TSA Still A Problem In Jefferson County
Extension Agent - Livestock
Issue/Alert Affecting Crop: Mature tropical soda apple plants (TSA) in Jefferson County’s open fields may have been nipped back by our first frosts, but the “The weed from Hell” has NOT given up for the winter. It’s continuing its invasion will be helped if the forest warmer winter materializes. Currently:
Notice the TSA leaf in the foreground appears much difference than the others. The initial leaf does not have spines, but all others do. Photo Credits: Jed Dillard
• Some dead plants have mature fruit on them. These contain viable seed, so pick them up and destroy before livestock or other animals spread them
• Watch for near dead TSA plants. New sprouts can occur after a rain. Seedling leaves do not have spines, but all the later leaves do.
• Plants will persist in sheltered locations. Animals are spreading the plants to loafing and browsing areas inaccessible to mechanical treatment with anything larger than a hoe. Be on the lookout for these while hunting or engaged in other woodland activities.
TSA is neither gone nor forgotten in Jefferson County and probably won’t be for a considerable while. According to Dr. Jeff Mullahey, who has been working on TSA since its appearance in South Florida, one plant can produce 40,000-50,000 seeds with seed germination ranging from 75%-100% and the seeds remain viable for at least three years. With odds like that, every plant matters.