Tamarisk  -  Tamaricaceae Tamarix ramosissima
Home       Plant Index      Photo Details  & Description     Utah Range Map

Photo Details
September 12, 2004  - LeBarron Point, Utah County, Utah  - ©Nicky Davis

Syn.  Salt Cedar
An  invasive, noxious shrub/tree imported in 1823 as an ornamental shrub. T. pentandra, T. tetranda, T. gallica, T. chinensis, T. ramosissima, and T. parvifolia, are distinguished by some authors while others consider these shrubby plants as one variable species or hybridizing group best designated by the single name T. pentandra .  An aggressive plant that replaces willows, cottonwoods, and other native riparian vegetation. The stems and leaves of mature plants secrete salt, forming a crust above and below ground that inhibits other plants and is also an enormous water consumer. A single large plant can absorb 200 gallons of water a day whih stresses native vegetation by lowering ground water levels and can also dry up springs and marshy areas.  Its infestations can also lead to flooding, as its extensive root system can choke stream beds. Herbicides are best for control, since they regrow when railed down from bits of roots and seeds. A cut-stump/herbicide method has also been used effectively in southern California (Sudbrock 1993). This approach involves cutting saltcedar as close to the ground surface as possible, then applying herbicide to the cut surface. Roundup (glyphosate) and Garlon 4 (triclopyr) have been effective.

Infestations have a detrimental impacts on wildlife. The seeds have almost no protein and are too small to be eaten by most animals.  It's leaves have little suitable forage for browsing animals. Studies show it is not favored bird habitat. In their study of habitat use by birds along the lower Colorado River, Anderson and Ohmart (1977) found that it supported only four species per hundred acres, as opposed to 154 species per hundred acres of native vegetation. 
source: USDA

Back to Top