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Extension > Environment > Agroforestry > Noxious weeds and terrestrial invasive species

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Noxious weeds and terrestrial invasive species

Gary Wyatt

The following lists dictate control methods for various species considered noxious weeds or invasive species by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Failing to comply with the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law may result in enforcement action by a county or local municipality.

For more information on the specific species on each list, see the PDF at the top of the page, or visit:

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) – Minnesota Noxious Weeds

Noxious weeds

Noxious weeds are invasive plants that must be managed or eradicated because they cause significant harm to the economy, environment, or human health. Eradication or control of noxious weeds are the responsibility of the private land owner, and the manage of public lands.

Prohibited noxious weeds – eradicate list

Prohibited noxious weeds that are listed to be eradicated are plants that are not currently known to be present in Minnesota or are not widely established. To prevent introduction into Minnesota, they must be eradicated by killing the above and below ground parts of the plant. Measures must also be taken to prevent and exclude these species from being introduced into Minnesota.

Prohibited noxious weeds – control list

Prohibited noxious weeds on the control list are plants established throughout Minnesota or regions of the state. These species must be controlled, meaning efforts must be made to prevent the spread, maturation and dispersal of any propagating parts. These efforts aim to reduce established populations and prevent reproduction and spread.

Restricted noxious weeds

Restricted noxious weeds are plants that are widely distributed in Minnesota and are detrimental to human or animal health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock or other property. For these plants, the only feasible means of control is to prevent their spread by prohibiting the importation, sale, and transportation of their propagating parts in the state. If an effective control method is developed, these plants may be reclassified.

Specially regulated plants – noxious weeds

Specially regulated plants may be native species or have demonstrated economic value, but also have the potential to cause harm in ecological, economical, or human or animal health problems. The MDA has developed specific management plans and/or rules that define the use and management requirements of each plant. Measures must also be taken to minimize the potential for harm caused by these plants.

Terrestrial invasive species

An invasive species is an aggressive, non-native plant that:

  • Out-competes and displaces other species
  • Causes environmental or economic harm, or harm to human health
Terrestrial invasive plants are MN DNR invasive species, not MDA noxious weeds. Some noxious weeds are on the invasive species list, but not all. For a full list, visit:

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Terrestrial Invasive Plants.

Which species affect my county?

For more information on which noxious weeds are specific to your county, contact your local County Agricultural Inspector or Designated Employee.

Additional resources

Resources for regulated noxious weeds and non-regulated invasive plants in Minnesota.

Revised 2017

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