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Noxious weeds

King County, Washington

To offer a suggestion or report an error on the King County Noxious Weeds website, please contact Sasha Shaw, education specialist.

Weeds in the news

Weeds sometimes make it to the press. Below are some of the recent (and some of the timeless) news items related to invasive plants.


  • The story of clematis:  Guest column Islands' Sounder, December 19, 2013

  • Noxious Weed Control Board meets Jan. 15 to determine 2014 King County noxious weed list. King County Press Release. December 16, 2013.

  • How Climate Change is Helping Invasive Species Take Over. Smithsonian, December 2013.
    Invasive plants blooming earlier with climate change

  • Bay Researchers Fight Uphill Battle with Invasive Cordgrass. BayNature, November 21, 2013.
    Article outlining the history and Work on controlling Spartina in California by the Invasive Spartina Project. They are working to control Spartina alterniflora and also a hybrid of S. alterniflora with a native species, California cordgrass, S. foliosa. This hybrid has been tough to eradicate.

  • Reducing Milk Thistle to Zero Density. TechLine Invasive Plant News, September 9, 2013. 
    Article in Techline news about milk thistle control efforts on Catalina Islands and their new approach to control with includes early fall applications of Milestone herbicide at 6 fluid ounces per acre (fl oz/A).

  • Microbes Facilitate the Persistence, Spread of Invasive Plant Species by Changing Soil Chemistry
    Sep. 26, 2013 -- Invasive species are among the world's greatest threats to native species and biodiversity. Once invasive plants become established, they can alter soil chemistry and shift nutrient cycling in an ecosystem. This can have important impacts not only on plant composition, diversity, and succession within a community, but also in the cycling of critical elements like carbon and nitrogen on a larger, potentially even global, scale.

  • Noxious weed alert - Thistle (from San Juan County, Ed note: removed link as of 8/7/2014)
    Thistles are common, recognizable weeds in the San Juan Islands, yet there are several thistles that are native to the US, one of which is located in the county. Our local native is known as Indian, short-style or clustered thistle (Cirsium brevistylum) and can be confused with bull thistle (C. vulgare). (See the link above for the full article).

  • Hunting? Don't Spread Noxious Weeds in Idaho's Backcountry
    Sep. 26, 2013 -- During Idaho’s hunting seasons, thousands of people traverse Idaho’s backcountry. So the threat of spreading noxious weed seeds from infested areas is at a high level, state weed officials warned.

  • Spartina control in British Columbia gets a boost from Washington’s Spartina program
    August 22, 2013 – The WSDA Spartina crew was up in British Columbia this summer, helping to treat spartina populations. This is the first time aquatic herbicide applications have been used in Canada.  Washington has made excellent progress in combating spartina and controlling populations up north will greatly help Washington’s effort to eradicate this tough noxious weed from the beaches and mudflats of Puget Sound and Washington’s coast (see the link above for the video).

  • Soil scientist suggests fallow tillage to organic farmers
    August 21, 2013 -- A soil scientist at Cornell University suggests organic farmers use tillage to control weeds without sacrificing their soil structure. Charles L. Mohler, senior research associate at Cornell's Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, described a technique of fallow tillage as part of a crop rotation approach.

  • Prehistoric Europeans spiced their cooking (with garlic mustard)
    August 21, 2013 -- Europeans had a taste for spicy food at least 6,000 years ago, it seems.  Researchers found evidence for garlic mustard in the residues left on ancient pottery shards discovered in what is now Denmark and Germany. (See link above for the full article).

  • King County sounding the alarm as harmful weeds begin to grow this spring. King County Press Release. April 2, 2013.

  • Plant wars kick in when dams come out. Great Lakes Echo. March 8, 2013.
    Vegetation management is needed to avoid letting invasive plants get a jump on native plants in midwestern dam removal projects.

  • Invasive species hitchhiking to west coast on Tsunami debris. Times Colonist. March 8, 2013. 
    Concerns about tracking invasive species coming to BC, Washington and Oregon coasts from the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

  • Invading Species Can Extinguish Native Plants Despite Recent Reports to the Contrary. Science News, January 9, 2013.
    Ecologists at the University of Toronto and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) have found that, given time, invading exotic plants will likely eliminate native plants growing in the wild despite recent reports to the contrary.



  • Lake Oswego council takes a whack at invasive trees.  Portland Tribune. December 22, 2011.
    Oregon’s Lake Oswego’s city council has a new permit process that hopes to encourage the removal of invasive trees. Before, residents had to pay permit fees to remove these trees, now they can get a permit in a free, expedited process.

  • Danger of dumping yard waste in natural areas. Woodinville Patch. Novermber 9, 2011.
    This article explains how weeds can spread from yard waste and the problems invasive weeds cause in forests and parks.

  • Battle returns to Black Lake weeds. Chinook Observer. November 8, 2011.
    This article talks about spraying Brazilian elodea in Black Lake, Ilwaco WA. It also includes information about a student group that has been taking water samples to help monitor the lake during the Brazilian elodea control.

  • Board classifies perplexing invader as noxious weed. OPB News. November 3, 2011.
    The Washington State Noxious Weed Board adds Japanese eelgrass to the noxious weed list to help commercial shellfish growers obtain permission to control it.

  • Blackberry's deeply rooted history ends with an ironic twist.  Times Colonist. November 2, 2011.
    This article tells the story of how Luther Burbank discovered Himalayan blackberry and successfully promoted it to commercial growers in North America after a slow start, unfortunately followed by the rapid spread of this plant well beyond where it was planted.








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KC weed news archive

Related information

Related agencies

Program offices are located at 201 S. Jackson St., Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104. To contact staff, see the Noxious Weed Control Program Directory, send an email, or call 206-477-WEED (206-477-9333).