Pushki( or Cow Parsnip)

Asked August 10, 2017, 7:36 PM EDT

Hi. Here in Seward, AK area we have this very annoying plant people call Pushski. That is likely not spelled correctly. Anyway it is taking over my back yard. How can I kill this monster and still be able have grass and a garden.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Alaska invasive species

1 Response

Hi there. Pushki is large forb that regrows from it's roots each year, much like rhubarb. At this time of year the easiest way to clear an area of Pushki would be to wear rubber boots, some layers of work clothes or perhaps a rain jacket, good thick work gloves, and a long handled sharpened spade (shovel). A sharpened shovel can be pushed fairly easily through the plant base of the stem at the soil surface. This will topple the plant, and I would let it lay on the ground like this for a week or so until it has withered. You may want to wait a couple of weeks. After it has lost all rigidity, I would use the same protective work clothing with gloves and haul to a compost pile or wherever you dispose of yard debris. The plant can cause severe skin irritation/burns where it meets open skin. Letting the plant wither and lose all cell rigidity after it is cut will make the plant a little easier to handle, and it won't be so big. Next spring, you can go back with the shovel when new sprouts arise and finish the job with the shovel, or you could use a broadleaf herbicide from the store. As a personal preference, I would prefer to use the sharpened shovel. Digging out the root or damaging the root will kill the plant. Take precautions and protect yourself using the proper clothing and equipment to prevent the plant from touching your skin. If you have more questions, feel free to email me directly.