Minnesota Noxious Weed Program
Per the Minnesota state Statue Section 18.83: all persons in shall control or eradicate all noxious weeds on land they occupy or are required to maintain. Control or eradication may be accomplished by any lawful method, but the methods may need to be repeated in order to prevent the spread of viable noxious weed seeds and other propagating parts to other lands.
There are three levels of control:
- Eradication List: these species must be killed both above (foliage) and below (roots) ground. This is the highest level of control.
- Control List: these species must be controlled to prevent the maturation and spread of propagating parts (i.e. seeds and roots).
- Restricted List: these species may not be sold, intentionally transported, or planted in Minnesota.
To view the most updated Noxious Weed List issued by the MDA, click here: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/docs/2022-02/2022NoxiousWeedListFactsheet.pdf
To learn more, visit the MDA website (https://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants-insects/noxious-invasive-weed-program) or contact our office.
Weed Inspecter’s Report: County
Noxious Weed Inspection Report (state.mn.us)
- Invasive terrestrial plant information: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialplants/index.html
- Play, Clean, Go: https://playcleango.org/invasives-101/
- Plant ID Assistance: https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/
- MDA Northwest Invasive Plant Story-Map: Northwest Minnesota Tactical Invasive Plant Prioritization | MDA Tactical Plan (arcgis.com)
- Reporting a pest: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/reportapest
- Buckthorn Identification and Management Videos (U of M Extension):
A Few of the Noxious Weeds in Wadena County...
Common Buckthorn is a dioecious shrub that can grow up to 25 feet tall with potential to become a small tree. Its leaves are sub-opposite with veins curving to the tip of the leaf and will remain green in autumn. The fruit is a small, purplish-black, berry-like fruit and is grown only on female plants. Mostly found in an understory or on a forest edge and will out-compete native species.
Comparison Tip: Small, 4-parted, green flowers
Common Tansy is a perennial that can reach up to
5 feet in height. Its stem appears woody and is purplish-red at the base. The
leaves are aromatic when crushed as well as the yellow button-like flower
heads. This plant is often found in dry, open, disturbed areas such as trail
edges, roadsides, and old pastures.
Comparison Tip: Lack of ray petals surrounding the flower head in comparison to native goldenrods.
Leafy Spurge is a perennial that grows up to 3 feet tall and displays blueish-green foliage. Its small flowers are yellow-green in color and do not contain any petals or sepals. This perennial will invade dry sites in full sun but can tolerate other conditions.
Comparison Tip: Produces a milky sap when stem or leaves are broken.
Spotted Knapweed is a perennial living up to 4
years. Its initial stage is a rosette before it produces multiple stems up to 4
feet tall. Its leaves are alternate with a grayish-green color and deep sinuses
while its flower resembles a thistle’s. This plant prefers to grow in sandy or gravely
Comparison Tip: Stiff brats with dark-haired tips.
Plumeless Thistle is a biannual growing up to 4
feet tall. Leaves are attached directly to the stems and typically have hairs
on the bottom along the mid-vein. This plant produces numerous branches to
display single, terminal pink to purple flowers with bracts full of short
spines. Can be found on dry to moist sites including pastures, woodlands, and
Comparison Tip: Stems are winged and spiny.
Caution: Contact with the sap of the plant when exposed to sunlight can cause extreme blistering and swelling. Handle with gloves and long sleeves.
Wild Parsnip is a perennial classified as a
monocarpic, meaning the plant dies after bearing fruit and usually lives about
2 years. Initial stage is a basal rosette before developing into a hollow,
grooved flowering stalk stretching up to 5 feet upon maturity. Basal leaves are
pinnately compound, containing 5-15 leaflets while the stem leaves are alternate
with 2-5 leaflets. Its flowers are small and yellow with 5 petals on wide, flat
umbels. This plant is usually found in drier, full sun to part shade habitats
such as roadsides and abandoned fields, but it can also invade a wet meadow.
Comparison Tip: The base of the leaf stalks wrap/clasp the grooved stem.
Canada Thistle is a perennial with grooved,
hairy stems reaching up to 6 feet tall. Its stalkless leaves are irregularly
lobed with toothed, spiny edges whose undersides turn downy or hairy at maturity.
Displays a disk-shaped flowerhead that eventually form tuft, light brown seeds
that are dispersed in the wind. This thistle can invade any disturbed area
including roadsides, fields, and woodlands.
Comparison Tip: Stems and bracts are non-spiny.
Purple Loosestrife is an aquatic perennial that can reach up to 6 feet tall and display densely packed purple/pink flower spikes. Individual flowers grow 5-7 petals, each appearing wrinkled while also containing a dark vein down the middle. Its stem is square and covered in downy hair while opposite or whorled leaves contain no stalk and are rounded/ heart shaped at the base and pointed at the tip. The plant prefers to grow in wet areas mixed with full sun such as marshes, ditches, and shorelines.
Comparison Tip: 5-7 petals on flowerheads.
It is the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's (MDA) policy to allow pesticide applicators to be tested by their County Agricultural Inspector (CAI). The CAI assists in the testing of pesticide applicators to ensure that pesticide applications within the County are conducted by properly trained and licensed personnel.
- Complete an online application: https://www2.mda.state.mn.us/webapp/erenewal/apply.jsp
- Written tests available at Wadena SWCD by appointment only
Need study materials? Order them here (https://bookstores.umn.edu/books/pesticide-manuals) or call 612-301-3989.
- General pesticide licensing information: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/pesticide-fertilizer/pesticide-applicator-licensing
- Recertification Workshop Information: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/obtaining-approval-pesticide-applicator-recertification-workshops