TREE OF HEAVEN. Such a lovely name for one of those rampant weeds that create "hell strips," a slang term landscapers use for medians and areas between sidewalks and streets. Along with elms, these invasive plants can pose a danger on our roadways.
Melissa A. McDonald, Acting Parks Division Director & River and Watershed Manager, reports that her teams are doing their utmost to address the current seasonal proliferation of these weeds:
“It’s been wonderful to get a good, solid monsoon season, but needless to say, the weeds were as happy as we were to get rain, so we get more weeds in our medians and at intersections. As a result, we have redirected resources and put more crews in problem areas.
“Some weeds are unsightly, and we get rid of those during routine maintenance. Some weeds are dangerous because they can grow tall so quickly that they reduce visibility for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. These become our highest priority.
“To prevent this game of whack-a-mole in the future, crews will be digging out elms in the fall, winter, and spring. We’ll also be seeding with native pollinators that don’t grow too tall. By allowing certain flowering native species to grow, we keep dust levels down while simultaneously beautifying our streets and providing pollinators for the bees. There have been advancements in availability of effective non-toxic treatments on broad-leafed weeds, and we plan on using them next spring."
To keep updated on where the median team is heading, you can check the Parks Department's monthly median tracker, which lives on this page of the City's website
. This video introduces some of the Parks Department's weeds crew and the work they do, starting very early in the morning to beat the traffic.