Photograph
Noxious Weed
Genus species
Description and comments
Cirsium
arvense


Common Name: = Canada Thistle (USDA).

Community Question 7-20-2008 (private communication, edited for privacy)

Q1: Tom,

I believe my neighbor has Canada Thistle growing on their property. Please let me know if you can do anything.

T.

A1: Hi T,

I would be happy to inspect the property.

If I notice the emergence of a small number of invasive weeds, I would mail the property owner a non-certified letter. I would politely request, as a courtesy to their town and their neighbors, that they please remove these plants.

If I notice a large population of noxious weeds, or if they ignored my request, I would mail the property owner a certified letter with official notice to destroy noxious weeds. If no action was taken at 5 days after the official notice was received, then the Town has the authority to cut the weeds and bill the property owner.

You have the right to have Canada Thistle removed from neighboring lands.

Tom

Community Question 7-20-2008 (private communication, edited for privacy)

Q2: Tom,

Each year my neighbor waits until the Canada Thistle has gone to seed, mows or sprays the plants, and places them in a big pile. Is this a problem?

B.

A2: Hi B,

This is a problem. My concern is if Canada Thistle is mowed by your neighbor in late July, then the seeds will be disbursed widely. The seeds will likely be deposited onto all properties in your neighborhood. Next year, you and all of your neighbors will have Canada Thistle growing in their yards.

It would be best if the property owner destroyed the plants earlier in the year, in say May or June well before the Canada Thistle began to flower. In late July, I would recommend that your neighbor hand pull their Canada Thistle and dispose of the seed in a trash bag. Placing dead Canada Thistle in a big pile does not prevent the seed from maturing and spreading to neighboring lands.

Tom

Community Question 7-20-2008 (private communication, edited for privacy)

Q3: Tom,

Each summer, my neighbor heaps their dead weeds atop a pile of dirt. The pile never moves. It has been like this for five years and is a very unattractive view. Can you tell my neighbor to get rid of the dead weeds and pile of dirt?

R.

A3: Hi R,

No. I have no authority to have piles of dead plants removed. I only have authority over 3 specific noxious weeds. I also have no authority over piles of dirt.

Tom


Photograph
Restricted Weed
Genus species
Description and comments
Alliaria
petiolata


Common Name: = Garlic Mustard (USDA).

Community Question 6-3-2008 (private communication, edited for privacy)

Q1: Tom,

I read with great interest your article on garlic mustard in this week's Chief. My husband and I own 8 acres of woodlands. We have been fighting a losing battle with the weed for 3 years now (handpicking and landfilling, literally tens? hundreds? of bags..) we suspect it's all for naught as our neighbors within the parcel do not feel as "desperate" about its existence as we do.

Until reading your article I did not know that any herbicide could help lessen our burden (we always have waited until they got to a "pickable", identifiable height and went at it) Please clarify your suggestion of a 2 percent concentration of Round-up. Does that mean to take Round Up concentrate and mix it at only 2 parts to a 100 of water? Or is there a specific RoundUp already mixed that we should use? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. L.

A1: Hi L,

Thank you for your nice note.

I agree, garlic mustard is a substantial challenge to control in 8 acres of woodland. My property is small, I only have 1.2 acres. I am able to completely control the garlic mustard on my acre, even though I too have adjoining neighbors that do not control the weed in their woodlands. The first year, I used herbicide for the massive patches and handpicked the isolated plants. By the second year, the massive patches were mostly gone. I used herbicide for a few large clusters, but hand picked many of them. For the past 5 years, I have been garlic mustard free in most of the yard. It now only encroaches along the lot lines of my north and south neighbors.

It appears to drift in only a few feet each spring. If I aggressively pick or spray all of the new seedlings, I keep the rest of my yard garlic mustard free. I spray in late April and May and spot check it twice in summer.

In June, your weeds will be tougher to conquer. After the first spraying, follow up about 7 to 10 days later with a second treatment (if necessary). If you ever can achieve a garlic mustard free area, it becomes much easier to keep that section clean. Plus, you'll notice immediate results with more blooming wildflowers.

Ready to use RoundUp is sold in various formulations. I purchase the concentrate and mix my own. I use 2 ounces of concentrate per one gallon of water. In April and May, my treatments achieve nearly a 100 percent kill rate. I avoid windy days and I don't spray near open water (possibly toxic to fish in large amounts).

If you need any additional information, I would be happy to send you more emails or stop by and visit your woodland area if you wish. I only live a few miles away.

Thanks again for writing.

Tom

Community Question 6-3-2008 (private communication, edited for privacy)

Q2: Tom,

I just read with interest your article in the Mukwonago Chief. I checked the garlic mustard picture against what is growing profusely in the tree line along the drainage creek at the edge of our yard. Originally I thought the plants looked like currants, but have never seen currants on them. Sadly I think they are a match to those pictured. To me the flower stalks look slightly different.

Do you go to private locations to give advise? We have a relatively thick tree line surrounding the field we built our home in. I have been attempting to establish wild flowers there. This year I did discover two trilliums blossoming and a couple more plants that look like they could be trilliums also. Found one jack in the pulpit this spring. I have had success with transplanting the Mayapples (umbrella like plants). Fighting the burdock that has grown there for years. Now it sounds like I may be fighting garlic mustard too.

Are there any good sources for purchasing wild flowers like the native trillium, jack in the pulpits, etc.? I have ordered some from catalogs and gotten some of the roots or bulbs at Steins. Both seem overly expensive to purchase more than just a couple and haven't had the best success with them either.

We would really appreciate it if you could come down and do a walk through and offer advise. S.

A2: Hi S,

Thank you for your nice note.

I agree, the leaves of currants and garlic mustard are very similar. Mature garlic mustard is flowering now and it has tiny whitish flowers. Garlic mustard flowers have 4 petals on each flower, currant has 5 petals.

Yes, I would be happy to stop by and visit your woodland area. I will give you a phone call this week before I stop over, I only live a few miles away.

Your trilliums, jack in the pulpit, and mayapples sound like a great woodland area. I'll let you know about locating other woodland wild flowers when I stop to visit. Thanks again for writing.

Tom


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