Salt Cedar

Salt cedar, an invasive tree from the Middle East, was first reported in Montana around 1960 in the Yellowstone and Big Horn River Drainages. Currently, salt cedar is known to be in 21 counties in Montana along stream banks, reservoir shores and other wet areas. The flooding along the Missouri and Musselshell Rivers in 2011 was very conducive to salt cedar establishment and brought to the attention of land managers.

A mature salt cedar plant can produce half a million seeds each year. Each seed has a small tuft of hair that allows it to float on the wind or the waves for long distances. Salt cedar also reproduces vegetatively enabling the plant to spread at alarming rates and increasing the challenges of this controlling plant.

A kick-off meeting of the “Montana Salt Cedar Team” was held on April 23, 2014 in Jordan, MT to assess interest in forming a group to strategically com-bat salt cedar within the Missouri and Musselshell River Basins of Montana. Three priorities emerged from the meeting:

  • Control infestations strategically, working from the outermost known infestations down-stream toward Fort Peck.
  • Education of landowners and general public to encourage participation in salt cedar control efforts and correct identification of plants.
  • Complete survey of salt cedar infestations needed from Great Falls to North Dakota border and in the Musselshell River Basin. 

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Rachel Frost, Missouri River Conser-vation District Council (MRCDC) Coordinator at 406-454-0056 or by email at: mrcdc@macdnet.org.

Excerpts taken from MRCDC March 2014 Newsletter and April 23rd Salt Cedar Planning Meeting Summary.

Photo source: http://www.malag.aes.oregonstate.edu/wildflowers/images/salt%20cedar,%20tamariskTamarix%20parviflora%20(3).JPG