Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Eliminate noxious weeds and receive a gift card to a local nursery


Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Management presents the 2017 Gift Card Exchange: Help eliminate noxious weeds and receive a gift card to a local nursery in exchange!

Several popular ornamental landscaping plants are regulated noxious weeds that can cause damage to local infrastructure and wetlands, accidental poisoning and decrease wildlife forage.

To help you identify noxious and “obnoxious” weeds of all kinds, we will be hosting a booth at local nurseries throughout the summer.  Visit us at:

Bookcliff Gardens Nursery and Landscape: June 24

Mt. Garfield Greenhouse and Nursery: June 30

Valley Grown Nursery: June 23

Additional dates: TBD

Check your flower-beds to see if you have one of the following, then stop by to exchange it for a gift card for a non-invasive native or cultivated replacement:


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. Protect from exposure to any herbicides by wearing proper attire and following directions on the label.

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 proper 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 appropriate attire.

Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)


  • Popular in wildflower packets, this plant is threatening to spread into USFS land and Vega Lake State Park from private property
  • Found in many local flower beds; a look-a-like to non-invasive native and cultivated ornamentals
  • Can outcompete native grasses and flowers and decrease diversity for wildlife forage
  • Biennial/perennial plant that can grow ~3 feet tall each season
  • Flowers can be purple, pink, to white





Plants can be easily removed by pulling/digging the entire tap root out of the ground and disposing of plants and seeds in the garbage.

Japanese and Giant Knotweed, and hybrid Bohemian Knotweed
(Polygonum cuspidatum, P. cuspidatum, P. x bohemicum)

  • An interesting perennnial plant with large heart-shaped leaves and bamboo-like stalks
  • Can grow 5-16 feet tall and spreads through root system underground
  • Showy clusters of tiny white flowers present in late summer
  • Often planted for erosion control or privacy screening, these plants can aggressively spread and clog small waterways and outcompete other desirable species




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. Protect from exposure to any herbicides by wearing proper attire and following directions on the label.

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:

  • Bring proof of removal to our booth at local nurseries throughout the summer and redeem a gift card on the spot!
OR
  • 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. 
  • Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Management will be available to assist with identification and to confirm removal/treatment throughout the summer if appropriate. 
  • When removal or effective treatment is confirmed by the Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Management a gift card to a local nursery will be mailed to the property owner/occupant that submitted the pictures. 
  • 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!

Eligibility is subject to Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Management approval.  One gift card issued per household per calendar year.

Listen to Know Your County: Noxious Weed Gift Card Exchange

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