Russian thistle is not a native of the West and importing fungus blights from its homeland can kill it-
While there are several plants called “tumbleweed,” the one most commonly called that is prickly Russian Thistle. It has been around for almost 150 years and Hollywood probably convinced people it is an essential element of the “Old West.”
A couple of fungal blights from Asia Minor now show great promise in reducing its prevalence. Introduction of plant diseases, however, can be very dangerous and controversial. So far these look to be very host specific. I hope these work out if they are approved. To me the prickly tumbleweed of the West has no redeeming value.
High Noon for Tumbleweed? By Emiline Ostlind. WyoFile