What is this weed and how to control?

Asked March 10, 2017, 3:02 PM EST

I have a weed that grows along seasonal creeks and drainage channels that run through pasture in Eugene, Oregon. The horses will not eat this. It looks somewhat like tall grass. I would like to restore more of the pasture to grazeable land for our horses. How might I safely eradicate this plant? Please see the three attached photos. Image 3 shows how it spreads beyond the creek and into more of the pasture. Many thanks for any help you can provide.

Lane County Oregon

1 Response

These plants look like they are in the Rush family. Soft rush, Juncus effusus
and many other species are found along streams, drainages and in wet pasture areas in Western Oregon. These are plants native to Oregon and growing in their natural wetland habitat, though they are often considered a weedy plant in pasture settings. It may not be a desired option, but fencing the riparian area and letting these and other native plants grow along the seasonal creeks and drainage areas would be considered restoration and could help improve water quality by reducing erosion in those areas. There are also weed management strategies. Mowing repeatably has some benefit in reducing re-growth, but does not eradicate. Competition of desired species such as grasses will reduce seed germination. Rush seeds need light to germinate. If you can implement grazing management strategies to reduce over-grazing that would help. There are also herbicide options, please be sure to read the herbicide label carefully, there may be specific restrictions for use on crop or pastureland or near waterways. Information about herbicide options is available in the Pacific Northwest Weed Management handbook, online at: https://pnwhandbooks.org/weed/control-problem-weeds?title=juncus

There is also valuable information about managing weeds in pastures at: https://pnwhandbooks.org/weed/pasture-rangeland/small-pastures