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Seeds are viable in the soil for up to 20 years. An aggressive perennial with a vigorous root system that continually produces new shoots, invading new areas and outcompeting other vegetation types. Originating from Europe. It usually occurs in 17- to 35-inch annual precipitation zones or where soil moisture is adequate. Canada thistle (California thistle, creeping thistle, Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop., Asteraceae), is a perennial weed of pastures, rangelands and agricultural lands in many temperate areas of the world.It is native to southeastern Europe and North Africa. 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Canada thistle has a deep and extensive root system consisting of vertical and several horizontal roots extending as far as 15 feet. Canada thistle, like many invasive plants, looks so harmless when it first appears, but watch out! Canada thistle emerges from its root system in mid- to late spring (late April through May) and forms rosettes (Figure 2). They have numerous underground buds to depths well below the plow layer. Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Colorado counties cooperating. Canada thistle often reproduces by sprouting clones from its extensive root system. CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. The key principle to Canada thistle control is to stress the plant and force it to use stored root nutrients. Emerges in spring and flowers when days are the longest. Leaves are slender, smooth, and have crinkled edges with spiny margins. Canada thistle is not native to Canada, I don't know how the common name came about. Be cautious with nitrogen fertilizers, because excess available soil nitrogen may favor weed growth. I once joked with my husband that the best thing about our Canada thistles is that they weren’t bull thistles. Since thistle can grow roots as deep as 20 ft (6.1 m) deep, it’s easiest to dig it up when it’s just started growing. If the population is high enough, plant death can occur, otherwise Canada thistle is stressed and less vigorous. In the fall, Canada thistle prepares for the winter by sending sugars down to its roots to stock up its reserves 2. 1), rhizomatous growth characteristics (Canada thistle) (Fig. Below is some information about Canada t Canada thistle plants are usually 2 to 4 feet tall or taller with alternate dark green leaves and an extensive root system. It is found throughout the northern half of the United States and southern Canada. This allows for systemic herbicides like glyphosate to be translocated to the root system 2. Refer to Table 1 for use rates and application timing and always read the herbicide label before using the product. The ideal time to get Canada thistle by the roots. Mechanical control. *Colorado State University Extension weed science specialist and professor, bioagricultural sciences and pest management. It boasts an extensive system of rhizomes (underground stems) that can readily produce new shoots. Use a surfactant (0.25 percent to 0.5 percent v/v; equivalent to 1 to 2 quarts of surfactant per 100 gallons of spray solution) with Telar for adequate control. If left unchecked, a single Canada thistle plant eventually turns into a patch containing thousands of stems. Research has shown that biological and chemical controls are compatible for musk thistle. However, seeds have been found to germinate from 3 … Chemical control. While Canada thistle is also prolific in seed production at 700 seeds per stem. Combine the weevil with cultural techniques that allow for maximum desirable plant competition. Economic damage. Canada thistle is a top 10 weed because of it’s deep root structure and ability to recover from attempts to remove it. Canada thistle spreads both by seeds and by budding from underground roots. Learn more about us or about our partners. Seedlings grow slowly and are sensitive to competition, particularly if shaded. Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is a competitive perennial broadleaf weed with an extensive spreading root system. Galls that form near the terminal meristems (e.g., where flowers develop) keep the weed from flowering and reduce seed set. Bull thistles (Cirsium vulgare) are exactly that – bullish. A survey conducted in 1998 showed Colorado has about 400,000 acres infested with Canada thistle. Ceutorhyncus alone will not effectively control Canada thistle. Repeat mowings at about one month inter-vals. Canada thistle can be killed with weed killers. CSU research shows that aminocyclopyrachlor (one of the Perspective components) and aminopyralid (Milestone) are absorbed primarily by the root system. They have numerous underground buds to depths well below the plow layer. Read the label, follow directions and use precautions. Emergence: Seedlings produced from seeds emerge from soil depths of 1/4- to 1/2-inch. Curtail is clopyralid plus 2,4-D and is effective on Canada thistle but control tends to be less than from Transline. Privacy Statement | Canada thistle has a deep and wide-spreading root system with a slender taproot and far-creeping lateral roots. Removal of shoots and severe damage to established plants stimulate new growth. Because Canada thistle has a deep root system, the only approach for controlling this weed in an organic garden is to exhaust the storage roots (Exhaust perennial roots). If allowed to go to flower, the flower is a purple pom-pom shape that will be produced in clusters at the top of the plant. The root systems of young and old plants of Canada thistle were observed under field conditions found in Alberta. Providing trusted, practical education to help you solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is a competitive perennial broadleaf weed with an extensive spreading root system. There are several reasons that thistles are difficult to control, including thousands of viable seeds per plant (Fig. The good news is there are products available that can kill it. The best time to apply these is on sunny days when the temperatures are between 65 and 85 degrees F. (18-29 C.). Wherever you live, Extension’s job is to determine what issues, concerns and needs are unique to each community, and offer sound and effective solutions.

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