Preventing Yellow Star Thistle from invading

Asked August 27, 2019, 10:50 AM EDT

Hi, My husband and I own 40 acres of land on Greensprings Mountain, at the edge of Hyatt Meadows. Our land is at the transition zone between a large meadow and the forest. This zone contains various grasses and wildflowers. We have kept the area as "natural" as possible. To the west of our land, on the other side of the summit (where the PCT runs), is a very large patch of land that now grows very little other than yellow star thistle. Until now, the star thistle seemed to be confined to this location, on the west face of the mountain. Then a few days ago, I was shocked to find a patch of star thistle growing on our land, in front of our house. I also found a few small thistle plants on the adjacent BLM land. In 15 years, this is the first time I have seen it growing on this side of the summit. The plants were small and I was able to remove them by hand. But I know how agressive this noxious weed is, and I am fearful of an influx. Do you have any suggestions as to ways to pre vent an influx of star thistle? Is there any type of native plant that can out-compete the thistle? Can we do anything other that try to keep watch and pull it? Thank you for your help. Shelley Morrison

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

Hi Shelley,

Below are a couple of resources on managing yellow star thistle.
If the infestation is small enough, hand pulling is extremely effective.
We usually recommend seeding with a dryland pasture mix in the spring (available at the Grange.)

Good luck!