On Super Bowl Sunday, ForestWatch volunteers teamed up with our friends at Keep The Sespe Wild for a second tamarisk eradication project along an unnamed tributary of the Sespe.
Tamarisk was sold as an ornamental and windbreak plant in the 1800s and 1900s. Mature tamarisk trees can produce millions of tiny seeds that easily disperse through wind and water, and these seeds quickly escaped from gardens and started taking over the banks of streams and rivers. Tamarisk grows rapidly and can reach heights of twenty feet, and its taproot can extend more than one hundred feet underground. The plant provides poor habitat for native bird species, smothers native willows and other plants, and consumes large amounts of water from adjacent streams, leaving greatly-reduced water supplies for fish and wildlife.
Two teams trekked into this beautiful corner of the Los Padres, and over the course of the morning removed several mature specimens. A hearty thanks to the day’s crew!
But our work isn’t done yet! Several tamarisk remain in the upper drainage … so a third excursion is planned to eradicate these invasives from the drainage.
For more information about ForestWatch’s volunteer projects or to get involved, visit LPFW.org/volunteer.