Weed Control

Stinkwort - Dittrichia graveolens

Stinkwort - Dittrichia graveolens.

We are trying to stop its invasion at Lake Hodges. We are treating all populations we have seen along the locals only Lake edge walking path. It has been found at green Lagoon as well as near Nutmeg and windsurf beach. Areas treated will be revisited next year to see how effective we are at removing each population area.

Stinkwort - Dittrichia graveolens. View from directly above.

The shoreline between Nutmeg and the Pump station could use more eyes looking for this weed. It looks like a straggly mini Christmas tree and smells something like Pinesol. If you think you think you are seeing this plant in your walk around Del Dios, please take a picture: one with the whole plant and one from the top of the plant for me to see if there are flowers.  Email me the pictures and the location: stacy@ddhpl.org.

If you are feeling extra helpful on you walks, consider pulling and bagging the plants. Once flowering, hand pulling and placing the plants in a sealed bag is necessary to prevent its spread. This plant has an effective strategy of putting all its energy into producing seed even when it is pulled up before blooming! The plants go into the trash, not greenwaste, bin. Use gloves as the plant is extremely irritating to skin and eyes.

Downloadable Documents for further information (from Cal-IPC):
Pdf of Dittrichia Poster
Brochure (Word doc)


Project Update: September

Phase 3 of the Hodges Watershed Restoration has begun

Target Species: Eucalyptus, Pampas Grass and Tamarisk.

Plantings with the winter rains: Sycamore, Oaks, Mulefat, Willow.

Invasive non-native plants are threatening the ability of the San Dieguito River and watershed to function properly. Many non-native plants contribute to flood damage, are a fire risk and degrade native habitats. The Del Dios Habitat Protection League is working in partnership with the San Dieguito River Park to help restore the natural functions of the river. An action that enhances watershed health is the control of non-native plants.  The seasonal watercourses and lakeshore of Hodges reservior provide valuable habitat for native flora and fauna that is a cornerstone for our incredible biodiversity of the region.

Along the new lower level of Hodges reservior, cat tails and bulrushes have established as well as willows directly above this level. This is much the same as what these species do along a natural river. Several locals have expressed concern to the League about the invasion of Pampas grass and Tamarisk that is also moving into these same areas.

Phase 3 of the Oak Woodland Restoration and Fire Fuel Reduction Project will include the establishment of native plants as well has removal of non-native invasives, such as Tamarisk, Pampas grass and Eucalytpus.

This work is sponsored by the NRCS and is the result of partnerships with numerous local agencies, including the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department, the San Dieguito River Park and the Del Dios Mutual Water Company.

Establishment of native species is scheduled to start with the first rains in areas where eucalyptus has been removed.  We look forward to working with weekend volunteers planting acorns, pole cuttings and potted native plants.

Pampas Grass

According to the California Invasive Plant Council, pampas grass creates a fire hazard with excessive build-up of dry leaves, leaf bases, and flowering stalks. In addition, pampas grass out-competes native vegetation, by propagating easily and growing rapidly. 

Cal-IPC Plant Assessment Form

Tamarisk (Salt Cedar)

Tamarisk is the other species of high concern that is taking over a large swath of the 'bathtub ring" below the high waterline of Lake Hodges. Tamarisk that has a long history in the west for out competing native willow habitat and poisoning the soil to keep other plants from growing in the same areas with it. The plant is also called Salt Cedar.

Phase 3 will include removing tamarisk and pampas grass and planting willows at Green Lagoon (second parking lot from the gates at Lake Dr) and other prime locations to encourage the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (endangered, federally listed songbird) to come live and breed here at Lake Hodges.

Make sure to look for volunteer opportunities with the winter rains to help with the planting. Become a member of the Del Dios Habitat Protection League.

Project Update: August

With the end of nesting season, we will resume removing Eucalyptus and Tamarisk. We will also be spraying smaller tamarisk, fountain grass, pampas grass. Area of focus will include the lake perimeter. Once the city’s preparation for fire season is complete, castor bean and fountain grass will be addressed along Lake Drive.

Thanks, Garry!

Thanks, Garry!

A Success Story for Invasive Control

A hardy band of volunteers hand pulled puncture vine (Tribulus terrestris) along the trail and Lake Drive last year. These prickly seed pods are the bane of mountain bike tires and spread seeds attached to tires and shoes. About 40 ‘man’ hours were volunteered to remove the plants in August 2015. This year, exactly (and only) 8 plants grew in the areas where we worked last year.  No other puncture vine plants have been found. Thanks again for a job well done.

Weed Alert - London rocket (Sisymbrium irio)

Highly invasive mustard (Sisymbrium irio, London rocket) was identified in Del Dios Park.

Both line trimmers and herbicides were used to get control of the weed before it set seed. Eucalyptus mulch was spread around the Oaks to keep weeds down for next year. As a result, Del Dios Park is looking extra beautiful this year – green and trimmed.