Do's and Don'ts of tumbleweed control
- Plan your control program, this will save time and money in the long-run;
- Consider the impact of your control methods on off-target species, especially if herbicides are used;
- Ensure machinery and equipment is washed down between sites or prior to contractors leaving site;
in early - For new infestations, eradicate before the plants reach the
flowering stage: once plants begin seeding, control becomes more
difficult and expensive;
- Carefully time your use of herbicide for best results (see the Herbicides for Tumbleweed Control link for more information);
- Coordinate your control program with neighbouring landholders where your weed problem crosses property boundaries;
- Revisit and regularly inspect the site and ensure follow-up is undertaken;
- Use a combination of different control methods; and
- Establish vigorous pasture or crops after removal to reduce re-infestation.
- Don't introduce tumbleweed to tumbleweed-free areas (e.g. by failing to wash down machinery and equipment between sites);
- Don't start your control program without first planning your approach;
- Don't allow tumbleweed to flower and set seed before treatment;
- Don't rely on one attempt at removal - follow-up is essential; and
- Don't rely on just one control method.
Spread of tumbleweed
- Tumbleweed is spread by seed.
seeds can be scattered over large distances as the dried bush is blown
along the ground. Seed can also be spread by birds, contaminated
machinery and farm produce.
- Seed remains viable after ingestion by animals, and can survive high composting temperatures.
- The seeds are thought to remain viable in the soil for many years, giving rise to a persistent seed bank.
Avoid the introduction of tumbleweed
- Avoid introducing tumbleweed seed into clean areas, or into areas from which the weed is being eradicated.
- Implements and vehicles which have been used on infested areas should be thoroughly cleaned before leaving the site.
- See the
Washdown Guidelines for Weed and Disease Control for detailed information on how to wash-down equipment and personnel to reduce the chance of spreading tumbleweed.
- Areas cleared of tumbleweed should, if possible, be cultivated for pasture or crops.
of the soil breaks up any tumbleweed roots remaining in the soil and
brings root fragments to the surface to dry out.
of vigorous pasture or a crop provides competition with any regrowth of
tumbleweed plants and reduces the chance of re-infestation.
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