Cave Creek updates

Last chance to slow the spread of Stinknet

CAVE CREEK – The warmer temperatures have arrived along with the regional fire season, and our desert spring foliage has dried out becoming a flammable fuel.
The National Weather Service is forecasting temperatures in the 100s for the Phoenix area with an excessive heat warning in effect through the end of the week. In conjunction, Stinknet (Globe Chamomile) has also started going to seed, and the window to eliminate and manage infestations on your property is quickly closing.

Stinknet is a prolific invasive weed that has become increasing problematic for local ecosystems and is also a huge fire hazard. It is easily recognizable with round yellow balls for flowers and carrot-like leaves that have a pungent odor. The plants start to flower in February, and it begins seed ripening by mid-March through May. Each yellow ball contains approximately 400 or more seeds that are easily carried by wind.

“To best manage the spread of this weed, control must take place before plants go to seed. If infestations are allowed to propagate over the course of several seasons, they will form dense stands with prolific seed production,” according to Maricopa Parks.
Stinknet crowds out native plants and grows in dense mats that are highly flammable when dry. It produces high temperatures and flames, creating fire hazards across properties in Cave Creek and the regional Phoenix Metropolitan area.
“It is important to remove the plants before they develop mature seeds. But once Stinknet is established for a second year, chemical control becomes necessary,” Maricopa County says.

So, if your property has been invaded by these “pretty” yellow weeds it is best manually pull them before it flowers to prevent further infestations. Now that we are past that window there are still some efforts residents can take to help manage infestations and reduce fire risks.

Removal by hand or hula-hoe and disposing it in a trash bag is going to be the best method whether Stinknet has flowered or not. However, the herbicide Simazine at 16 ounces per acre, or Milestone at four ounces per acre is an effective pre-emergent. It can also be applied to emerged plants before they flower.

Glyphosate with MSO or Hasten surfactant is effective for using on Stinknet as a post-emergent up to flowering. After flowering, half rate diquat should be added to the herbicide mixture. Ortho Weed and Grass Killer is another herbicide that performs well and is easy to find at local retail stores.

If applying herbicides, please adhere to the strict label compliance or use a licensed commercial applicator.
If the Stinknet infestation is large and/or manual removal is not practical or you don’t want to use herbicides, using a string trimmer to knock down the dried-out weeds as much as possible will help reduce fire hazards. But this method will not effectively remove the infestations in the long-term. Make sure to rake and dispose of the trimmings to reduce the spread of seeds.
This plant is highly allergenic, both dermal and respiratory, so please take precautions.

Town releases paving projects schedule for month of May

CAVE CREEK – The Cave Creek Public Works Department will have three paving projects happening during the month of May. The projects will consist of completely milling and removing the existing pavement, then repaving the roads with 2.5 inches of asphalt in accordance with Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) standards.
The first repaving project is named Saguaro West, which will repave approximately 3,347 linear feet and 92,918 square-feet of Town roadways.

The roads that will be repaved in this project are: North Wilderness Trail; East Yahoo Trail; East Raintree Circle; East Summerset Circle; East Sawmill Circle; and East Tanglewood Circle. Work will begin on May 4, and is expected to be completed by May 18.
The second project, Willow Springs, will include 4,095 linear feet averaging 25-feet in width for a total of approximately 102,375 square feet of milling and pavement replacement. The work will take place on Willow Springs Loop from the intersection of Fleming Springs Road through to the intersection of North Echo Canyon Road.

That project will begin on May 7, and is expected to finish on May 21. All recyclable asphalt millings will be hauled to the Cave Creek Storage Yard so it can be repurposed.

The third project will be the Surrey Road/Victoria Drive mill and pave project, which consists of 32,500 square feet of milling and pavement replacement.

This project was recently added and approved by Town Council at the April 20th meeting. The preparation of the schedule is currently in progress, but the project is expected to be performed in late May to early June.

Regional Pavement is the contractor that will be performing the work for all the projects. Below is a detailed schedule and maps for both the Willow Springs and Saguaro West projects.

If you live in the area, please plan accordingly.For questions or concerns please email the Cave Creek Public Works Supervisor Tyler Thurman at, tthurman@cavecreekaz.gov.