What is the Weed Wrangle?
It is a national event held every February where members of local communities visit a public area to remove invasive plants. However, due to COVID, we are again doing it “virtually” this year. Virtually meaning that members of the local community work in their own yards to remove invasive plants. This year in the western Florida panhandle we are targeting the Chinese tallow, but of course you are welcome to remove ANY invasive plant you may have.
How do you DO the Weed Wrangle?
Step 1 – Survey your property to see if you have any Chinese tallow. This tree is also known by many as the “popcorn tree”. You can work with other members on your street who are interested and identify Chinese tallow on your block.
Step 2 – Confirm the identification. If you are sure it is Chinese tallow, and many are very familiar with this plant and is why we have chosen it, you are good to go. If not, you can contact your county extension office for verification.
Step 3 – Report the tree(s) to the national database EDDMapS at www.EDDMapS.org. There is a “report sightings” button on the tool bar. It will ask for latitude and longitude and you can get this information from your phone or a GPS or from google earth if you have it on your computer. Remember to type in longitude as a negative number, -87 in our case, so that it is reported in the correct hemisphere. NOTE: You are not allowed to report plants on someone else’s property without their permission, please get that before you do.
Step 4 – Remove it. Please take photo of the tree(s) BEFORE you remove. Not everyone wants to remove their Chinese tallow. Even though it is an invasive species and listed as a state noxious weed. Many enjoy the tree, and the color changes it provides. There is nothing illegal about having the tree in your yard, so you are fine. If you do choose to remove it there are methods that have been tested that work best. Contact your county extension office for those methods so that you are successful. Please take photo after removal.
Step 5 – Contact me – Rick O’Connor, Escambia County Extension, at email@example.com to let me know you which steps you completed. I am tracking participation in this years Weed Wrangle. We will be doing this during the month of February. We also can enter you into a drawing for prizes!
If there are other invasive plants on your property you are interested in removing and want to know the best methods to do so, contact your county extension office and we can provide that for you. It would certainly be included in this years Weed Wrangle.
Thanks for helping stay on top of our invasive species problem.