However, you should note that the plant will be in the rosette stage for most of its life stages. You should, therefore, use the chemicals as per the stated guidelines and use those suited for controlling musk thistle weeds. A similarity to the flower head weevil would be that they both give rise to one generation each year. Managing Musk Thistle – https://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/nr/2002/FS0255.pdf, Musk Thistle Control – https://www.asi.k-state.edu/doc/forage/fora39.pdf, About Musk thistle identification and control – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/L231.pdf, Musk thistle – https://www.uaex.edu/publications/PDF/FSA-3054.pdf, Musk thistle – https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/natural-resources/musk-thistle-3-102/. This technique involves the introduction of natural enemies to infested areas. One long stem will host one or two heads, which will have individual heads. Using it on land with other thistles you intend to keep would therefore not be an ideal choice. In most cases, you will find that they will work on the infested areas for up to ten years. Control of dense, even height, bolted plants using picloram in a ropewick applicator was effective, but control was poor when plants were of varying heights. Some can remain in the soil for weeks leading to months, changing the growing conditions of other plants. Where a farmer loses desirable plants to this weed, the productivity of the land reduces. And this would constitute spreading. Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry can issue fines. Make sure all words are spelled correctly, Spring is Best Time to Spray: Controlling Musk Thistle is Neighborly, Musk Thistles may be a Blooming Weed Problem for Some Oklahoma Pastures, Merck's Response to Media Questions on Dr. Loneragan’s Article Posted on Plos One, Observations of Factors Controlling Daytime Calving. The greatest attraction of picloram is that it provides excellent control during the cool, dry autumn season when neither 2,4-D nor dicamba is as effective, and when non-targeted vegetation is less susceptible. Xplor helps kids find adventure in their own backyard. As the larvae emerge, they create tunnels into the plant crown, where they damage the plant parts. Also, you could mow the plants towards the end of July when the weevils’ life cycle is over. Suppose you introduce them to your field, this would fall under a release mechanism. At this time, the soil has thawed, and the flower stalk is yet to start developing, which is often towards the start of May. Fall is another great time to apply herbicides to the musk thistle plants. As such, authorities have been on high alert as to its growth. Alternatively, the flower head’s hue could change to brown. In the end I managed to eradicate the plant after a fierce battle, and through this website I want to help others get rid of their invasive plants. We are nearing a prime time to apply chemical controls for musk thistles. Picloram alone or in combination with either 2,4-D or dicamba gives the best late-season control but is more expensive and carries more restrictions. Scientifically, people regard it as the Carduus Nutans L. It can either be a biennial plant or a winter annual. When the flower stalks start developing, the herbicides will not have much effect on the plants. Cultural, mechanical, biological and chemical control methods have all been used on musk thistles with varying degrees of success in different parts of the country. Where the dug-up plants are mature and in their budding or blooming stages, burn them. When mature, they have slender bodies with some golden spots on their wings. These have a dark green hue with a light shade along the midrib. An excellent example of this reduced capacity would be Colorado, where this weed has infested over forty thousand acres. Of course, this will depend on how favorable the growing conditions are. Applications can take place during two seasons: spring and fall. 2,4-D is most effective when applied 10 to 14 days before bolting in the spring. If it doesn't seem affected after a week, try a reapplication. Musk thistle plants are most easily controlled by herbicides applied during the seedling and rosette stages of growth. Mowing should also be timed to occur just prior to flowering. Generally, it does not cause much of a problem when it occurs in tilled croplands. However, you should exercise caution when using chemicals as they could affect desirable plants in and around your farm. And this could lead to the spread of the thistle to nearby areas. Hand-cutting or mowing can provide control if repeated over a period of years. Also, they have proven to be effective in long-term control. Think of how badly the economy hurts from this infestation. Their puffy appearance distinguishes this thistle from other thistles that have a shaving brush look. Note that the application’s effectiveness significantly reduces when the air temperatures fall, or rainfall starts. Stems will regrow and still flower and seed. These weevils, given time, can show more results than the flower head weevils. But instead, it will reduce the number of seeds per plant. As they feed on the musk thistle weeds, they will move from one area to the other in search of other such plants. Does anybody like musk thistles? Spring applications of dicamba (1/4 pound per acre) in combination with 2,4-D ester (1/2 pound per acre) gave 97-percent control by the fall of the same year. A single plant can give rise to over one hundred heads. Damage to cool-season grasses was reported in a study using higher concentrations of picloram (1 pound per acre). An invasive native of Eurasia that is spreading in Missouri, musk thistle is a plant you should know. These biological control agents aid in reducing populations of the thistle. Perennial thistles, Canada thistle being the major one, can exist for many years and they reproduce from both seed and underground parent rootstocks. From here, the pupation stage takes place, and this lasts for about one to two weeks. Digging below the crown of a plant gets in the way of healthy development and has proven to be an effective means of control. While using weevils alone could give you the results you need, adding another control measure would work to speed up the process. Adults remain dormant in the summer and will emerge towards the start of October. We protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. Biennials, like musk, plumeless, and bull thistle, live for two years and reproduce only by seed. Two exotic weevils, the flower head weevil, (Rhinocyllus conicus), and the rosette weevil, (Trichosirocalus horridus) were purposely introduced from Europe and have become established in Missouri and at least ten other states. Unlike the flower head weevil with a broad snout, this weevil has a narrow one. Then future colonization of the site by musk thistle may require reintroduction of weevils or other means of treatment. As is the case with the rosette, this species’ height will depend on the prevalent conditions.
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