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Time to tackle tansy as it continues to spread

By JANIS REID
Whidbey News-Times Staff reporter
August 9, 2014 · Updated 4:15 PM
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Volunteers with the Washington Conservation Corps pull 2,240 pounds of tansy ragwort on Whidbey and Camano islands. / Photo by Janis Reid/Whidbey News-Times

Tansy ragwort, which appears as a daisy-like bunch of yellow flowers atop a tall stalk, remains one of the county’s most pervasive noxious weeds.

Not only does the plant quickly invade newly disturbed areas, but it is poisonous to cattle, horses, sheep, pets and even people, according to the county Noxious Weed Prevention Coordinator Janet Stein.

Stein and volunteers from the Washington Conservation Corps Crew out of Mount Vernon pulled 2,240 pounds of tansy ragwort this week, estimating well over 10,000 plants.

“It is so important to do as much outreach and education about noxious weeds as possible,” Stein said. “There were several times when we were out pulling this week that we saw landowners that had just left the tansy ragwort to grow in their gardens just thinking what a pretty plant it was and totally unaware of the negative impacts it has.”

Despite their efforts this week, tansy ragwort will be going to seed within the next two weeks, which means the noxious weed will continue to spread.

“It’s important to pull these ASAP,” Stein said.

Flowering plants should be sealed in a plastic bag and put in trash — not in your compost or yard waste.

Stein said noxious weeds can also be disposed of at the Coupeville transfer station for free.

For more information about noxious weeds, visit WSU's Island County extension.


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