Saltcedar is a shrubby bush or tree that can range in size from 5 to 20 feet tall. The bark is a reddish brown, especially on younger branches. The leaves are small and flat and resemble evergreen shrubs such as arborvitae. Flowers are pink to white and five-petaled, and appear from mid to late summer. The seeds are extremely tiny and similar in size and color to pepper. Each seed has a pappus, which allows it to float long distances in water or move in the wind. Seeds are short-lived and usually germinate within a few months after dispersal.
The leaf beetle Diorhabda carinulata defoliates the leaves of saltcedar. This insect feeds on the leaves of saltcedar and slowly reduces plant vigor. However, it has not been consistently successful in reducing saltcedar infestations. This insect has not been released in North Dakota because of the small size of the plants and low infestation level in the state.
From Lym and Travnicek, 2015, NDSU Circ. W-1411.