You should, therefore, use the chemicals as per the stated guidelines and use those suited for controlling musk thistle weeds. Where you have both species, you can limit the use of herbicides to the fall. They have also been collected for recolonization throughout the state. The lower branches can support as many as between two and nine heads. Dicamba can be used to allow treatment earlier in the spring than 2,4-D. Dicamba at the rate of 1 pound per acre provided the same control as 2 pounds per acre of 2,4-D in one study. Both these species are native to Europe and have undergone extensive research to ensure that they would not harm desirable native plants. A single plant can give rise to over one hundred heads. Here, they remain dormant as they await the next spring. This thistle competes with native plants for nutrients and water. Where a farmer loses desirable plants to this weed, the productivity of the land reduces. It is difficult to generate enough heat to kill the thistle's root crown and fire-scarred plants can bolt, flower and fruit. Our monthly publication about conservation in Missouri--free to all residents. Musk thistle favors abandoned fields and overgrazed pastures. Merck Animal Health releases a statement in response to a Texas Tech scientist's article that raises concern over the use of beta agonists in beef cattle. Also, they have proven to be effective in long-term control. However, it is not uncommon to come across a white flower head. Step 6: Watch the Thistle Disappear Slowly. The eggs remain on the bracts for at least six days before they hatch. The seeds have a straw-like appearance and will be at least a quarter-inch in length. Weevils are an excellent choice for areas where other control measures would not be viable. At the tip, you will find a protrusion while the base is round. We protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. But the rosette weevils attack the plant, which could weaken it such that it can produce fewer flower heads. Did you know that mature musk thistle plants die after seed production? They actively seek musk thistle rosettes and feed on the foliage of the same. And failure to cut them in time can lead to the growth of more thistles as the root system will still be healthy. One female can lay as many as 100 eggs in one lifetime. Herbicides used on the thistle plant in spring are effective. However, it is essential to note that the flower head weevil has been known to attack other thistle varieties. For one, there is a reduced chance of drifting of the spray to desirable plants. As such, authorities have been on high alert as to its growth. Of course, this will depend on how favorable the growing conditions are. Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry can issue fines. We will start with the hairless leaves, which are easy to distinguish from other plants. Learn how to tell the difference between our native thistles and these bad guys. Cutting the stems does not kill the plant at this stage. In 1932, there was a sighting of this plant in Kansas, where its distribution to date remains dense. Kansas would be an excellent example in this case. Fire has not been effective as a method for directly controlling musk thistle. All this takes place in the flower, and when the adults form, they seek new sites under developing rosettes, wooded areas, or ground litter. These chemicals may affect desirable plants on your farm. An excellent example of this reduced capacity would be Colorado, where this weed has infested over forty thousand acres. Near the surface, the root will appear hollow. In so doing, it ends up altering the existing conditions, making it hard for the native species to survive. Common herbicides such as 2,4-D, dicamba, and picloram as well as those that contain metsulfuron, chlorsulfuron, and aminopyralid are very effective controlling musk thistles in … It can be as short as a few inches, or it can thrive in the ranges of six feet. At this time, the soil has thawed, and the flower stalk is yet to start developing, which is often towards the start of May. Musk thistle plants are most easily controlled by herbicides applied during the seedling and rosette stages of growth. Jared Wareham: Are Balanced Trait Genetics a Long-Term Answer? When mature, they have slender bodies with some golden spots on their wings.