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Town of Carefree
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Send Date:
4/1/2022 12:34:16 PM
Email Subject:
Carefree Town News: Firewise Update - Invasive Plant Identification

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April 1, 2022 | 11:40 AM AZ Local Time


Firewise update: Invasive Plant Identification

Last month, the Town distributed a newsletter to request residents eliminate around their homes nonnative invasive plants which fuel wildland fires.  In addition, the newsletter outlined the County Emergency Management system and evacuation process.  Please click here to obtain this past information https://www.carefree.org/list.aspx?MID=361.

This newsletter is focused on illustrating what these invasive species look like so you can remove them from your property.  Additionally, as you manage your properties to prepare for the upcoming fire season it is critical to ensure that there is a 30 foot defensible space around your home.  In this defensible space trees and vegetation should be pruned up and all nonnative invasive species removed.  It is also important to ensure tree limbs do not over hang or touch any structures.

What is an invasive plant?

An invasive plant is generally not native to the Sonoran Desert. These plants compete with native plants and could take over an area. These nonnative plants are a major source which fuel wildland fires during warming and dry springs.

Here’s what to look for and remove from your properties:

Plant_Red Bromegrass

Red Bromegrass

(Bromus rubens)

Found in very dense patches or widely dispersed as individual plants, the Red Bromegrass is a fast-growing, annual grass that reaches over 10-inches tall. Characteristic brush-like heads start out green in color, become reddish purple when mature and then light brown when seeds dry. The seed carrying portion of the grass have sharp ends and easily attach to animals or clothing for transport to other locations where the seeds then germinate.

Plant_Buffel Grass

Buffel Grass

(Pennisetum ciliare)

This perennial bunchgrass grows up to 4-feet tall and has a mass of long, tough roots that can grow to 8-feet deep. Narrow, light green leaves are 1 to 4-inches long. Bristly flower heads may be purple, gray or yellowish and turn a distinctive golden-brown when dry. Buffelgrass will burn while still green. When native plants die, Buffelgrass moves in and chokes out native seedlings.

Plant_Fountain Grass

Fountain Grass

(Pennisetum setaceum)

This perennial bunchgrass grows up to 3-feet high and has long, slender green leaves and purple to white feathery spikes. Fountain Grass is a highly aggressive, fire - adapted species that crowds out native plants and spreads quickly. Fountain Grass has been used in landscaping. Native ornamental grasses should be used instead of Fountain Grass. Alternatives: Purple Threeawn, Arizona Cotton Top or Bull Grass.


Plant_Starthistle

Malta Starthistle

(Centaurea melitensis)

This erect, winter annual grows up to 2-feet tall and in dense stands. It has grayish-green foliage and yellow, thistle-like flowers with sharp spines of a purplish or brown color that appear in May and June. Malta Starthistle aggressively competes for space with native species and reduces wildlife habitat and food.


Plant_Saharan Mustard

Saharan Mustard

(Brassica tournefortii)

This annual, spring herb forms rosettes 6- to 12-inches in diameter. Leaves vary in size and have tiny bristles on the undersides. Small pale-yellow flowers appear from January to April or May. Tiny reddish seeds are formed in narrow pods. Saharan Mustard can grow in large stands, creating barriers to normal wildlife movement when plants are alive. As desert temperatures rise, parts of the plant die and increase wildfire fuel loads dramatically.

Plant_Bermuda Grass

Bermuda Grass

(Cynodon dactylon)

This perennial grass is common to many lawns in southern regions and grows well in our hot, desert climate. It is the most common summer lawn choice in the desert southwest. Bermuda Grass competes with native plants and invades disturbed areas. It is a leading cause of hay fever in the Sonoran Desert.



Plant_Globe Chamomile

Globe Chamomile

(Oncosiphon piluliferum)

Globe Chamomile sprouts and grows from late November until the end of January. It begins to flower in early January and quickly begins seed setting by early February. The seeds are very light and easily transported by wind and vehicle traffic. In years of sufficient winter moisture, Globe Chamomile can expand up to three generations between November and the end of April, resulting in a prodigious production of plants and seeds in a short period of time. It is easily recognized by its dark green "carrot like" leaves and unique rounded flowers. The leaves have a pungent odor!

To control the spread of this weed, removal must take place before plants go to seed. If infestations are allowed to propagate over the course of several seasons, they will form dense stands with prolific seed production. In residential areas Globe Chamomile can be manually dug out as soon as it is recognized. It is important to remove the plants before they develop mature seeds.

 

COMMUNITY EVENTS ____________________________________________________________________________

All Town of Carefree events are available for viewing on the Visit Carefree website: Upcoming Events – Visit Carefree Arizona 


April 2, 2022 - Carefree Classic Wheels and Wings Show/60th Anniversary of Sky Ranch Airport

10:00am - 2:00pm | Free to attend

8302 E Cave Creek Rd, Carefree, AZ 85377 

April 9, 2022 - Garden Seminar

9:30am - 12:00pm | $3 donation at the event

Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion (outdoors)

April 21, 2022 - Art Night 

4:00pm - 7:00pm | Free to attend

Carefree Art Galleries and Boutiques

April 23, 2022 - Earth Day Celebration  

9:00am - 1:00pm | Free to attend- all ages welcome

Carefree Desert Gardens and Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion

April 21, 22, 23 and 28, 29, 30 - Desert Foothills Theater Presents: Les Miserables   

7:00 pm showtime | Tickets for purchase: Buy: Les Miserables School Edition (force.com) 

Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion

TOWN MEETINGS ________________________________________________________________________________

  1. Tue Apr. 5

  2. Mon Apr. 11

  3. Tue Apr. 12

  4. Tue Apr. 19

  5. Tue Apr. 26

All town agendas and minutes are available for viewing on our website: Agendas & Minutes | Carefree, AZ - Official Website 

STAY CONNECTED  ________________________________________________________________________________

Please subscribe to our channels to be notified of new updates and stay in the know:  
Town of Carefree Social Media Channels: Instagram | Facebook | YouTube  


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April 1, 2022 | 11:40 AM AZ Local Time

Visit www.Carefree.org to view the Newsletter in a web browser.

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Town of Carefree News 04/1/22 | Firewise Update - Invasive Plant Identification