Invasive plants are all around us. With some of the invasives, like chickweed and dandelions, we all feel like we're fighting a losing battle. No matter how often we weed, how long we use sun-blockage methods, or how often we use herbicide, the weeds still return, sometimes seeming like they exponentially multiplied overnight. We control what we can, but absolute eradication of some species will be impossible and we have to resign ourselves to the reality that weeds are a part of our lives.
However, there are some species of invasive plants in Anchorage that we do need to try to eradicate as they are so invasive they take over and eliminate native vegetation or cause harm to our animals.
Some examples, shown above, are: Orange Hawkweed, which eliminates other plant species and overtakes the area; Tansy Ragwort that is poisonous to livestock and contains a toxic alkaloid that reacts with enzymes to cause cumulative liver damage; or Canada Thistle that produces chemicals that inhibits the growth of surrounding plants and accumulates nitrates that cause poisoning in animals when eaten.
There are some weeds, such as thistles, that spread to other parts of the state where they cause a decrease in the value of hay grown in agricultural areas and cause farmers to spend considerable funds addressing the problem.
The ASWCD assists dozens of residents every year with these issues. Please call the District if you should have questions or need a direction to go. To protect both the property owner and their property rights, and residents' relationship with the District, we do not report to the statewide mapping database or other agencies. Our interest is only in assisting property owners with their questions/concerns and in directly addressing the issues.
If you notice one of the invasive plants listed on our poster on public land, please contact the District so we can continue to monitor and/or assist in the treatment of the area.