Tamarisk, or Salt Cedar, is an invasive species that has been wreaking havoc on the Colorado River Corridor for decades. These deciduous shrubs thrive in alkaline soils, offer little nutritional benefit to wildlife, and can individually release upwards of 500,000 seeds annually, making them a tricky plant to control. In addition to choking out native plant species, tamarisk are drastically narrowing riverbeds and absorbing incredible amounts of water, further exacerbating water security in the west. While devastating, these trees are also providing prime habitat for native bird and rodent populations. Research is still being done by the Forest Service on the impact of tamarisk on desert ecosystems and the effects of eradication programs throughout the west.
While devastating to the ecosystem, it is undeniable that these trees possess a beautiful grain!