Friday, July 29, 2016

Gift Card Exchange for Removal of Noxious Weeds

The Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Management presents a Gift Card Exchange Program. Help eliminate noxious weeds and receive a gift card to a local nursery in exchange!

Several popular ornamental landscaping plants are State-regulated noxious weeds.
Check your flower-beds to see if you have one of the following:

Giant reed grass (Arundo donax)


  • A bamboo-like perennial grass
  • Can grow 20+ feet tall 
  • Spreads mainly through its vast root system
  • An aggressive, non-native species that has overtaken many acres of wetland/riparian corridors throughout the Southwestern U.S. and can reduce wildlife habitat, increase fire risk, and interfere with flood control while suppressing native plant growth

    Plants might not be easily removed by pulling/digging as roots left in the ground can regenerate; however, they can be effectively managed with proper herbicide application (click here for further details). It is important to take proper precautions to protect yourself when cutting down/digging up plants as the woody like stalks can cause cuts/slivers, and from exposure to any herbicides by wearing proper attire.

Cypress spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias)


  • A popular plant in rock gardens in the Grand Valley.
  • Low-growing perennial 
  • Thin, bright green, needle-like leaves, and unique yellow-green flowers that can turn reddish when spherical seed pods form
  • All parts of the plant contain a white latex sap that can cause mild to severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation

  • Plants can be removed by pulling/digging up the entire plant including the tap-root, or sprayed with a recommended herbicide (click here for further details). It is important to take proper precautions to protect yourself from exposure to the toxic sap and any herbicides by wearing appropriate attire.




Myrtle spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites)



  • A popular plant in rock gardens in the Grand Valley 
  • Low-growing perennial plant 
  • Thick blue-green leaves (somewhat resembling a succulent), and unique yellow-green flowers that can turn reddish when spherical seed pods form
  • All parts of the plant contain a white latex sap that can cause mild to severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation

  • Plants can be removed by pulling/digging up the entire plant including the tap-root, or sprayed with a recommended herbicide. It is important to take proper precautions to protect yourself from exposure to the toxic sap and any herbicides by wearing proper attire.


The following methods are recommended to control this noxious weed on your property:
Mechanically cut old/dead giant reed grass stalks down, as close to the ground as applicable.
  • Remove all cut GRG foliage from the property and properly discard in the landfill or by burning not composting. 
  • Spray remaining green/live stalks with a mixture of a 2% - 8% solution of glyphosate, along with a surfactant. Read and follow all labeled directions when using any herbicide. 
  • Check for potential re-growth in future seasons and re-spray when plants are at least 6 inches tall if necessary.

To redeem a gift card to a local nursery, please provide proof of the removal/treatment of the above outlined noxious weeds on your property in the following way before August 31:
  • Take before and after photos of the area where the plants are located, with a distinguishing feature on your property somewhere in the pictures so we can confirm that these plants were indeed located on and removed from your property. Please take care to dispose of plants in the trash or landfill (NOT the compost!) so pieces do not get littered around. If you choose to spray plants, please describe your actions and take the “after” picture when plants show signs of herbicide poisoning. 
  • Send pictures by email to weed.pest@mesacounty.us or text them 970.250.3174 with your contact information and property address included. 
  • Noxious Weed Management crew members will be conducting site visits to confirm removal/treatment during the week of August 29, and will be available to assist with identification and limited removal efforts throughout the summer. 
  • When removal or effective treatment is confirmed by the Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Coordinator, a gift card to a local nursery will be mailed to the property owner/occupant that submitted the pictures. 
  • Please keep in mind that continued monitoring and removal/treatment of these noxious weeds may be required for 3-5 years as established stands may have abundant nutrient reserves in the roots and viable seeds left in the soil and can continue to persist in growth after initial treatment/removal. Continued treatment or removal when new growth is present will help eventually deplete the energy storage and seed bank of the plant. 

Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Management is a program dedicated to locating, treating, and educating the public about noxious weeds in conjunction with the Colorado State Department of Agriculture and other agencies. This project is funded by Mesa County and the Colorado Department of Agriculture. We thank you for your cooperative efforts in noxious weed management!

*Gift cards are valued from $15-$25 to a local nursery of Mesa County Noxious Weed Management’s discretion and are available on a first-come-first-serve basis while supplies last.

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