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What You Should Know about Noxious Weeds

  • 10 August 2015
What You Should Know about Noxious Weeds
The Town of Vail reminds all property owners of their responsibility to manage noxious weeds on their property per the Town of Vail Noxious Weed Ordinance and the Colorado Noxious Weed Act. Frequent precipitation this summer has created ideal growing conditions for many invasive species. Throughout town, and particularly in the West Vail North neighborhood, significant populations of musk thistle, plumeless thistle, oxeye daisy and yellow toadflax, among others, can be found in yards and native areas. 

These non-native plants are undesirable because they form monocultures, meaning that once they establish, they drive out most other plant species, eliminating the biodiversity of a healthy ecosystem. They have few predators and little competition, allowing them to spread at an alarming rate. Additionally, noxious weeds have little or no forage value for wildlife. Therefore, when the native plants are gone, so are the animals that feed on them, including game animals.

Management techniques include hand-removal on some thistles, as well as the use of herbicides on certain species. Please note that there are three prominent invasive thistles in the Vail area: musk thistle, plumeless thistle and Canada thistle. Musk and plumeless thistles are biennials and can be cut off at the ground and disposed of. Canada thistle infestations should be sprayed for effective control. For help with correctly identifying these plants, contact a certified applicator or visit the town's weed page for more information. 

In addition, the town offers free property inspections. Email to schedule an inspection or to ask about management techniques. Please help do your part by controlling these plants on your property.
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