May 29, 2023

Wasatch Stewardship Project - Salt Lake Public Utilies, Dyer's Woad Weed Pull

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Save Our Canyon’s first Wasatch Stewardship Project was on May 20th. We were excited to kick off the season in City Creek Canyon to help restore and protect the campsite areas eight through twelve.  We met up with Nicole Smeeding from Salt Lake Public Utilities (SLPU), a few folks from Salt Lake County (SLCo), and a strong crew of volunteers who wanted to help! The plan was to eradicate the invasive plant species Dyer’s Woad up the canyon. It is important to remove Dyer’s Woad in the spring to ensure the flowers do not set seed, allowing the population to expand even further.

Dyers Woad can be identifited by the light colored spines on the mature leafs and the clusters of yellow flowers.  Here is some additional Information about the species:

  • Flowering stems grow to 25 to 40 inches tall.
  • Basal rosette leaves have conspicuously pale veins. Stem leaves are alternate and attach directly to the stem.
  • Bright yellow flowers are borne in clusters at the ends stem branches.

Dyer’s Woad is a class two noxious species and is a high priority for control.  Traditionally it was used to make blue dye from the plant leaves.  It was introduced long ago into Utah vegetation. However, its ties are initially from Southeastern Russia.  This plant has a high dispersal rate due to its seeds delicately sitting on the flowering buds, making it easily spread by wind, disruption, etc. 

We spent three hours working away at the work site. Snipping the flowering buds, collecting them in bags, and pulling the stem and roots to ensure no regrowth occurs from the same plant.  By the end of the project, we had removed Dyer’s Woad entirely from this specific section of City Creek Canyon!  

Throughout the day, we learned more about toxic species in Utah from the experts at Salt Lake Public Utilities and Sage Finch with the Salt Lake County noxious weed program.

Sage graciously provided a great resource to identify noxious weed species of Utah.

If you click here, you can find that list.

Thank you to everyone who showed up this last Saturday and we can't wait for more Wasatch Stewardship Projects throughout the season!  If you’d like to join us on any of these days.  You can find the signup page here.



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