Noxious Weed of the Month: bull thistle


Photo courtesy Jamie Jones
Bull thistle, a noxious weed, can be found peppering the landscape in Archuleta County.

By Ethan Proud | PREVIEW Columnist

 Thistles: The most popular of all noxious and invasive weeds. While bull thistle is less common than the hated musk or Canada, it can be found peppering the landscape in Archuleta County. 

Large infestations are less common than those of musk and Canada, but not rare. This may be due to its producing fewer seeds than musk thistle and not reproducing from a creeping root system like Canada thistle.

Bull thistle can be identified by its hairy, dark green leaves and its spiny flower receptacle. It is a biennial or sometimes an annual and grows from a single taproot, making mechanical control both relatively easy and successful. 

For immature plants, spade them out with a shovel 2 to 4 inches below the soil to sever the root crown and prevent re-sprouting. For flowering plants, it is best to remove the blooms and bag them. 

Be warned — when handling bull thistle, its leaves may be fuzzy but that is not an invitation to touch them barehanded. The spines are extremely sharp.

Volunteers needed

Archuleta County 4-H needs volunteers. We are looking for short-term commitment for superintendents at the county fair. Please contact our office at (970) 264-5931 or contact 4-H Coordinator Becky Jacobson at 

Shredding event

The shredding event has been canceled until further notice. Due to new ownership of the shredding company, we can no longer offer our biannual shredding event. We used this service, too, so we understand the inconvenience. We will work on bringing another shredding event to Archuleta County. Thank you for your past participation.

Countywide yard sale

There will be a countywide yard sale on May 28. You can reserve a space for $50 indoors or out at the Extension building at the fairgrounds. Call (970) 264-5931 for more information and to register. 

Weed and Pest

Reminder: As field season starts, if you are currently on the 2022 private property list, you must have completed and submitted the landowner permission form, which can be found at Landowners who have not completed the forms will not be treated.

CPR and first aid classes

CPR and first aid certification classes are offered every other month (February, April, June, August, October and December) from 6 to 10 p.m. The cost for the classes is $80 for combined CPR/first aid, and $55 for CPR, first aid or recertification. Call the Extension office at (970) 264-5931 to register.

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