Invasion of thorny locust bushes

Asked April 15, 2018, 5:25 PM EDT

After the 2013 Spanish Peaks forest fire (SW of Walsenburg - alt 8,200 ft ) what appears to be thorny locust bushes have almost totally taken over burned areas on my 40 acres. Any control ideas? Is this just a transitional stage after wildfire? What can I expect in the future?

Huerfano County Colorado

1 Response

The following information is from the Colorado State Forester in La Veta Colorado.

The plant is a New Mexico locust. He’s seeing exactly what Mark and I saw in some of the areas we checked out in the last 2 years in the East Peak fire scar, mainly on the Boy Scout Ranch. It should be successional and eventually be shaded out, but there is a real lack of seed source of other desirable species in those areas. So I’m not sure what’s going to shade it out in some spots, as it is super dense.

Herbicide control (Milestone – basal bark application is best to reduce sprouting) and supplemental planting are painful options for a quicker reboot. Painful, because as you know, that stuff will tear you up! You could mow successively too, but that’s a tall order year after year, especially if other species are trying to show up.

Derek Sokolosk

Southeast Area Manager

Colorado State Forest Service

La Veta Field Office

403 Moore Avenue

PO Box 81

La Veta, CO 81055

(719) 742-3588 Office

(719) 225-5585 Cell