weather icon Clear

Several dozen head out for Pahrump Saltcedar Control Workshop

The parking lot was packed to the limit and the sides of adjacent streets were beginning to fill up as dozens of Pahrump Valley residents prepared for an evening of education at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

The topic bringing so many out on Aug. 14 was in regard to one of the most pervasive and invasive species in the West, saltcedar.

Nevada Department of Agriculture Noxious Weeds Coordinator Sean Gephart teamed up with M.L. Robinson of the UNR Cooperative Extension to host a Saltcedar Control Workshop with the aim of teaching locals how to tackle these tough-to-kill plants.

Gephart started off by explaining the history and biology of the species. According to Gephart, there are roughly 60 different types of saltcedar, although in Nevada only four are of major concern. These include tamarix aphylla, tamarix chinensis, tamarix parviflora and tamarix ramosissima. Of the four, aphylla, commonly referred to as athel, is the largest and can reach up to 100 feet in height.

Regardless of type, however, Gephart said they were all considered noxious weeds by the state of Nevada and were each capable of wreaking the same kind of damage. Although there is some difference of opinion on the amount of water saltcedars consume, it is generally agreed that the plants have a negative impact by lowering water tables. Gephart estimated that saltcedars have the ability to devour up to 14 acre-feet of water per year. For reference purposes, the Nevada state engineer’s office estimates average consumption by a residential domestic well to be 0.5-acre feet annually.

In addition to sucking up precious water resources, saltcedars hinder the environment by littering the surrounding area with salt-laden leaves. This creates soil salinity levels in which the saltcedar can thrive but that also prevents native vegetation from flourishing.

Because of these negative aspects, saltcedar has been classified as a noxious weed and according to Nevada Revised Statute 555, must be removed if required by the state quarantine officer. “Every railroad, canal, ditch or water company, and every person owning, controlling or occupying lands in this state, and every county, incorporated city or district having the supervision and control over streets, alleys, lanes, rights of way, or other lands, shall control all weeds declared and designated as noxious as provided in NRS 555.130 in any manner specified by and whenever required by the State Quarantine Officer,” NRS 555.150 states.

So that leads to the question, how does one effectively control these hardy plants? The answer is a combination of mechanical and chemical methods.

Modes of control

“Hand pulling can be effective when used on seedlings in newly infested areas where the plant has yet to establish itself,” information provided at the workshop detailed. “Mowing is used to reduce the volume of tamarisk before treatment with herbicide.”

However, residents were cautioned that mechanical means of control in established infestations will not be enough by themselves and must be combined with chemical measures in order to have the desired effect. “Burning, chopping, chaining, digging, cutting must be combined with herbicide application for the treatment to be effective. Tamarisk is able to resprout vigorously from mechanical treatments.” Gephart explained that saltcedar seeds are reported to have a 100 percent germination rate and to add even more tenacity, the plant can also reproduce from stem fragments and roots.

Chemical control can be accomplished using several different products, with Triclopyr, Glyphosate and Imazapyr listed as herbicides to utilize.

There was a focus on one particular product, called Garlon 4. This herbicide contains the active ingredient Triclopyr and is available through various retailers. According to the discussion by workshop participants familiar with the product, it can be obtained at Star Nursery or Tractor Supply in the agricultural section and it is also sold through Walmart.com as well as many other online sources.

“The active ingredient, Triclopyr, works like a growth regulator found only in plants. It enters treated vegetation through leaves, stems and bark and uses the plant’s own transportation system to move into the roots and leaves,” a question and answer sheet on Garlon 4 explained. “It reduces rapid growth, which disrupts food production and causes the plant to die from lack of nutrients.”

Anyone wishing to learn more about saltcedars and how to control them, or any other noxious weed, can contact Gephart at sgephart@agri.nv.gov or 775-353-3640.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Meadows Bank total assets reach $1 billion

Meadows Bank, headquartered in Las Vegas, announced Wednesday that it had reached $1.1 billion in total assets as of June 30. Total equity capital also grew 17% to $126.8 million.

Assembly Bill 4 sparks outrage in Nevada

With the 2020 general election just three months away, Nevada legislators passed Assembly Bill 4 this month, among a stir of outrage from the Legislature’s Republican minority as well as a plethora of residents all across the state. The move has even caught the attention of President Donald Trump, who filed a lawsuit to halt the bill after slamming Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and Democratic legislators for what he termed a “late night coup” that he Tweeted would make it “impossible” for Republicans to win the state in 2020.

2020 Pahrump Fall Festival canceled

The fate of the 2020 Pahrump Fall Festival has now been decided, with the Nye County Commission, sitting as the governing board for the town of Pahrump, voting to call off what is hands-down the largest event in the valley each year, all in the name of public health and safety due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Pahrump’s 2020 Back to School Fair hailed a success

The start of the 2020-2021 school year is just over two weeks away and though students will be heading into an academic year that will look quite a bit different than in years past, one thing that has not changed is the necessity for students to be prepared with all of the school supplies they will need to pursue educational success.

New COVID-19 cases number 649 in Nevada

Nevada Health Response reported Nevada logged 649 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 52,828.

IN SEASON: The time is now to plan your fall and winter annual vegetable garden

It may seem too early to be thinking about our fall and winter garden while we are in the thick of brutal summer temperatures, but cooler weather is just around the corner. By starting seeds indoors now, you can give yourself a head start on the fall and winter garden season.

DPS appoints Dyzak State Fire Marshal Division chief

Nevada Department of Public Safety Director George Togliatti on July 27 appointed Mike Dzyak as chief of the Nevada DPS, State Fire Marshal Division. Dzyak previously served as lieutenant and as acting fire marshal following the retirement of former Chief Bart Chambers.

PUCN releases second concept paper on rate-making

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) has issued a second concept paper in its rulemaking docket investigating alternative rate-making mechanisms for electric utilities, according to a press release.