Due to our close proximity to the forest and wilderness areas, it is a good idea to be conscious of not allowing noxious weeds to grow on our properties. They can quickly spread to wilderness areas and agricultural areas, causing tremendous damage. Here are some data quoted from an article by Wayne Nelson, a White River National Forest Rangeland Management Specialist: in the Western U.S. alone, we are losing approximately 4000 acres a day or 1.5 million acres a year to noxious weeds. He mentions that many top ecologists in the country consider noxious weeds to the #1 threat to our native ecosystems and wild areas.
For help in identifying weeds, take a look at the photos and description of the noxious weeds found in Summit County.
Here on the Ranch, we need to watch for the scentless chamomile (also known as the cut leaf daisy) and the ox-eye daisy. The ox-eye daisy is a beautiful plant, but will quickly take over and crowd out all the natives. It is an escaped and invasive ornamental plant. We have also seen some yellow toadflax, also called butter and eggs (again, a plant that is pretty and does not look weedy, but is highly invasive and will crowd out our natives). There is also Canadian thistle and musk thistle. All of these are designated noxious weeds in the state of Colorado.
After hand-weeding or spraying, it is a good idea to reseed the area with native species. But beware: many wildflower seed mixes actually contain seeds for the same escaped ornamentals you have been getting rid of! Read the labels carefully and pick seeds that have been tested.
The WBMD sprays roadsides and common areas on a yearly basis. At that time, spraying for private homeowners can be arranged if requested.