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I live in Hutto, Texas. This shrub started very small and even though I cut it back, it continues to grow and grow. It also self propagates. It has feathery growths on the ends of the stems which fly off when you shake the stems of brush against the bush. The growths appear in the fall mainly. I've also seen this plant all over central Texas.enter image description here

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It looks like Tamarisk to me, also called Salt Cedar.

If this is what you have, I'd recommend getting rid of it as it is invasive in North America. Getting rid of these can be quite difficult though, as they are fairly tenacious.

Per wikipedia:

The genus Tamarix is composed of about 50–60 species... native to drier areas of Eurasia and Africa.

The pink to white flowers appear in dense masses on 5–10 cm long spikes at branch tips from March to September, though some species (e.g. T. aphylla) tend to flower during the winter.

Tamarix can spread both vegetatively, by adventitious roots or submerged stems, and sexually, by seeds.

enter image description here

  • Thank you so much for your response. I have tried to get rid of it but it keeps coming back. It's 20 times bigger than ever. I just cut back a new shoot that came up several feet away. I will cut it back and try to dig up the roots. Thank you again. – Cheryl Oh Oct 9 '18 at 21:54
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    You might consider reaching out to your county extension office: williamson.agrilife.org It looks like they have publications addressing large scale removal using herbicides... You may still be able to dig it out, but it probably has deep roots & you may have to resort to different methods. – renesis Oct 10 '18 at 0:05
  • Great advice, Renesis! I have a hard time imagining getting rid of plants that actually grow and thrive in their NATURAL habitat when people have a hard time finding other plants as tenacious. Any plant that can grow in very harsh environments should be treasured, especially the indigenous plants. This plant is super for screening dust and noise. Doesn't need any help from humans to exist and as far as invasive goes, plants that can survive harsh conditions are always termed weeds because they have the ability to thrive and out compete other plants. I'd leave it alone. – stormy Oct 10 '18 at 0:27
  • A neighbor of mine has a buckthorn (hugely invasive in my state), but the laws allow them to keep the plant. It was planted decades ago and has the largest caliper of any buckthorn I've ever seen. It's surviving harsh conditions and was even pollarded a few years ago with no ill effects. Now that it's seeding again, there are hundreds of baby buckthorns throughout this section of my city. @Stormy - a plant is called invasive BECAUSE IT INVADES its environment. Which is why invasives should ALWAYS be removed, if possible. – Jurp Oct 10 '18 at 0:41
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    There is certainly a point where we just have to give up and accept that certain invasive plants are now part of the landscape. I'm not sure that I agree that is the case with this plant. – renesis Oct 10 '18 at 15:00
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This plant is not indigenous, but it is now! Texas is a tough place to grow plants for shade, animal habitat, sound reduction, dust reduction. I have a problem thinking THIS plant is reducing your aquifer in Texas. That is the fault of humans only.

This plant our competes other plants because other plants take more resources to survive.

What is it that you are thinking this plant can do to cause any harm? I love this grey color and the fine texture. I love that this plant needs zero human intervention to thrive. Invasive is a curious term. Invasive to what? To whom? Certainly NOT sucking up water other than for its own needs. Any other plant will take more water, it can use water other plants will not tolerate, too salty.

This plant is only invasive because it can withstand temperature changes, salty soils, drought yet you get to enjoy a bit more privacy, birds have somewhere to go in downpours, have somewhere to make nests, this shrub collects dust as well as sound (from neighbors, roads). Yes, cut the suckers off but there is only one root system. If you decide to get rid of this plant, I would love to know what your other choices will be. Have you had a soil test? Few plants accept salt soils. Are you going to change your soil? Are you able to find a more survivable plant for this area and your yard?

Your Cooperative Extension Service is definitely the place to get information! They KNOW this plant and your area and are very knowledgeable about all the sciences in your area of Texas. About the soils, the wildlife and how to conserve resources. Master Gardeners will be your best friend.

I am a bit weird because I appreciate all life, know the bad bad weeds that actually cause harm after they've been introduced by us humans, and to replace that shrub with anything else tells me you might have trouble. That shrub is indicative of your soils and the chemistry of your soils, your water. To go against your environment's statistics will cost money and time and headache.

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I have difficulty growing anything in my yard. The soil is a like clay. This is one of the only plants that have survived due to intense heat most of the year and drought like conditions. I've done nothing to it. I have managed to grow a few daylilies and Carolina jasmine. This is the only plant that does not have to be tended to. It's gotten this way completely on its own. I have a fig tree that is barely surviving. – Cheryl Oh Oct 10 '18 at 21:57
  • You get it, Cheryl. They need to classify 'invasive' plants into two new subdivisions; harmful and then just happy (yet exotic many many years ago). there are some horrible plants, beautiful even exotic plants displacing the indigenous species because it simply doesn't have 'control' systems in place. No 'predators' so to speak. Purple Loosestrife is one such plant. Gorgeous. someone brought it to this continent and it is displacing critical ecosystems including all the animals attached to the plants displaced. Our wet lands are not well known by most grins, critical habitat, decimated. – stormy Oct 13 '18 at 1:44

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