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University of Idaho Extension

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 52
606 S Rayburn St.
Moscow, ID

Mailing Address:
University of Idaho Extension
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2338
Moscow, ID 83844-2338

Phone: 208-885-5883

Fax: 208-885-6654

Email: extension@uidaho.edu

Google Maps

Barbara Petty

War on Weeds — Weeds are Everybody’s Problem

Saltcedar

Saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb) is a deciduous perennial shrub or tree native to the Middle East. It was introduced into the U.S. in the early 1800’s as an ornamental. Saltcedar has been used in wind breaks and for erosion control, but its aggressiveness has allowed it to escape. It invades riparian areas along rivers, streams, ditches, marshes and springs. It uses an extremely high amount of water (up to 13-acre feet of water per year).

Saltcedar typically grows 6 to 26 feet tall. It has smooth bark that becomes rough and grooved with age. It has small (1/16 inch long) bluish-green leaves that have a scale-like appearance. It has a deep tap root and lateral rhizomes that can send up new shoots. Pink-white flowers are produced from March to September. A single mature tree can produce up to 600,000 seeds/year. Tiny, plumed seeds are dispersed by wind and water. Saltcedar can live for 50-100 years.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) options

  • Prevention — Learn to identify this plant. Never transport unknown plant material. Always plant clean seed.
  • Mechanical — Digging both by hand and with an excavator can be effective options, although it often requires repeated efforts. Remove the root crown and as many roots as possible. Then pile roots and let dry before burning or mulching.
  • Biological — Saltcedar leaf beetle (Diorhabda elongata) can cause complete defoliation of Saltcedar.
  • Chemical — Herbicide applications play an important role in the control of Saltcedar. Application methods include cut stump, foliar sprays and basal bark treatments can be effective. Herbicide active ingredients that have proven to be effective include Triclopyr, Imazapyr and glyphosate. Refer to https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5180537.pdf for more information about herbicide application methods, timing, rates and products. Always read and follow herbicide label directions.

Idaho is a wonderful place with awesome natural resources, landscapes, agriculture and recreational opportunities. Weeds threaten all the things that we love about Idaho. To detect, contain and control weeds in Idaho we have declared “War on Weeds.” These short articles are designed to give a brief description of each species, an explanation about why it’s a problem, insights into identification and Integrated Pest Management control options. — Justin Hatch

View or Download (pdf)


Photo courtesy of Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org.

University of Idaho Extension

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 52
606 S Rayburn St.
Moscow, ID

Mailing Address:
University of Idaho Extension
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2338
Moscow, ID 83844-2338

Phone: 208-885-5883

Fax: 208-885-6654

Email: extension@uidaho.edu

Google Maps

Barbara Petty