Archive for October, 2008

General Meeting October 16, 2008 – Invasives!

October 10, 2008

Please join us at our October General Meeting:

LOCATION and TIME of meeting:
Duck Club, Riparian View Way, Irvine (see for directions)
Doors open at 7:00 pm
Bob Allen “Circumvistas allenii” at 7:15 pm
Main program at 7:30 pm


Challenges of Controlling Invasive Wildland Weeds in Southern California

Dead Arundo donax at Green River Golf Course

The damage caused to our natural ecosystems and local plant habitats by invasive plants is extensive. In fact, when considering loss of rare and endangered native flora, wildland weeds are ranked second only to outright habitat destruction! In Orange County we have several principal invaders that can spread like disease through our County’s parks and wildlands.

Many invasive species form monocultures (dense stands of one plant) that push out native species and reduce food and shelter needed by native wildlife, including our endangered species. Some like Giant Reed clog creeks and thereby increase the risk of flooding during winter storms. Others like Scotch Broom, Eucalyptus, and Pampas Grass increase fuel loads with their flammable mass and so dramatically increase the incidence of fire. In almost all cases these aggressive weeds are bad for California’s wildlands, Orange County included.

So how do we try to solve this problem? Prevention, discovery, early detection, and rapid response against invasive plants are excellent first steps.

Bill’s presentation will focus on the fight against tamarisk, castor bean, Ailanthus (Tree of Heaven), Spanish broom and Arundo (Giant Reed). He will also touch on how chemophobia over herbicide use has hampered invasive weed control on local and regional scales.

Bill Neill has been a point man in the weed wars of Orange County and surrounding areas for many years. He serves as our Chapter’s Invasive Exotics chair, is a charter member of Cal-IPC (California Invasive Plant council), and has been eradicating and controlling many of the worst wildland weeds for decades.

For more information on Bill and his work in the Orange County wildlands read Joan Hampton’s article in the OC-CNPS Chapter 2006 January/February newsletter. Beginner’s Corner: Interview with a Cereal Killer, Joan Hampton with Bill Neill.  It can be found online ( ) under Newsletter Archives.