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
  • Veterans Corner needs volunteer to drive residents to OKC VA

    Veterans Corner volunteer of the week David Sudduth has been with us for the last eight years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who served during the Vietnam War. David and his wife, Carolyn, have had their home in the Newalla area ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Low-cost and free cell phone options for thrifty seniors

    Dear Savvy Senior, What are the cheapest cell phone options available today to seniors living on a shoestring budget? I only need it for occasional calls. — Seldom Calling Senior Dear Seldom, For financially challenged seniors who only ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Harrah residents at home in restored vintage camper

    Sulphur — David Wiegert was quick to help a couple of newbie campers at the Buckhorn Campground on Arbuckle Lake in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. What Dave offered was badly needed advice on setting up travel trailers, where to ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Historic quilt from Noble on auction block

    An alert quilter and teacher is concerned about a vintage quilt from Noble that’s being auctioned on eBay....

    July 20, 2014

  • Bark for Life brings pets into fundraising

    Local American Cancer Society member and Norman Regional nurse is at it again, raising awareness for cancer patients with an event that gets people moving. “Bark for Life” is a noncompetitive walk that will be from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Deadline for entering United Way’s The Ride extended

    Kids ages 3 to 8 are getting ready to roll on their decked out big wheel tricycles in an effort to raise money for the United Way of Norman. The Ride, a big wheel race organized by First American Bank and other local businesses, is ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Fundraiser set

    The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar, will host a flapjack fundraiser July 26 at Applebee’s, 500 Ed Noble Parkway in Norman....

    July 20, 2014

  • Sculpture brings tornado-torn community together

    After the May 20 tornado tore through Moore in 2013, hundreds of families were left to pick up the pieces. And it was in these old, shattered pieces of people’s homes and scattered debris that two local artists found something new....

    July 20, 2014

  • Keep toddler’s hair short to help end hair-pulling habit

    Q: Since our daughter, now 2 years old, was born, we have lived with my parents. Being the first and only grandchild, she has been the center of attention. Several months ago, our son was born and we moved into our own home. Almost ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Replacement for anti-flea drugs

    Dear Dr. Fox: I have a young 19-pound cavapoo. The dog had an adverse reaction to Vectra — agitation, rapid heartbeat, bulging eyes, snapping, etc. We took him to the vet immediately, and the vet indicated that it might have had a ...

    July 17, 2014