Summit County, Silverthorne educate residents on weeds |

Summit County, Silverthorne educate residents on weeds

SILVERTHORNE — The town of Silverthorne has teamed up with Summit County’s Noxious Weed Department to educate the public on how individuals can help the fight to stem the spread of noxious weeds. Residents can now log onto the home page to view a short presentation complete with descriptions and pictures of the top 16 noxious weed species that are common in the Summit County region.

Noxious weeds are non-native, invasive plant species that have been introduced into the Summit County environment with few, if any, natural biological controls. This gives them a distinct competitive advantage in dominating and crowding out native plants.

“It takes more than goats to get rid of these weeds,” said Bill Kleckner, Silverthorne parks supervisor. “Weeds don’t care about property lines, so it takes coordination from everyone to keep these weeds from spreading.

“By logging onto, residents can quickly learn the difference between a pretty daisy and non-native weed seeking to take over your lawn.

“Our native plants are the building blocks of the ecosystem. If we lose that vital component, we lose all other life that evolved with that resource, and noxious weeds are the No. 1 threat to our native plants. It is the responsibility of all to help protect the ecosystem from the treat of noxious weeds so we are not leaving an enormous problem for our children.

“Homeowners play a major role in control of these species, and there are many control tools at their disposal,” Kleckner said. “If a homeowner decides to use a herbicide, it is best to contact an expert in the field to assure they are using the right product at the right growth stage to help eliminate ineffective applications.”

Kleckner said late summer and early fall are two of the most important times to target some of the top weed offenders in their vulnerable stages of life, including:

n Mayweed “false” chamomile: Commonly mistaken for a simple daisy, scentless chamomile is a bushy, annual plant that grows from 1 to 2 feet tall.

Currently, this weed is in its late stages of flowering, meaning that each plant is ready to release nearly a million seeds to multiply next year.

Residents can help eliminate this weed and its future production by “pulling and bagging” the plant.

n Musk thistle: A biennial/winter annual, it reproduces by seed and grows into a large, compact rosette from a fleshy, corky taproot. In the weed’s second year, its stem is spiny, growing from 2 to 6 feet tall, and branched at the top. Blooms appear from June to late July and are usually purple. If residents cut the flower head off the plant and bag it, then dig up the weed by the root, they can officially pronounce the weed dead.

n Canada thistle: Canada Thistle is a “creeping perennial” which reproduces by seeds and root stock. It is a member of the aster family. The erect stem is hollow, smooth and slightly hairy, 1 to 5 feet tall and branched at the top.

The flowers are small and compact and light pink to rose-purple in color. Canada thistle is one of the most widespread and economically damaging noxious weeds in Colorado. Residents who apply an herbicide application now will get the best results in destroying this weed.

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