Portage County Land and Water Conservation Division is working with Portage County Towns and citizens to identify, locate, map and eradicate several terrestrial invasive weeds before they spread. The current focus is on leafy spurge and wild parsnip, which are two emerging species in the County that are threatening agricultural crop production.
1. EddMapS is a national invasive plant database and mapping tool. You will need to create a free account and can then begin mapping your locations with a mobile device or a desktop computer.
2. Follow this link to maps of your area. Print the maps and mark the location of wild parsnip or leafy spurge. More instructions are available on the linked page.
3. Contact Portage County Land and Water Conservation staff by telephone (715) 346-1334 or email. If possible please include a picture of the plant in your email.
For more information on leafy spurge, click on the following links:
Photo by WI DNR
For more information on wild parsnip, click on the following links:
Wild Parsnip: Basic Information and Identification (UWEX)
Management of Wild Parsnip (UWEX)
Suggested Timing of Control Methods
Wild Parsnip image gallery (WiDNR)
Identification video (UWEX)
Elizabeth J. Czarapata
Disposal of Invasive Plants
Many weeds, like garlic mustard, continue to develop seeds once they have been pulled from the ground. For plants like this, effective control means that you must remove the flowering plants from the site to keep the seed from spreading. Allowing the plants to dry out and burning them is an option in some rural areas, but landowners should be aware that there are frequently restrictions or permit requirements for open air burning. Burying the plants works, but is not feasible for most situations. Although backyard composting is normally the preferred method for dealing with most yard waste, backyard compost piles and bins do not reliably generate enough heat for a long enough period of time to destroy some weed seeds. The same problem may occur at many municipal or rural compost facilities, thereby spreading the weeds when the finished compost is utilized.
To ensure that the invasive weeds are destroyed and the seeds not redistributed, the DNR’s Endangered Resources and Waste Management programs are asking property owners to separate and bag any invasive plants in clear bags and label the bags "Invasive plants – approved by WI DNR for landfilling." Groups removing invasive weeds from public properties like parks should make arrangements with their local public works office for collection and disposal.
For more information or to report the location of a terrestrial invasive plant, please contact your Town Board or Portage County Land and Water Conservation staff at 715-346-1334.