Tamarisk Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

Riparian lands in the Western U.S. have been severely impacted by many human-related actions, but none so much as the introduction of tamarisk, an invasive and non-native plant. Tamarisk plants hoard light, water and nutrients, and can impact natural systems and destroy native wildlife habitat.

The Colorado River Corridor is an ecosystem that has been out of balance for several decades, and now the tamarisk has spread to such an extent that it has effectively altered the natural functions and processes of the ecosystem. The issue is widespread and complex, and there are no easy answers or solutions. These FAQ’s seek to answer the most commonly asked questions.

  • What is tamarisk?
  • How did it get here?
  • Why is it considered a problem?
  • What is the urgency in dealing with tamarisk (why now)?
  • What methods have been used to control tamarisk?
  • What is the role of the beetles (biocontrol)?
  • When and how were the beetles released?
  • How long will it take for the beetles to kill off the tamarisk?
  • Will these beetles eat other types of vegetation?
  • Are there any predators that could control the beetle population?
  • Are there other areas where the beetle is being used to control tamarisk?
  • What happens after the beetles have defoliated the tamarisk?
  • What will happen when the trees die?
  • What will replace the tamarisk?
  • How will this affect wildlife habitat?
  • How long will it take to get rid of tamarisk?
  • Will we ever get rid of the tamarisk completely?
  • What will happen with tamarisk-infested areas in 10 to 15 years?
  • Where will the money come from to fund the restoration process?
  • Who is responsible for removing the tamarisk and restoring the native habitat along the riverways?
  • Is there a plan in place for restoration efforts along the riverways?
  • How can I help?

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