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Posted on: May 5, 2020

So Many Weeds, Not Enough Thyme

Not enough thyme pic

It is that time of year when residents express concern about the unkempt appearance of Town landscaping. Town staff takes great pride in their work and are eager to address the abundance of weeds in our parks and streetscapes. This year has presented even more challenges with the current Shelter-in-Place Health Orders. Please know that staff and contractors are actively and systematically working through more than 120 acres of park land and 28 miles of streetscape to address weeds. Mother nature has had her “thyme” with us, now Town staff need “thyme” to catch up!

In the fall of 2018, the Windsor Town Council adopted an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Policy that banned the use of high-risk synthetic pesticides as part of a commitment to be the healthiest Town in Sonoma County by 2020. This policy eliminated the use of Round-Up (Glyphosate) and other synthetic pre-emergent herbicides previously relied on to control weeds. The current bloom of weed growth on Town managed properties is in large part a consequence of the expected adjustment in weed abatement practices by staff as new techniques and products are put into use following adoption of the IPM policy.

After the last few fire seasons, the Town is focused on the importance of vegetation management. Staff using these opportunities of park closures and limited park programming to address pruning and other projects critical to creating defensible space within the parks.

As staff complete this work this spring, you may notice them using a new organic herbicide called Weed Zap or Weed Slayer. These both rely on clove and cinnamon oil as active ingredients, often leaving a strong cinnamon scent after use. Staff will continue to experiment with approved products or alternative practices to manage bedding and weed prone areas to achieve aesthetically acceptable results. We are asking all residents to be patient and understanding with Town staff and contractors as we transition to new healthier systems for weed management.

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