Ask a Question forum: Non-chemical control of hawkweed ?

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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 28, 2014 5:32 PM CST
I just received a notice from my local weed board that I can either (a) pay for them to spray my property, (b) arrange for someone else to spray my property, or (3) send them my own plan of how to control the hawkweed which may or may not be on my property.

I am in the process of researching the growth habit of this particular invasive, which I believe is Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) although the notice simply refers to it as hawkweed. I've emailed the weed people asking for a more precise ID but as I recall this has been the culprit in previous years.

I do not know if my property is infested or not. It is my understanding that the weed people are pretty liberal with their spraying program and I would rather not participate in that. We don't live on this particular property, which is about 4 hours from our home. I'm trying to do some initial rsearch to figure out how much of a problem it might be, and if we can simply do manual control. Our property lies on a year-round creek in a canyon, with the majority of the land a fairly barren and rocky mountainside. Total is 40 acres, so kind of a big project.

Thanks for any help. @Woofie our property is in Okanogan County, not sure if you are in that neck of the woods or further east, you may have had some dealings with the weed people.

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Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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KentPfeiffer
Mar 28, 2014 6:08 PM CST

Plants Admin

Hieracium aurantiacum is a rhizomatous perennial in addition to being a prolific seed producer so it's pretty unlikely you will be able to control it without herbicides. It's one of those plants that is best hammered when it first shows up. Delaying aggressive control just results in an exponentially more difficult problem later.

I see that Milestone (aminopyralid) is one of the recommended herbicides for Hieracium aurantiacum control. Milestone is an interesting herbicide. It's a broadleaf killer like Tordon (picloram) or 2-4-D but, unlike most of them, is somewhat selective in its effect and kills plants from some families but not others. Milestone has been touted as a "miracle herbicide" for the control of invasive weeds in natural areas. It's NOT, but it does seem to cause less collateral damage than most. Whatever you do, please don't use Tordon near the stream. Tordon is a persistent chemical and mobile in the soil column and will have all sorts of disastrous consequences, both for the native plant community and for aquatic life in the stream.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Mar 28, 2014 6:22 PM CST
We're farther east, in Stevens County, Deb. I've never heard of hawkweed. The weed people here pretty much leave us alone.
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 30, 2014 3:41 PM CST
http://www.okanogancounty.org/nw/list.html

Am I reading this correctly? You are only required to stop seed production?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 30, 2014 4:52 PM CST
Yes, that is my reading of it as well. I'm trying to sort out what "non-native hawkweed" actually means, and so far I'm finding Washington has around 13 native hawkweeds. I think the natives are all yellow and the most targeted "non-native" has an orange flower. I'm trying to figure out when these guys bloom. Seems we should be able to go to our property during the bloom season and perhaps weedwack anything that is orange. I'm still researching what the preferred habitat is, hoping our potential infestation is fairly mild. I've never noticed any orange dandelion type flowers when we've been there, but we don't go often and may have been outside the bloom time.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Mar 30, 2014 6:24 PM CST
Hieracium sabaudum seems to be the botanical name; the images show yellow flowers; do I have the correct one.?

This next link is for a different county, but it's easy-to-understand - basically it says to keep digging it up for the next few years of your life and/or spray the heck out of it. (Not Rolling on the floor laughing )

http://your.kingcounty.gov/dnrp/library/water-and-land/weeds...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Mar 31, 2014 11:55 AM CST
Deb, one non-chemical method that has been used around here is to just spread clear plastic (painters drop sheets work fine) over the weed-infested areas when it's sunny. One good hot day will often kill off the tops very effectively.

Now, with a deep-rooted perennial weed like this hawkweed sounds like, you may have to continue to do this several times through the season to eradicate large established plants. Might not be practical to consider, on a 40 acre scale, I guess. But it might be easier and just as effective as weed-whacking.

Nice area of the country up there in the Okonagan - I was born in Trail BC and spent my summers at Christina Lake until my teens, so pretty familiar with the hot, dry summers up there!
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 31, 2014 12:01 PM CST
Well, I'm still waiting to hear back from the Weed Board to more accurately pin down which hawkweed they are targeting. Then I hope to do a visual inspection when they might be in bloom and see how large (or hopefully small) of an infestation we might have. If we can manually wack them before they set seed, that may do it. If we have a whole hillside full, that will be a whole 'nother issue. I do know that both sides of the creek are pretty heavy in wild roses, which seem to choke out everything else.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Mar 31, 2014 4:06 PM CST
It's hard to take them seriously if they can't even give accurate botanical latin names, and expect that a common name is good enough. (Isn't there anyone there with at least a master gardener level of knowledge?) It leaves a lot open to interpretation, and people could claim inadvertent misidentification due to the county's ambiguity. It's good you are communicating in writing, Deb. You have proof that you are trying to cooperate.

I wonder how the problem is being addressed in the county, state, and federal lands nearby?
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 10, 2015 12:03 PM CST
Yet another notice from the weed board - equally vague. This year they have identified 17 plants by common name with 'control by' dates for each but no additional information. I ended up ignoring them last year. We do plan a property visit this year and I'll make an effort to try to figure out a) what specific plants are targeted, b) when they bloom, and c) least toxic way to control if we do in fact have any. It would sure be helpful if they sent some sort of map showing afflicted areas - it's a large and diverse county! And proper botanical names. Sheesh.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Mar 12, 2015 11:34 AM CST
Hi Deb.

I have used vinegar with Dawn dish soap in areas that are near our drainage ditches as they empty into a small creek. It is a non-selective weed killer so requires a bit of thought, but for your area it would possibly be of value. This link has quite a bit of info on using vinegar. I would refrain from using any salt as some formulations recommend, especially around water.

http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/vinegar-weed-kille...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7fSDrS46dg
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Mar 12, 2015 12:09 PM CST
Will goats or sheep eat it?
Porkpal
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Aug 6, 2016 3:07 PM CST
As luck would have it, I ran across the actual plant up in British Columbia and snapped a picture of it for future reference. It's quite pretty and was in bloom late July. We also visited our property during this same road trip and I didn't spot any signs of it (it's very eye catching). I also had a telephone conversation with a helpful woman at the Weed Board who told me our particular area was not heavily infested. As our county is over 5,000 square miles, one would think they'd have some sort of distribution map showing the infected areas, but apparently no. Shrug.



I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Aug 6, 2016 4:22 PM CST
According to this page, it is the yellow blooming hawkweed that is considered non-native and noxious.

http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/detail.asp?weed=72

http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/siteFiles/Hawkweeds%20all%20others%20...
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Aug 6, 2016 5:19 PM CST
Yeah, it's pretty confusing without having the actual botanical name. The correspondence I get from the weed board specifically is after orange hawkweed, as well as 'all other non-native hawkweeds' with no specifics. I'm fairly certain we have none of the orange as that one really pops, who knows about the yellow varieties. To make it more difficult, Washington has several native hawkweeds. So pretty hard to tell which is friend or foe other than the orange one. Assuming they would mostly be in bloom when we visited last week, I just didn't see much in the way of any type of daisy-type plant (other than a few random oxeyes). I did find a ton of yarrow, lots of fruit on the bunchberries, and big rose hips on the little shrub roses.

Thumb of 2016-08-06/Bonehead/1ce8e6 Thumb of 2016-08-06/Bonehead/e4448d

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Aug 6, 2016 6:15 PM CST
I looked at the "May be confused with" list of natives, but I could not understand why they could not include a picture with the botanic names?

Nice finds Deb. Thumbs up

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