The Utah County Commission does not think the Russian olive tree should be declared a noxious weed.

Craig Searle, weed abatement director, asked the commission recently to set a public hearing to discuss whether to declare the Russian olive tree a noxious weed. Searle said he had received several complaints about the tree from those with agricultural interests and the Utah Department of Transportation.Utah County's environment is favorable toward the tree, which grows abundantly along roads and in fields. However, removing the tree is difficult because of opposition from wildlife and environmental groups.

But commissioners balked at the idea because declaring the tree a noxious weed would force landowners to remove the tree whether they wanted to or not. The commissioners asked Searle to discuss the matter further with the weed abatement board and seek alternative solutions.