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Carinna Robertson Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science Forest and Rangeland Management. Tamarix ramosissima L. Family: Tamaricaceae. Sourcesandybottom.com. Many names of: Tamarix ramosissima L. . Common names: tamarisk saltcedar French tamarisk

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tamarix ramosissima l family tamaricaceae
Carinna Robertson

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science

Forest and Rangeland Management

Tamarix ramosissima L.Family: Tamaricaceae


many names of tamarix ramosissima l
Many names of:Tamarix ramosissima L.
  • Common names:
    • tamarisk
    • saltcedar
    • French tamarisk
    • small-flowered tamarisk
  • Scientific Names:
    • Tamarix pentandra
    • Tamarix chinensis
    • Tamarix gallica
    • Tamarix parviflora
    • Tamarix tetrandra
plant characteristics
Plant Characteristics:
  • Growth Form:

- Perennial/Dicots

- Tree - < 12m

- Shrub - 1.5-5m

  • Root Growth:

- branching lateral root system

- phreatophytes

  • Flowering:

- light to dark pink flowers

- bloom from April to October w/ one large seeding peak, but has continued seeding throughout the season

- 4-5 sepals

- 3-5 styles

- stamens located on a fleshy lobed disk

  • Fruit

- 3-5 valve capsule

  • Reproduction:


- Seeds

- often produced in 1st year

- small

- light

- tuff hair

- Wind dispersed

- Deposited via water or animals

  • Germination:

- High youth viability

- approx. 5 weeks

- Once settling has occurred germination will occur within 24hrs.

- However, germination can occur in water


plant characteristic cont
Plant Characteristic Cont.-
  • Seedling Establishment and Survival
    • Need saturated soil for first few weeks
    • High sunlight
    • No competing vegetation
  • Mortality

- If soil dries for 1 day then seedling will not survive

- High water flow velocities can cause uprooting up to several months after germination

First Stages of Development:


ecological characteristics
Ecological Characteristics:
  • Soils

-Tolerant of high saline soils (6mgL⁻ to 15mgL⁻)

- Typically sands

  • Allelopathy

- Leaves release high salt concentrations

- Which deposit below the Tamarix and

create a hard crust

  • Competition:
  • Favorable Competitive Characteristics:

- High plasticity and adaptability

- High endurance

- High drought tolerance

- High temperature tolerant (xeric regions)

- High salt tolerance

- The combined effect of hard crust and being able to access a lower water table makes Tamarix a more sufficient competitor


geographic distribution
Geographic Distribution:
  • -Native Origin:
  • -Southern Europe
  • -North Africa/South
  • Africa
  • -Middle East
  • -South Asia
  • -China
  • -Japan
  • Habitat Type:
  • - Moist Spots in
  • Desert Regions
non native invaded range
Non-Native Invaded range:


- First introduced in early 1800’s as ornamentals, windbreaks, shade, erosion control and stream bank stabilization, and as source of wood

-Naturalized by 1877

- By 1920’s problem was realized

- Control efforts started by 1960’s


- Tamarix spp. is considered a noxious weed and hasinfested ~36 states

- 1920’s ~ 4,000 ha

- 2008~ 400,000-600,000 ha

Favorable Habitats

- Saline soils in xeric environments

- Variety of stream and riverbanks


ecological economical and social impacts
Ecological, Economical and Social Impacts:



Reduces Water Supplies

Reduces Recreation

Reduces Agricultural Uses

Increases flooding

Reduces wildlife diversity

Reduces Transpiration

Reduce Soil Quality


  • Health and
  • Safety
  • How we
  • perceive and
  • appreciate the
  • environment
  • spend our time
  • Decreases Native Species and Habitat Diversity
    • Inhibits Native Phreatophytes
    • Forms Monoculture Communities
    • Reduces the Water Table the Longer the Invasion
    • Creates a Saline Environment
benefits of tamarisk to the surrounding habitat
Benefits of Tamarisk to the Surrounding Habitat:
  • stabilizes stream and river banks
  • constitutes half the diet of beavers
  • provides habitat for the southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax trailii extimus) and the white-winged dove
  • aesthetically attractive
  • honey bees favor the flowers
  • woodrats (Neotoma spp.) and the desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) forage adult Tamarix


control methods and strategies
Control Methods and Strategies:

Biological Control Method:

-Leaf Beetle: Diorhabda elongata

- Used to defoliate Tamarix spp.

- Successful, but how will

beetles effect other aspects?

-restructure or eliminate

tamarisk patches

- vary regionally

- effect native species


James Tracy - USDA-ARS, Temple Texas, Bob Richard - USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Dan Bean-CDA Palisade Insectary, and Tim Carlson - Tamarisk Coalition.

James Tracy - USDA-ARS, Temple Texas, Bob Richard - USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Dan Bean-CDA Palisade Insectary, and Tim Carlson - Tamarisk Coalition.

control methods and strategies cont d
Control Methods and Strategies Cont’d:
  • Mechanical Methods:
  • Many unsuccessful because Tamarix spp. ability to resprout
  • Root plowing to 35-60 cm can be effective, but destroy other vegetation
  • Fire: Successful
  • Ideal time for best rates
  • Kills tamarisk during hot summers and drought
  • Need to re-apply for 3-4 years to fully kill
  • Often need to combine methods
  • A lot of implementation factors involved


-Cattle will sometimes eat young tamarisk shrubs

-Goats may eat the regrowth of tamarisk

-However, grazing is not a primary control method

- Animals prefer higher valued forage


control methods and strategies cont d12
Control Methods and Strategies Cont’d:
  • Herbicide:
  • New Mexico
  • - Sprayed Arsenal (imazapyr )provided 90-99% control at a cost of $85/acre
  • - Mix of Arsenal + Round-up (glyphosphate) provided 90-99% control at a cost
  • of $60/acre
  • - Tebuthiuron is also approved for foliar treatments
  • California
  • - Garlon 4 (triclopyr) and Round-up (glyphosphate)
  • Removal and restoration of Tamarix spp. infested areas should be of primary concern
  • Funds and support needs to be in place to proceed
  • Consideration should be taken to acknowledge the side-effects of each control method
  • Ultimately, I think biological control methods are more favorable, but the side-effect must be known and understood
Works Cited:
  • -Hughes Lee E. 1993. “The Devil’s Own”-Tamarisk. Rangelands 15(4):151-155.
  • -McDaniel Kirk C. and J.P. Taylor.2003.Saltcedar recovery after herbicide-burn mechanical clearing practices. J. Range Management 56:439-445.
  • -Daoyuan Zhang,Y. Linke and P. Borong. 2002. Biological and ecological characteristics of Tamarix L. and its effect on the ecological environment. Science in China (45).
  • -Whitcraft Christine R., D.M. Talley, J.A. Crooks, J. Boland, and J. Gaskin. 2007. Invasion of tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in a southern California salt marsh. Biol. Invasions 9:875-879.
  • -Cosse Allard A., R.J. Bartelt, B,W. Zilkowski, D.W. Bean, and E.R. Andress. 2006. Behaviorally Active Green Leaf Volaties for Monitoring the Leaf Beetle, Diorhabda elongata, a Biocontrol Agent of Saltcedar, Tamarix spp.. J. Chem. Ecol. 32:2695-2708.
  • -Tomaso Joseph M. 1998. Impact, Biology, and Ecology of Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) in the Southwestern United States. Weed Technology. 12:326-336.
  • Taylor John P. and K.C. McDaniel. 1998. Restoration of Saltcedar (Tamarix sp.)- Infested Floodplains on the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Weed Technology 12: 345-352.
  • Kimball Bruce A. and K.R. Perry. 2008. Manipulating Beaver (Castor canadensis) Feeding Responses to Invasive Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.)
  • Duncan K.W. and K.C. McDaniel. 1998. Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) Management with Imazapyr. Weed Technology 12: 337-344.
  • Sharfroth Patrick B. et al. 2005. Control of Tamarix in the Western United States: Implications for Water Salvage, Wildlife Use, and Riparian Restoration. Environ. Manage. 35: 231-246.
  • USDA, NRCS. 2008. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 20 November 2008). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
  • In class notes, Bob Nowak.