Plant ID forum: weed identification help -- backyard in Toronto, Canada

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toronto, Ontario
addieto
Jul 31, 2017 7:41 AM CST
hi all!
This scary weed has taken over part of my backyard. It is very spiky and hard to remove without injuring yourself! Can anyone help ID this invader ;) they have grown as tall as 5 feet and have fluffy flowering parts at the top. Thanks so much for any help!
Thumb of 2017-07-31/addieto/100866


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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
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CarolineScott
Jul 31, 2017 7:52 AM CST
Genuine Canadian Thistles!
Cut them back and then spray the new sprouts.

It will take a year or two of diligence to rid your yard of them because the seeds will be in the soil.

Just keep at them ! ( I use pliers because they are prickly)

And new seeds can blow in from other infestations near your neighbourhood, so keep a watch for other infestations too !
toronto, Ontario
addieto
Jul 31, 2017 9:58 PM CST
thanks so much Caroline! This is so helpful! What spray would your recommend? Is there something non-chemical I could use...or does this require the full weaponry?!

thanks again,
Adam
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Aug 1, 2017 3:28 AM CST
Welcome!

Since you're in Ontario you won't be able to use (legally) any "chemical" herbicide that is likely to kill them because of the provincial cosmetic pesticide ban. You can still get RoundUp but it is only supposed to be used on plants harmful to people, like poison ivy. If you cut them down and then keep taking the new growth off (e.g. mower or string trimmer if too much to do by hand) they will eventually become exhausted and die out.
Name: Michelle
Pleasant Lake MI (Zone 6a)
Region: Michigan Canning and food preservation Keeper of Poultry Herbs Organic Gardener Butterflies
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Mizshelli
Aug 1, 2017 7:14 AM CST
I hate those things! We have a ton of them at our property line here in mid-Michigan. I dumped hot salt water on the roots after I cut them down to get rid of them. Thankfully they weren't in a part of the yard where the salt water would harm anything I wanted to keep, but be careful when you pour it so it doesn't get where you don't want it.
I still find a few of them here and there, but after cutting them and digging the root out, they generally don't come back unless you have a neighbor with a bird feeder that has thistle seed in it (finches love them).
Good luck!
Is treise an dúchas ná an oiliúint.
(Nature is stronger than nurture)
michellephinneysmith.com
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
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Leftwood
Aug 1, 2017 2:51 PM CST
Is Canada thistle listed as a noxious weed in Ontario? If so, would that take it off the cosmetic pesticide ban?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Aug 1, 2017 3:54 PM CST
Leftwood said:Is Canada thistle listed as a noxious weed in Ontario? If so, would that take it off the cosmetic pesticide ban?


As far as I understand it, yes it is a noxious weed but a weed inspector must issue an order before herbicides that are listed under the banned group can be used. The homeowner can buy glyphosate to use on plants that are hazardous to touch. I suppose you could try and argue that thistles are hazardous to touch but I believe they only mean things like poison ivy, wild parsnip etc. It doesn't seem to be as easy to find information on what can and can't be used as it was a few years back when the ban first came into effect, but you wouldn't be able to go into a store and buy anything with 2,4-D in it any more, for example.

Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN, USA zon
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Leftwood
Aug 1, 2017 5:11 PM CST
Thanks, sooby. I hadn't realized Canada was that strict. Not necessarily a bad thing, considering how some people use pesticides here in the USA.....
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Aug 1, 2017 5:44 PM CST
Rick, it depends on the Province. That's for Ontario, where I and the OP are located, but other Provinces have different regulations. Pesticide product registration is federal though. I'm not sure but I don't think all Provinces are equally strict although I can think of at least one other that has similar restrictions (Quebec). Some individual municipalities also limit pesticides.

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