Tamarisk or Salt Cedar
Growth habitat: Deciduous or evergreen shrubs or small trees reaching 5 to 20 feet tall.
Leaves: Small leaves on green stems are alternate, overlap each other and appear scale-like (similar to a cedar tree). Foliage is salty to taste.
Stems: Highly branched with a smooth, dark brown to reddish-brown bark.
Flowers: Borne in finger-like clusters on terminal and lateral branches, are small, pink to white and have five petals.
Roots: Large plants of saltcedar can transpire at least 200 gallons per plant each day and will often dry up ponds and streams.
Reproduces: By seed.
Habitat: Sold as ornamentals, but have escaped and become naturalized along streams, canals, and reservoirs in much of the West.
"This plant can soak up over 200 gallons of water per day, per plant"
Hand pulling: Hand pulling is not an effective method of removing salt cedar.
Mowing: Mowing is not an effective method of removing salt cedar, but it may be necessary and/or beneficial in increasing the efficacy of an herbicide application or a root ripping treatment.
Root plowing: Root plowing at a depth of 12 to 18 inches has proven to be an effective method of controlling infestations of salt cedar. In order to prevent re-sprouting, all above ground vegetation and worked up plant material should be piled and burned.
Biological control: While there have been a number of insects that have been proven as effective biocontrol agents for salt cedar, there are currently none available in Montana at this time.
Grazing: Salt cedar is only palatable as new sprouts and seedlings. Grazing is not a practical or effective method of control for salt cedar in Western Montana.
Herbicide: There are a few herbicides that have been somewhat effective in managing salt cedar; some with a foliar application and some as cut-stump treatments. The following herbicides are recommended for control of salt cedar. Always consult product labels and read them carefully to ensure correct species/land management usage and chemical application.
|Trade Name:||Active Ingredient:||Rate:||Efficacy:||Comments|
|Arsenal||Imazapyr||4-6 pints/acre||Effective foliar application||Can cause injury to desirable trees and shrubs if root system extends into treated area.|
|Garlon 3A||Troclopyr||50% solution||Effective as a cut stump treatment; applied directly to the stump immediately after cutting.||Can be used in sites near water.|
|Redeem||Triclopyr||20-30% solution||Effective as a cut stump treatment; applied directly to the stump immediately after cutting.||Cannot be used near water as it is highly toxic to fish, aquatic invertebrates and aquatic plants.|