Weld County Government


WELD COUNTY, CO – On Monday, the Weld County Board of Commissioners approved a grant agreement with the Colorado Water Conservation Board for $195,000 to be used for the removal of phreatophytes. Tamarisk and Russian Olive Trees will be removed from approximately 26 linear miles along the Big Thompson River, Little Thompson River and South Platte River. 

“The tamarisk and Russian olive tree removal project is a continuation of work that began in 2003 and 2004,” said Commissioner Chair Mike Freeman. “This continuation will assist with improving the overall value of the South Platte River Watershed.”

Weld County will provide a cash match of $10,000 and an in-kind donation of $28,000 for supervision of the project, chemicals, travel, maintenance and monitoring of the project as well as a fifteen-month seasonal staff member. Many other organizations will provide cash matches totaling $35,250 as well as in-kind donations totaling $110,386 for this project.

“By removing these phreatophytes, native vegetation can start to grow, wildlife habitats will be improved and the water quality will be better,” said Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, Commissioner Coordinator for the Department of Public Works. “These noxious trees use more water than native plants and can rapidly dry up irrigation ditches. It is important they are properly removed.”   

To eradicate the tamarisk and Russian olive trees, the cut-stump method will be used as it has the least amount of impact to the surrounding native vegetation and wildlife. In the cut-stump process, the trees are limbed with the tree trunks cut as close to the soil surface as possible then chemical is applied to the stump after the final cut is made. The cut material will be chipped and spread on site. Other options for use of the material is being explored as well.

The project will start on July 1, 2016, and continue through June 1, 2018. Long-term monitoring will continue twice a year for five years after the completion of the grant.

For more information about the Weld County Weed and Pest Division, visit www.weldweeds.org.