University of Minnesota Extension
www.extension.umn.edu
612-624-1222
Menu Menu

Extension > Yard and Garden News > November 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

From the MDA: Update on Palmer amaranth

Reprinted from Minnesota Noxious Weeds - Palmer Amaranth

Palmer amaranth plant in western MinnesotaIn September 2016, Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) was initially discovered and confirmed in Minnesota. To date, isolated populations have been documented in first year conservation plantings in Yellow Medicine, Lyon, Douglas and Todd Counties. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), University of Minnesota Extension, USDA, landowners and other partners are working to eradicate these infestations before they can spread to new areas.  Efforts to this point have been very successful.  MDA is also working closely with other state, county and federal agencies, the MN Native Seed Industry and several non-profit organizations to regularly sample and test seed sold in the state for presence of Palmer amaranth.

Why the concern? 

Palmer amaranth is a fast growing weed native to the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, and has spread east and north through a variety of pathways including contaminated seed, hay, livestock feed and agricultural equipment. It has developed resistance to multiple classes of herbicides and their different modes of action, making it very difficult and expensive to control. Palmer amaranth is a prolific seed producer. Up to 250,000 seeds can come from one plant. It is also highly competitive.

It has a fast growth rate of 2- 3 inches per day and commonly reaches heights of 6- 8 feet, greatly inhibiting crop growth. Reported yield losses have been up to 91% in corn and 79% in soybean in some states. The weed can also significantly increase production costs for corn, soybean, and other crops. 
Arrest the Pest icon, report sightings by emailing arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us or call 888-545-6684Read  more about Palmer amaranth on the MN Department of Agriculture webpage

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pollinator-friendly landscape? Share on Instagram!

Do you have a pollinator-friendly landscape? Did you see a plethora of honeybees, native bees, flies, butterflies and other pollinators in your yard and garden this past summer? Share pictures of your landscape with other pollinator enthusiasts on Instagram @flowers4pollinators

Not sure how your yard and garden measure up for pollinators? Take the survey "How Pollinator-friendly is your landscape?" and find out!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

MDA Weed of the Month: Oriental bittersweet

By Emilie Justen, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, 11/07/2017

https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MNMDA/2017/11/07/file_attachments/909460/OB%2Bfruit.jpg
Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

November’s Weed of the Month, Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), is a woody vine with colorful red fruit. It was brought to North America from the Asia and used as an ornamental plant. The attractive vines have been used for wreath decorations and in floral decorations; unfortunately, the plant has escaped cultivation and has become invasive in residential and natural areas in Minnesota.

Oriental bittersweet spreads by several means. The persistent red fruit is consumed by birds, which spread the seed to uninfested areas. People trained to look for Oriental bittersweet may look for places where birds perch. The areas beneath the perches may have Oriental bittersweet seedlings, juvenile vines, or mature woody vines and would be a place to target control efforts. Humans also spread Oriental bittersweet infestations by physically moving the plants. Oriental bittersweet was commonly propagated and sold in Minnesota through nurseries and retail garden centers before 2010. Its use in floral arrangements and wreaths also increased its spread.

Despite its ornamental characteristics, Oriental bittersweet is an ecological threat to forests, grasslands, and parks in Minnesota. The vines twine around trees, girdling them in a snake-like fashion. Though it prefers forest edges and sunlight, Oriental bittersweet can grow in forest understories, eventually reaching forest canopies, shading the trees and understory and preventing native plant species from flourishing. Infestations can become so thick that wildlife, such as deer, can have difficulty navigating through wooded areas filled with Oriental bittersweet.

Read more how you can help ....  MDA Weed of the Month
  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy