Research Project Summary

Tamarisk infestation across the West has significantly impacted agriculture, recreation, wildlife habitat, and land values (Nissen et al. 2010). In response to this widespread invasion, various control methods have been implemented to attempt to reduce tamarisk populations. One such control method is the introduction of a biocontrol, the tamarisk leaf beetle (Diorhabda carinulata), to tamarisk-infested sites. Many tamarisk infestations have responded well to this treatment, with the tamarisk leaf beetle leaving behind a significant amount of standing dead and dying trees. The demonstration project described below is being instituted to evaluate biomass removal/management and revegetation techniques for application after tamarisk leaf beetle control has been implemented. This project is being conducted by the Tamarisk Coalition in cooperation with a private landowner where the demonstration project is being conducted. The Tamarisk Coalition is also coordinating with several other groups for this project including: the State of Colorado Insectary in Palisade who conducted the initial tamarisk leaf beetle release; the Grand Junction NRCS field office, and a local representative from the National Wild Turkey Federation. 

The following research project was designed around several recurring questions that had arisen in previous restoration efforts, and that appeared to be questions that would be important to address for the wider restoration community. The primary questions being explored in this research project include:

1) Is ‘coarse mulching’ or ‘fine mulching’ of woody tamarisk biomass more useful for enhancing establishment of desirable seeded species and inhibiting secondary weed invasion?

2) Does seeding before mulching enhance the establishment of desirable seeded species (compared with seeding after mulching)?

3) Does the incorporation of an herbicide treatment significantly enhance the establishment of desirable seeded species in a cheatgrass dominated understory?

About the Tamarisk Coalition
We are a non-profit alliance working to restore riparian lands, with a current focus on restoring waterways and associated uplands impacted by woody invasives in the American West. Read More
Explore Our Other Projects
We conduct a variety of projects aimed at directly or indirectly assisting landowners and land managers with accessing the tools they need to conduct successful riparian restoration efforts. Learn More
Check Out Local Training and Educational Events in Your Area at the Riparian Restoration Connection
Looking for more hands-on information about mulching, seeding, or herbicide application methods? Interested in other related trainings such as plant identification, or maybe you are just interested in participating in a local revegetation project to gain more on-the-ground experience? Check out the Riparian Restoration Connection, your online resource for trainings, seminars and events focused on riparian restoration efforts impacted by woody invasives such as tamarisk and Russian olive in the American West. Click Here