County Weed Board
This Class B Noxious weed is a perennial vine that is prevalent in riparian areas, disturbed areas, and roadsides. The vines grow over and blanket other plants. It covers trees, bushes, and fence lines. In an area where there is nothing to climb, it will form dense mats shading out all other vegetation. It thrives in shade. Although all parts of the plant are poisonous to humans and animals, the black berries are especially poisonous.
White Bryony reproduces by seed. Plants may also re-sprout from roots. Control efforts may take several years. The most effective control method is digging and cutting off the top crown of the root as chemical control options may adversely affect the host plant.
For more information on White Bryony, be sure to check out the Washington State Weed Board page at:
The fact sheet below published by Franklin County is especially informative:
Poison hemlock can be deadly toxic to both people and animals. This toxic, noxious weed is thick around Columbia County and is still young and the leaves are at a basal rosette stage which is the best time to treat poison hemlock.
Poison hemlock is an invasive species that rapidly colonizes streambanks, vacant lots, roadsides, pastures, and meadows, especially where the soil is moist, out competing native plants and desirable species. It is a biennial plant, which means that it typically lives for two years. The first year it forms a basal rosette of leaves. The second year, it develops flowering stems and produces about a thousand seeds per plant.
Small patches of poison hemlock can be carefully dug up, making sure to remove the taproot. Always wear protective clothing and gloves to prevent accidental exposure to the plant’s toxic juices. Do not cut or mow the plants as they will only resprout. Dispose of plants in the trash. Toxins will remain potent in dried plant material. Never put pulled plants in the compost or leave them where livestock might eat them. There are a number of herbicides available for controlling poison hemlock in larger infestations. Always read and follow the label instructions before applying any herbicide product.
Plant grasses and other desirable vegetation to provide competition and help prevent further weed establishment at the site.
For additional information, contact the Columbia County Noxious Weed Board.
Information and photo: WA State Noxious Weed Control Board http://www.nwcb.wa.gov
Mediterranean sage is a designated as a Class A weed by the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. It is an aggressive species that is not palatable and out-competes desirable forage plants in dry pastures and range-lands. Mediterranean sage reproduces by seed and acts like a tumbleweed to disperse its seeds.
The Columbia County Weed Board offers a cost share program for the control of Mediterranean sage in Columbia County.
Mediterranean Sage in full bloom
Cost sharing for Class “B” Weeds
The Weed Board offers cost sharing for two other Class B weeds other than Yellow Starthistle. Those weeds are Japanese/Bohemian Knotweed and Leafy Spurge.
The Weed Board will make the final determination as to the amount of chemical reimbursement and may issue up to the following:
- 100% of herbicide cost the first treatment year.
- 75% of herbicide cost where treatment is needed the second season.
- In year 3 and following years, herbicide cost share will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
- Owners/operator is responsible for 100% of application costs.
2021 Meeting Dates
January 18, 2022 noon
February 15, 2022 noon
March 15, 2022 7:00 p.m.
April 19, 2022 7:00 p.m.
May 17, 2022 7:00 p.m.
June 21, 2022 7:00 p.m.
July and August-no meeting
September 20, 2022 7:00 p.m.
October 18, 2022 7:00 p.m.
November 15, 2022 noon
December 20, 2022 noon
Noxious Weed Disposal
When controlling weeds, proper disposal is very important. Depending on the plant species, growth stage, and quantity, disposal methods can vary.
In general, if plants are flowering, cut and bag flowers when possible to prevent seed development and dispersal. Seal bags and put them in the trash. If plants are NOT flowering and do not spread vegetatively, the plants may be able to be pulled up by the roots and left on the ground to dry out.
Check out this publication for all the specifics about how to dispose of noxious weeds.
Not sure what kind of plant you have? Call or stop by the office to have the weed identified before you begin to control it. Identifying the weed will insure that you are disposing of the weed correctly.
Puncturevine is a toxic plant and a serious weed in pastures, roadsides, waste places and cultivated fields. The spines of the fruit can cause damage to animals and people. It’s sharp spines can puncture bicycle tires and shoes. While typically not grazed, puncturevine is toxic to livestock, especially sheep, when consumed in quantity. It’s also a painful problem to the fruit pickers when growing in orchards or vineyards.
Puncturevine is a summer annual herb growing flat along the ground, from a simple, woody taproot. The fruit is a woody burr with sharp, rigid spines (strong enough to puncture bicycle tires or penetrate shoe soles).
The small, yellow flowers are borne on short stalks at leaf nodes. Flowers are solitary and have 5 petals, 5 sepals and 10 stamens.
Leaves are opposite, oblong and have short stalks. They are 1 to 3 inches long, hairy, and pinnately compound (having leaflets). Each leaflet is 1/4 inch long.
Stems are numerous, hairy, and up to 6 feet long. They form a dense mat.
The fruit is a woody burr with sharp, rigid spines. Burrs break apart into 5 sections, which some say each resemble a goat’s head.
Puncturevine is found in pastures, roadsides, waste places, parks, agricultural areas. Puncturevine reproduces by seed, which typically germinate from April to October, depending on conditions. Seeds commonly germinate after rainfall or irrigation. Seed production per plant typically ranges from 200 to 5,000 seeds or in some conditions up to as many as 100,000.
Puncturevine spreads by seed so controlling plants prior to seed production is critical to prevent further seed entering the seedbank. When working in puncturevine infestations, make sure to clean shoes, clothing and tires to prevent spreading seeds to other areas. Use any of these, or a combination of these methods to control puncturevine. After puncturevine control, plant areas with site appropriate plants to provide competition and reduce further puncturevine invasion.
Puncturevine can be hand-pulled or controlled by hoeing or digging up, ideally prior to seed formation in the spring. If plants have already produced seeds, make sure to remove all possible spiny burrs from the ground. Make sure to wear gloves when removing puncturevine and be careful of the sharp spines. Shallow tilling, 1 inch or less, can also be used on small plants in the spring to control the plant prior to flower and seed development. Tilling deeper in the soil may just bury that will survive longer. All methods will need to be repeated as new seeds germinate during the year and for at least four years due to seed viability. Continue to monitor and control as needed. Mowing is ineffective due to the plant’s low growth form.
The puncturevine seed weevil, Microlarinus lareynii, and the puncturevine stem weevil, Microlarinus lypriformis are two biocontrol agents that have been researched and approved for the biological control of puncturevine. Unfortunately, these biocontrol agents do not provide effective control in Washington State. For more information about the biological control of puncturevine and other noxious weeds, please visit WSU Extension Integrated Weed Control Project.
Appropriate herbicide use can provide effective control of puncturevine. After the plants have emerged from the soil, and before the plants develop seeds, postemergent products are effective. The smaller or younger the plant, the better the postemergent herbicides work. Make sure to treat plants before they develop seeds. When choosing a soil applied chemical for puncturevine control, consider whether a selective or non-selective product is needed. Always read the label instructions before applying any herbicides for proper rate and timing. Use chemicals that are compatible with your goals. Please refer to the PNW Weed Management Handbook and contact your county weed coordinator for recommendations.
Picture and Information from Washington State Noxious Weed Board Website.
Thriving state marijuana market gets potful of legislative attention
A number of bills in the Washington Legislature could change the way people buy, sell and grow marijuana.
The bills received hearings this week in the House Committee on Commerce and Gaming with a wide range of proposals and opinions. Marijuana became a legal commodity in the state on July 8, 2014, one of few states at that time to legalize the plant for public use. It remains an illegal substance within the federal legal framework.
Bringing marijuana to your door
You could be buying marijuana in your pajamas thanks to a new bill that would allow delivery services straight to your door.
HB 1712 allows licensed marijuana retailers to fulfill orders by phone or online for users age 21 and up. Current law allows marijuana purchases only at brick-and-mortar stores.
An opponent said such purchases would compromise customer and employee safety by encouraging transactions in insecure locations.
“So what this bill does is take away the walls, it takes away the witnesses, it takes away the cameras and the security protocols and any sort of alarms,” said John Kingsbury, a member of medical-marijuana advocacy group Patients United. “I have to think that the first kid that gets stabbed, or shot, or beaten, you’re going to feel a little bit responsible for that. If this isn’t a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is.”
Bill sponsor Rep. David Sawyer, D-Tacoma, believes the measure’s risk to users is minimal and that increasing access to marijuana is critical to undermining black-market distributors.
Sawyer said the state Liquor and Cannabis Board would have to figure out how much one driver can carry. “Our whole goal is that we’re taking down the black market, the cartels, and that we’re running a safe, legal market. We want to compete on convenience and a fair price point.”
Licensing homegrown pot
Medical marijuana patients looking to grow a cannabis crop at home may receive some help: HB 2021 licenses adult medical marijuana users to grow and possess unlimited marijuana seeds at their residence.
Current law enables medical marijuana patients listed in the state’s medical marijuana authorization database to buy and possess up to six marijuana plants and eight ounces of marijuana produced from those plants. Patients not in the database may grow up to four marijuana plants and possess up to six ounces.
“This bill closes a gap and it’s important that we close this gap, because there are folks who qualify to have marijuana plants, but they don’t have access to them,” said Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Seattle.
“This bill is very important because there are a lot of people out there who can no longer get plants because dispensaries closed that used to sell clones and seeds,” medical marijuana patient Laurie Jackson told a House committee.
Kirk Ludden, a lobbyist for the marijuana advocacy group Viper PAC, noted the state’s initial efforts to legalize cannabis did not adequately guarantee medical marijuana patients like himself access to seeds or plant clones, which helps users save money.
“It was a mishap that it was left out that patients could not even find a place to get their seeds and clones,” Ludden said. “Many people are not experienced growers and can very easily have that male plant seed for the entire crop. You could have 100 seeds and now you’re a felon.”
Viper PAC director John Novak stated the bill benefits medical marijuana growers disgruntled with the retail industry’s red tape. Medical marijuana patients licensed to distribute must also register with the marijuana traceability system and file daily reports related to the production, transportation and sale of marijuana.
“As a licensee, I don’t like the idea of having to go into a retail shop and not know whether I was put into the registry, the traceability system, or what,” Novak said. “We’re much better off going straight to the growers than the middle man at the retail level.”
Protecting hemp growers
The word cannabis brings to mind images of burning joints or smoldering bongs, but the plant has just as much to do with hemp products as it does with marijuana.
Industrial hemp is found in thousands of household products, including paper, textiles and health foods.
Under the federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana is classified as a schedule one substance, or a drug with a high risk of abuse with no accepted medical use.
HB 2064 removes industrial hemp from the state’s schedule of controlled substances.
Federal law defines marijuana as a cannabis strain containing 0.3 percent or more of the psychoactive chemical component THC. Industrial hemp, which is unrelated to drug usage, contains less than 0.3 percent of THC.
In 2016, Washington created an industrial hemp research program under the Department of Agriculture to study the growth, cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp. At least 30 states have industrial hemp research programs, studies or commercial programs.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane, spoke about the importance of removing hemp from the state’s drug schedule to better combat future federal suits against hemp farmers.
“The whole reason that Washington had to adopt a separate controlled substances act was because Washington State has separate jurisdiction from the federal government on this issue,” Shea said. This bill intends to “make it very clear that Washington, right now, is removing hemp from the scheduling act, so it gives us better legal grounds to defend against any sort of federal intrusion later to prosecute people growing hemp here,” he added.
Marijuana activist John Worthington urged the Legislature to remove all varieties of cannabis from the state drug schedule. Ending cannabis’s status as a controlled substance, Worthington argued, would curb the federal government’s ability to seize imports under the federal Interstate Commerce Clause should newly installed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions decide to further challenge state cannabis laws.
Bailey Hershberg of the state marijuana advocacy group NORML PAC believes encouraging hemp farming in the state could have a positive environmental impact through crop rotation.
HB 1712, 2021 and HB 2064 were all passed out of committee by a majority vote and await further deliberation by the House Rules and House Appropriations committees this week.