KYTC crews will soon treat state roadsides for noxious weeds

Controlling noxious weeds, invasive plants improves roadway visibility, protects infrastructure
Noxious weed, Canada Thistle
Noxious weed, Canada Thistle(MGN)
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 9:07 AM CST
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Frankfort, Ky. (WBKO) - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) crews will soon begin treating noxious and nuisance weeds throughout the state to improve driver safety and support efficient maintenance operations by limiting their presence.

Property owners who are actively treating noxious weeds on private property may request highway crews to treat select nuisance weeds found on adjacent state-owned right of way.

The Cabinet targets 12 noxious weeds in accordance with KRS 176.051 and 603 KAR 3:100:

  • Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)
  • Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)
  • Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
  • Cutleaf Teasel (Dipsacus laciniatus)
  • Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
  • Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)
  • Kudzu (Pueraria montana)
  • Marestail (Conyza canadensis)
  • Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)
  • Nodding Thistle (Carduus nutans)
  • Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)
  • Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)

“If left untreated, some weeds can grow several feet tall and impact driver visibility,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “Actively treating the weeds on state-maintained property enhances safety, prevents damage to ditches and drains, and minimizes the presence of plants that attract deer near highways.”

Noxious weeds often invade and destroy the roadside turf grass, leaving these areas vulnerable to erosion. They can also smother native plants through rapid reproduction and long-term persistence.

Kentuckians who want to request weed treatment must submit a written application to their local KYTC highway district office. To request an application, please contact the appropriate district highway office. Contact information may be found on the district web pages listed here.

Motorists are reminded to use extra caution when crews spraying for weeds are out on the roadways.