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County Weed Board

The Columbia County Weed Board, located in the County Extension Office, provides information and resources concerning weeds within Columbia County. Regular board meetings are the last  Wednesday of the month.  Regular board meetings are held at 137 East Main Street, Dayton WA  99328

Weed Board Coordinator, Rachel Hutchens

Board Members include

  • Rick Turner, President
  • Josh Bowen, Vice President
  • Bill Warren, Secretary
  • Clayton McKinley, Director
  • Matt Talbott, Director

2018 Yellow Starthistle Program

The Weed Board will accept applications for the 2018 Fall Yellow Starthistle program between the dates of September 4th through September 26th, 2018.  Please see the PROGRAM GUIDELINES below for chemical and aerial rates.

Submit your application via email at, or in person at 137 East Main Street, Dayton WA  99328.  Call with any questions.

2018 Fall Yellow Starthistle Cost Share Program Guidelines

2018 FALL Yellow Starthistle Application



Spring Weed Control

Start controlling weeds today.  Weeds are growing quickly and now is the time to start your weed control program.  Whether you choose to pull, spray, or mow, almost all annual and biennial plants are best controlled when small.

The key to long-term weed control is establishing competitive vegetation after removing the offending weeds.  Bare ground is an invitation for unwanted weeds to grow.  Establish desirable plants that will compete above ground for light, and below ground for water and nutrients.

Two troublesome weeds in Columbia County are Puncturevine and Poison Hemlock.  Puncturevine seeds, also called “Goat Heads,” germinate in the spring and produce a flower in 21 days.  These flowers produce five sharp seeds that can injure feet and puncture tires.  To reduce populations of this nasty weed, you must prevent the plant from flowering.  This can be accomplished by applying an herbicide or consistently pulling newly sprouted seeds.  Mowing is ineffective due to the low growing nature of this plant.

The Poison Hemlock in Columbia County is thick and healthy this spring.  This noxious weed is extremely toxic to both people and animals.  Herbicide is effective when applied to small, actively growing plants, although consistency is the key to long-term control.  Small areas of Poison Hemlock can be hand pulled or dug but be sure to wear gloves and long sleeves to protect your skin.  Mowing small areas can prevent seed production; however, be warned that mowing large amounts may produce enough fumes to cause illness.

Not all noxious weeds are required by law to control.  Some are on the Noxious weed list because they pose a threat to health and safety, or to agriculture, and therefore should be controlled.  For a list of noxious weeds in Columbia County or assistance in identifying weeds and information about how to control them, contact the Weed Board Office at 509-382-9760 or stop by during office hours.

Tire with Pucturevine seeds.
Sharp seed cause punctures in feet and tires.

Puncturevine plant growing in soil
Puncturevine plant

Noxious Weed Disposal

knotweed growing through pavement

When controlling weeds, proper disposal is very important. Depending on the plant species, growth stage, and quantity, disposal methods can vary.

In general, if plants are flowering, cut and bag flowers when possible to prevent seed development and dispersal.  Seal bags and put them in the trash.  If plants are NOT flowering and do not spread vegetatively, the plants may be able to be pulled up by the roots and left on the ground to dry out.

Check out this publication for all the specifics about how to dispose of noxious weeds.

45 gallon lawn trash bag holding seeds

Not sure what kind of plant you have?  Call or stop by the office to have the weed identified before you begin to control it.  Identifying the weed will insure that you are disposing of the weed correctly.

Mediterranean Sage


Mediterranean sage is a designated as a Class A weed by the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. It is an aggressive species that is not palatable and out-competes desirable forage plants in dry pastures and range-lands. Mediterranean sage reproduces by seed and acts like a tumbleweed to disperse its seeds.

The Columbia County Weed Board offers a cost share program for the control of Mediterranean sage in Columbia County. Please see the application for chemical control of Mediterranean sage below:

2017 cost share applications-med sage

Mediterranean sage 1
Mediterranean sage is full bloom

Grant Awarded to the Columbia County Weed Board to Control Med Sage

The Weed Board has received a $4,000.00 grant to control Mediterranean Sage in Columbia County.  We will be focusing on five sites where Mediterranean sage is currently growing.  This project will be completed by June 30, 2018.

For more information about this project, contact Rachel Hutchens at 509-382-9760.


Mediterranean sage 2
Mediterranean sage rosettes

Cost sharing for Class “B” Weeds

The Weed Board offers cost sharing for two other Class B weeds other than Yellow Starthistle. Those weeds are Japanese/Bohemian Knotweed and Leafy Spurge.

Knotweed     leafy spurge

Reimbursement for the control of Japanese/Bohemian knotweed and Leafy spurge in 2017 is as follows:

  1. 100% of herbicide cost the first treatment year.
  2. 75% of herbicide cost where treatment is needed the second season.
  3. In year 3 and following years, herbicide cost share will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  4. Owners/operator is responsible for 100% of application costs for a

2018 Meeting Dates

January 31, 2018–12:00 p.m.

February 28, 2018–12:00 p.m.

March 28, 2018–7:00 p.m.

April 25, 2018–7:00 p.m. **Rescheduled for May 2, 2018**

May 30, 2018–7:00 p.m.

June 27, 2018–7:00 p.m

July–No meeting

August–No meeting

September 26, 2018–7:00 p.m.

October 31, 2018–7:00 p.m.

November 28, 2018–12:00 p.m.

December 26, 2018–12:00 p.m.