The Norman Transcript

Features

May 30, 2014

Musk thistle invades county

NORMAN — Cleveland County has a beautiful problem. Most do not equate beauty with being problematic, but in the case of the noxious and non-native musk thistle, it is quite common.

This showy but aggressive herb is ransacking our county, with each plant capable of producing more than 120,000 wind-dispersed seeds. Individuals wishing to report thistle infestations that are not being controlled can file a complaint with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry. The landowner will then be notified and informed about their responsibility.

The Oklahoma Noxious Weed Law declares musk thistle a noxious weed and public nuisance. Landowners whose land is infested are required to control thistles on their property. Failure to do so may result in a fine.

Many of our native thistles are small and less obnoxious when compared to musk, scotch or bull thistle. Their foliage is normally silver and their flowers are far less conspicuous. They are not normally over knee high, whereas musk thistle can grow 5 or 6 feet tall and has green leaves.

Native to Asia and Europe, musk thistle is a biennial plant belonging to the Aster family. Some plants may act as annuals and complete their life cycle in one growing season. Under normal circumstances, however, seeds germinate, develop a prostrate growth form called a rosette and wait. The following growing season, musk thistles grow spiny leaves and shoot up a tall set of flower “bolts” for reproduction. Upon dispersing seeds, the plant dies. It reproduces only by seed. Their showy flowers range from a deep rose or violet color to purple or occasionally white.

Musk thistles are easy to kill with herbicides, but timing is critical. The best chemical control of musk thistles in Oklahoma occurs during March with applications to rosette-stage plants. If 2,4-D or Transline (one-third to two-thirds pint/acre) is used, spray before plants start bolting. Once plants bolt in April, they are difficult to control. However, 90 to 100 percent control is possible with Grazon P+D (2 pints/acre) or Weedmaster (2 pints/acre).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Just say no to 12-year-old’s Mohawk

    A mom recently asked me what I would say to my son if he was 12 years old and wanted a Mohawk haircut for the summer. I told her I’d say no. “But is it really that big a deal?” she said....

    August 1, 2014

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam set

    Norman residents will serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the homeless from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Andrew’s Park, 201 W. Daws St. A pop-up store also will distribute donations of new and gently used books, clothing, shoes, ...

    August 1, 2014

  • CCFI announces play therapy course

    Center for Children and Families will present the course Fundamentals of Non-Directive Play Therapy from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8 at Sarkeys Foundation, 520 E. Main St....

    August 1, 2014

  • Recent weather has been surprising

    Earlier this July, a dense cold front slipped into the central section of the Southwest — including Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and bordering states — dropping daytime temperature highs into the upper 60s and 70s, which I believe is an ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Are you a puppet or a prince?

    Names have power. This cautionary statement is frequently found in fantasy novels populated by magical beings. The implication being that you should choose your friends and enemies wisely....

    August 1, 2014

  • Crafter’s emporium planned Saturday

    Members of the Opal District Crafter’s Emporium, plus other local artists, will have an art show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E. Robinson St. in Norman. It will be hosted concurrently with the ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Williams book signing event set

    Jared Williams, a resident of Moore, will sign copies of his book “Cerebral” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings, 2300 W. Main St. Norman....

    July 31, 2014

  • Home dedication set Sunday

    Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity will host a dedication of the Ruvalcaba family home from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at 618 E. Apache St. Those attending are asked to bring a pantry item to help the family begin life in their new home. ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Two territorial littermate cats are asserting social dominance

    Dear Dr. Fox: When we decided to get a cat 10 years ago, I thought getting a couple of littermates would work well. They got along during the first couple of years, often sleeping together and grooming each other. As they matured, though, ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014