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Volume 12, Issue 1
January 2014


Garlic Mustard hits Cedar Mill
By Briita Orwick, Clean Water Services

The Tualatin Watershed Weed Watchers are enlisting area residents in the battle against a plant invader that is threatening the health of Cedar Mill Creek, Johnson Creek and nearby parks and waterways. An aggressive invasive plant, garlic mustard was spotted growing along the banks of Cedar Mill Creek last spring. The plant has been in Forest Park since the mid-1990s, where it has been difficult to remove. This sighting is the first that we know of in the Cedar Mill Creek area south of the Sunset Highway.

This plant is a serious threat to natural areas because it is so competitive. Its roots exude a chemical that prevents native trees, shrubs and wildflowers from growing. This is bad news for the birds, insects and other wildlife that find food and shelter in a diverse mix of native plants.

However, thanks to early sightings made by botanists working in the Cedar Mill area last spring, we may have a head start on preventing this invasion.


We need your help!

Sign Permission of Entry forms: Clean Water Services will be sending Cedar Mill creekside residents Permission of Entry forms to sign in January. These forms allow Clean Water Services employees to survey and treat new plant infestations this spring when plants begin to show new growth. Please sign and return them early so we can plan ahead!

Recognize and report garlic mustard

Garlic mustard can be tricky to spot because its appearance changes over time. During the first year, garlic mustard grows close to the ground with kidney shaped leaves forming a rosette. You might spot it as early as March. You can test your ID skills by tearing off a leaf to sniff. If it smells garlicky, you are on the right track!


In its second year, the plant shoots up, displaying a much taller stalk with sharply toothed leaves and small white flowers in late spring. Because a single plant can release thousands of seeds, it is important to report every sighting immediately at, or by calling the toll-free number, 1-866-INVADER.

Attend the February Weed Watchers workshop

The Tualatin Watershed Weed Watchers partnership involves the Tualatin Soil and Water Conservation District, Clean Water Services, Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District, and the Tualatin River Watershed Council in tackling invasive weeds in our county. The group will sponsor a workshop on invasive weeds at the Tualatin Hills Nature Park Interpretive Center on Millikan Way in Beaverton on Thursday, February 20th from 6:30-8:30 pm. No RSVP required. For more information, contact

At this workshop, Cedar Mill residents and others will learn how to be effective weed watchers by knowing what invasive plants to watch for and when, how to deal with them, what to plant instead, and how to report them so that they can be removed. Learn more about this and other workshops at

Want to learn more?

Call 503-615-3524 or e-mail for a free, professional streamside survey and treatment.


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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
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