bob64(6)December 3, 2006

Out of desperation I grudgingly gave in to using RoundUp (glyophosphate) to help control my invasive weeds problem about two years ago. I am dealing with a large area and this seemed the only realistic way to go. I am wondering whether others do or don't use herbicides and why. I am also curious as to techniques people have developed. I should also mention that even though my resistance to using herbicide has been broken to the extent of using RoundUp (which is supposed to be safe, etc.) I have still had limited opportunities to use them since I never seem to have the right weather conditions when I get around to it or the native cover is too thick sometimes to use it.


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I use herbicide on tough weeds when hand control methods are not working. For example, I have large patches of clover and pulling them by hand is either making it worse or not making much progress. The worst patch is where I grow tomatoes. Now that the season is done, I can do some spraying there.

I also use brush be gone for poison ivy and for painting the stumps of saplings that I cut down (I am over-runneth with red maple saplings and want to increase the diversity of my native plants so the saplings get taken out from time to time).

By and large, my eradication efforts are simply through hand pulling. I am hoping to get the upper hand on my japanese honeysuckle this way over time. It certainly put a dent in my smilax infestation ... and for the blessedly small amounts of privet and elaeagnus that make their way into my yard.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 9:52PM
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Esh, it was particularly (but not exclusively) the japanese honeysuckle that led to my giving in to herbicide. I am dealing with a lot of japanese honeysuckle on a large piece of land (approx. 8.5 acres) and read that root fragments regrow well and are stimulated by cutting and pulling. In limited areas hand pulling of japanese honeysuckle has helped but I am getting overrun. Many of my other weeds are much better controlled by cutting and pulling but this one weed is tenacious. I still cut it to get it out of trees and shrubs but I gave in to spraying on a number of occasions. One area that I sprayed previously rewarded me with several wood asters.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 9:52AM
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I use glyphosate primarily for treating cut stumps (autumn olive, bush honeysuckle) in later-summer/early fall. This treatment is quite effective and it seems about as benign as you can get, since you apply directly to the target.

In my yard, I have rarely used roundup as a spray -- mostly to kill turf grass to prepare for garden beds. My most 'reckless' use of glyphosate has been to spray dense growth of japanese honeysuckle in late fall, when it the only green growth in the area. This has worked surprisingly well, considering how tought and prolific this stuff is. I can't say there was no damage to non-target plants, but I wasn't too worried about natives in this weedy area.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 4:20PM
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Bob, I pull my jap. honeysuckle by reaching right to the ground and there is usually a knotty growth on the top of the soil. I pull that and if the ground is moist, I can usually get all the root (about 6-8 inches) to come out. Therefore, I do most of my pulling after a rain.

The first thing I did 3 years ago was to cut it all out of the trees to get rid of any attempts to propagate by seed. Now I stroll around in the winter looking for any green growth in the trees that escaped me.

I think I will end up spraying one day, I just want to get rid of as much as I can first.

I found some trillium cuneatum under one patch - just a couple of juveniles - but it certainly was rewarding!

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 4:55PM
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Esh and John, thanks for the tips.
There was so much honeysuckle out there this weekend that I actually spent several hours just spraying it - hand pulling would take forever although I do that in especially sensitive areas. I have also used RoundUp on ailanthus stumps and on odds and ends here and there. I recently tried it on Garlic Mustard. We'll see if it works.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 9:16PM
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ladyslppr(z6 PA)

I've used Roundup on Garlic Mustard during late fall and winter and it worked quite well. Garlic Mustard puts on a spurt of growth here in the late fall and by this time of the year is the most prominent green vegetation in parts of the woods. In fact it is the only green vegetation in some places. This makes it easy to spray without impacting anything else. I always wait for a warm day, and spray it as late as March. After that you have to be a lot more careful because native spring wildflowers are starting to appear.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 9:16AM
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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

Bob64, just a broadleaf weed killer like weed-b-gone at a fair strength might be a better choice than roundup for you. Honeysuckle is easily killed by broadleaf killers, and that way you won't totally denude the land.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 10:07AM
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