when they penetrate our skin surface

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Believe it or not but you can actually eat Burning Weed leaves

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Pick the tender new growth at the plant tips and boil them for about five minutes. They taste a lot like garden peas.

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Tartarian Honeysuckle is a real aggressive shrub all across the Midwest.

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Like a broken record, Honeysuckle was brought here on purpose, planted for its pretty fragrant flowers, blooming in May.

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By midsummer, red or orange translucent fruits are forming. These berries are too insipid for people, but birds eat them.

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Spread by birds, Honeysuckle shrubs sprout almost anywhere and shade out surrounding plants.

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This woodland understory is totally overgrown with Honeysuckle, showing up as the green growth in spring.

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Honeysuckle can cause problems out in open areas too, taking over fencelines and even fallow grasslands

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Spring wildflowers like Bloodroot will be smothered out by these screening Honeysuckle shrubs

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Honeysuckle sprouts multiple stems, making control difficult

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This area has just been cleared of Honeysuckle bushes

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European Buckthorn can grow as either a shrub or small tree out in the woods.

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Buckthorn was brought from Europe as a yard hedge and landscape plant, but took off in our timbers.

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Identify European Buckthorn by scraping back the bark, exposing the orange interior.

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European Buckthorn is not called a thorn for nothing. Stems end in a sharp spine.

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European Buckthorn leaves often look glossy. They leaf out before native trees in spring and stay green late into fall.

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European Buckthorns produce purple berries in autumn. Birds eat them, get sick and expel them into new areas.

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Ridding our woods and fields of non-native weeds is time-consuming and expensive

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Tordon is a cheap reliable tree killer.

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Coat the living tissue of a cut stump with Tordon RTU

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A simple girdle, followed by squirting Tordon into the cut, will also kill Buckthorn or other weed trees.

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Girdles can also be done with a few simple hatchet chops.

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A hatchet-girdled tree trunk waiting for the Tordon spray

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A tree loppers can be used to top smaller trees and honeysuckle shrubs

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Honeysuckles can be a bear to cut

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Be sure to give all lopper-cut stems the Tordon treatment.

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A backpack sprayer works great for many noxious weeds

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Hit Honeysuckle or other weeds in the summertime with Crossbow. Spray the vegetation until leaves are wet

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Reed Canarygrass can be controlled with Select, which will kill any grass but wont hurt sedges or forbs (flowers).

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Backpack sprayers can get to hard-to-reach locations

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Mowing can suppress weeds and keep them from going to seed. This may eventually control biennial species.

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Fire may be another non-chemical control agent for weeds, but is better at battling a woody shrub or tree invasion

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A late fall or early spring woodland burn can kill seedling Buckthorn, Honeysuckle and other ilk.

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A natural native habitat is a healthy habitat

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