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Fact Sheet 2009–3110

Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the USDA Forest Service

Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) and Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) in the Western United States—A Report on the State of the Science

Thumbnail of and link to fact sheet PDF (2.9 MB)

The Salt Cedar and Russian Olive Control Demonstration Act of 2006 (Public Law 109–320) directs the Department of the Interior to submit a report to Congress that includes an assessment of several issues surrounding these two nonnative trees, now dominant components of the vegetation along many rivers in the Western United States. This report was published in 2010 as a U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report (available online at The report was produced through a collaborative effort led by the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Geological Survey, with critical contributions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and from university researchers.

The document synthesizes the state of the science and key research needs on the following topics related to management of saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) in the Western United States: their distribution and abundance (extent); the potential for water savings associated with controlling these species; considerations related to wildlife use of saltcedar and Russian olive habitat and restored habitats; methods of control and removal; possible utilization of dead biomass following control and removal; and approaches and challenges associated with site revegetation or restoration. A concluding chapter discusses possible long-term management strategies, potentially useful field-demonstration projects, and a planning process for on-the-ground projects involving removal of saltcedar and Russian olive.

First posted April 28, 2010

For additional information contact:

Center Director,
USGS Fort Collins Science Center
2150 Centre Ave., Bldg. C
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8118

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Shafroth, P.B., Brown, C.A., and Merritt, D.M., 2010, Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) in the Western United States—A report on the state of the science: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009-3110, 4 p.

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