The battle to eliminate Salal begins - tips??

wynswrld98(z7 WA)August 21, 2010

Like many others here in the PNW I like Salal in small amounts but when it is attempting to take over your entire acre lot, enough is enough. It is growing right against many of my beautiful ornamentals via spreading. Numerous times I've chopped it down since some of it was as tall as 4' but it just keeps coming back. Also tried pulling up and disposing of major roots but keeps coming back. I have it in a lot of different parts of my acre lot but also have many beautiful trees/shrubs all over the acre that I don't want choked out by this stuff.

I did a search on this forum and only found one posting about digging it out. But realistically how much of it can you dig out? I'm guessing any of it left is just going to resprout so this takes me to my question if a combo of digging it up and spraying with something like a blackberry/brush killer might be a good plan. I realize I have to be very careful spraying any kind of herbicide close to my nice trees/shrubs but I can no longer take the maintenance involved with continually cutting/pulling the Salal just to have it come back so I want it eventually GONE.

I'd love to hear from people who have done battle with Salal and won. Unfortunately using a brush cutter is difficult due to the terrain so I'm looking for more suggestions that require elbow grease and perhaps some intense herbicide and just fight a long battle.

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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

Haven't done salal, but I've been succcessful against kudzu & blackberries.
For a hardy native plant that spreads underground like salal, I would think digging would be a tough way to go. Try roughly cutting them short & painting on a herbicide directly to the plant, that way it's very targeted & doesn't get spread around so much.
If you use a Roundup-type, make sure to leave a fair amount of green leaves on the plant, because that's the only place it will be taken up by the plant. Also make sure to do it right now ASAP. The later you wait in the year, the less the plant is taking up from the leaves, and the less likely it is to kill the root.
- Tom

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 5:01PM
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aka_strawberrygoat(PNW-8) should consider yourself lucky..
you have a ready cash crop growing right there in your own yard.

it sells for nice $$ for those who are inclined to harvest it and sell to buyers.

I see van loads, truck loads and other vehicles, just full to capacity of the greenery.
and of course, winter is even better for growth and sales.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 3:46AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)


    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 8:50AM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

You've never had the pleasure of Kudzu? I only mention it because it is the true zenith of evil, an intelligent & malevolent weed that was surely crafted by the devil himself.
Got it in a plant trade from out of state; took me four years to eliminate it.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 1:49PM
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Back in the 1980's I bought some kudzu seeds from J.L. Hudson, that was before it is illegal in Washington State and I didn't know any better. The ones that germinated I planted out in the spring, six plants. They didn't grow much that summer and that decade had lots of cold winters, so when winter came they all froze out, never came back the following spring. I haven't and wouldn't try them again, but I don't think they are as aggresive in the PNW as they are on the east coast.

As for salal, I just bought a home with 1.3 acre lot with a bank of ivy that is being shaded out by salal, salmon and thimble berries, and red elderberries. I want them all gone so will have to use something like Brush-be-gone to get rid of all of them. I have to be careful because it has spread into my neighbor's property and when I asked him if I could remove it from both the ground and trees, he said No. He liked the look of ivy growing up trees. I don't.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 10:35AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

So you planted it, rather than had it come up on its own.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 10:35AM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

Mine came as a hidden passenger in a trade where I received a 'Sum and Substance' Hosta for some orchids. It was a bad year for weeding for me (aren't they all) and it went to seed before I noticed what it really was. Big mistake, mine spread like wildfire.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 12:45PM
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wynswrld98(z7 WA)

If spraying tough to kill things like I'm doing with Salal and Blackberry I highly recommend a product McLendons sells by Hi-Yield named 'Spreader Sticker' -- you mix it with the brush killer in the garden sprayer and it helps the solution to stick to plants that have glossy/semi-glossy leaves (e.g., salal and ivy). The stuff works really well. It's sold in 3 sizes and isn't very expensive, you only mix a small amount in a garden sprayer. Otherwise what happens on slick leaves is the solution tends to bead off being useless but this stuff really makes the solution stick.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:54PM
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I'm glad I found this thread ~ I received a Hydrangea presentation bouquet for M'Day ~ have thrown the H blossoms weeks ago & asked the florist about these impressive, slick dark green stems that came w/ & still looking great! Researched it & here I am as I thought I may want to plant a couple ~ no longer!!!
I'm sucker for beautiful foliage ~ Ginkgo, Quacking Aspen, Baltic Ivy, Periwinkle, Bishop's Weed, Arc Angel Lamiastrum, Columbines etc ... got rid of B-Weed & Quacking Aspen & Ginkgo is a metamorphosed Prince ~ still love. I don't think I need another slave driving headache!

FWIW ~ just glad I got here before another didsaster happens!!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 2:08PM
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I haven't tried any herbicides. Just deprive it of light after cutting it back & pulling up the spreading roots.

It is harder if you have precious plants next to it. I'd move the plants away & deeply mulch the entire area.

I pull shoots as they appear & keep mulching deeply. I've also sheet mulched w/ burlap as top layer and also used entact straw bales to grow tomatoes right on top of the cut back salal.

In a few years the shoots are almost gone. I just keep up with the mulch & patrolling.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 6:32PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Salal branches in a bouquet not likely to root and form a weedy colony. Like other heath family plants salal slow growing and requiring specific soil conditions to develop well, is actually kind of hard to manage in nursery pots and often hard to get started when planted out. People who fight with it likely to be dealing with an old, existing native thicket and trying to insert other plants inside it or right on the expanding fringe of it.

Or trying to contain it. Many think if a plant creeps sideways at all it is an exploding menace.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:19PM
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For those digging up salal, it's as corrine1 said about just digging up all the roots and mulching.
The yard here is surrounded by native growth. It will never stop trying to move in.

I found a very interesting thing today cutting salal. A salal root ball, and some kind of reproductive thing ready to spread, a thing that looked like a yellow double pinecone. Here's a photo.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 4:25PM
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the other photo...

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 4:27PM
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wynswrld98(z7 WA)

Salal is invasive as far as I'm concerned, when I was dealing with it I'd pull on a LONG runner (maybe up to 6') that was connecting one above ground plant to another, runners all over the place that formed a colony.

Luckily I won the battle and the most I have now is every once in awhile a tiny bit that comes up but it gets sprayed with weed killer with spreader sticker in it.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 4:58PM
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Ok, so I got the Round Up and the Spreader Sticker. Do I mix them full strength and paint the leaves? I've pulled out as much as I could but the last small area left is so crowded with roots from other desirable plants that I am resorting to your method. Please advise.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 8:26PM
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wynswrld98(z7 WA)

Luckily I didn't have to deal with trying to kill it very close to desirable plants. I think paint it on leaves is your best chance of not killing the desirables. But the desirables aren't very desirable when they're being choked out by Salal.

Yes I would hit it as high of a strength as you can afford to do.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 9:32PM
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Lily777 _8PNW(8PNW)

I removed salal by excavating. The root system is extensive, like a spider web that is about 1-2 feet underground. I used a shovel, a pickaxe, a wheelbarrow, and a sifter. I did a small 4' x 1' x 2' section at a time. First I removed the dirt and then I sifted the dirt to remove all roots. The entire area was about 15' x 50' (on a slope) so this was a spring/summer project. My salal was old and taking over.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 8:57PM
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