Tamarisk, or saltcedar (genus Tamarix), is native to Asia. Introduced in the 1800’s for horticulture and erosion control, tamarisk has since taken over much of the west, including a number of California rivers and wetlands, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions.
Tamarisk is easily identified by its thin branches and scaled leaves, giving the tree a feathery look. They can grow to be anywhere from 1-18 m and foliage ranges from dark green to a light grey-green depending on the species.
To learn more about Tamarisk, please visit Invasive Species - Tamarisk
- Can displace native trees like: cottonwood, willow, and mesquites
- Poor habitat for birds and other wildlife
- Poor forage for livestock
- May increase erosion and sedimentation
- Restricts recreation access
- Increase soil salinity
- Promotes wildfire (even when green) – fires can kill native trees, but tamarisk re-sprouts from the base.
- Conventional Control uses mechanical cutting and clearing, and herbicide applications. However, these methods are limited by their expensive cost and limited access to some sites.
- Biological Control, or Biocontrol, is an alternative weed management method used successfully against Tamarisk in other western states.