Help me stop the alders and willows

beluga01August 20, 2009

We just used a chain saw to cut down all the alders and willow growing around our pond. We have to do this about every five years to keep any level of sunlight around the water. This time, some of the alders were 6 inches thick at the base! No doubt, next spring, each stump will sprout lots of fresh growth.

Is there something we can paint on these stumps to keep them from sprouting? Or at least dampen their enthusiasm a bit. Or to be even more specific, is there something that will do this that is not overly toxic. Latex paint? If so, is white or black better? Water seal? Roundup? You get the idea. Knowledgeable suggestions are much appreciated.

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Get some herbicide with the active ingredient triclopyr. Lily-Miller's "Blackberry & Brush Killer" is one product.

When you cut the whips/trees, immediately paint the cut surface of the stub with the weedkiller. Generally used full strength for that purpose, but read the label to make certain.

Beyond that, it may still take several years to stop regrowth. All depends upon how extensive the root systems are.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 3:33PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Anything used near water needs to be kept out of it. Glyphosate, for instance has been found in a recognizable condition 1 mile downstream from application sites.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 4:53PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Sounds like you need a beaver :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 10:15PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Or goats.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 11:13PM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

I'm not totally against herbicides, but against a pond to keep out native growth? That doesn't sound too great to me.
Regular mowing will keep them down if you make it a lawn, but if you don't want to do that I would recommend you just accept that is what happens in the PNW, buck up, and pay your 5 year pennance for living in such a beautiful green place. ;)
actually 5 years doesn't seem bad at all to me for what you're up against. It may look like a suburb, but lurking right beneath the surface is a powerful temperate, just dying to escape. :)
- Tom

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 7:16AM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

Meant to say a temperate jungle. :)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 7:19AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Maybe that should have been "intemperate".

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 10:41AM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Our neighbour cut alders and cottonwood down along the lakeshore. He has donkeys and sheep but they are not keeping the shoots down. It is a real mess and the lakeshore is now unreachable on foot.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 11:25AM
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beluga01

actually, of all the suggestions, the goat seems most appealing. We have a neighbor who might be willing to loan out his goat for a few weeks each summer. I won't use the herbicide recommended here, since the pond is full of crayfish, frogs, and goldfish. Plus we pump the water every August to irrigate a large berry patch. And swim in it all summer long.

What about latex paint?

Didn't quite grok your comment, grrrnthumb, about alders and willows somehow being sacrosanct by virtue of being native. And therefore...it's more natural to let the trees wreck this pond we dug, by shading the surface, degrading the dam, and drawing down the water table at least 3 feet each summer? To be honest, your "solution" sounds a bit too suburban to this quasi-farmer working a 6 acre homestead. Plus, I already have a very healthy alder bottom on another part of the property, and take 3-5 trees a year for firewood.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 1:48PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

The paint-on application is safe to use near water.

Spraying isn't.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 11:24PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Goats certainly seem to think they are appealing.

Or would that be app-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-aling?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 11:42PM
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grrrnthumb(z8 WA)

No I wouldn't call alders sacrosanct, but yes native waters would be, when we're talking about chemical herbicides. But letting alders grow is natural, yes, especially compared to an artificial "dug" pond and a man-made dam. You're trying to bend nature to your will in the classic pioneer style, and I'm all for it if you want to do it the honest way & do the work. I'm just against shortcuts with lasting harm to our surroundings. :)
- Tom

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 12:46AM
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reg_pnw7(WA 7, sunset 4)

Direct application of herbicide to cut surfaces should not get any herbicide in the water. Spraying would. 'Blackberry and brush killer' is very effective.

But if you have access to a goat - try it! goats are shrub browsers after all, and often used for brush control. The goats we had when I was a kid certainly killed more than their share of our trees. They're desert-makers.

You may find you have a beaver move in on its own, in time. they can certainly do a number on riparian alders and willows.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 11:54AM
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beluga01

There's an article in the NY Times about herbicide, that strongly suggests that the stuff is actually much more dangerous at lower levels than the industry has been willing to declare. Read it at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/us/23water.html?hp

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 6:57PM
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JAYK(8b)

That article is about atrazine, which is not related to the products being discussed in this thread nor is it approved for aquatic use.

Herbicides vary greatly in their environmental and medical toxicity and in their characteristics such as persistence, solubility and so on.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 9:15PM
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rain2fall(8/Oregon)

What about Crossbow? Can it be painted on straight from the can? I'd like to try it on my blackberries -- cut the canes to ground-level and paint the cut end. The label says to mix the Crossbow with either diesel or kerosene, not water, for that purpose. I don't want to use those carriers. Does anybody know if straight or mixed with water will work?

Please -- no spraying anywhere near water.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 8:52PM
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JAYK(8b)

Crossbow is triclopyr ester(as opposed to the amine form of triclopyr in the brush killer mentioned earlier) and 2,4-D. While there are better surfactants for the environment than those carriers, such as methylated seed oil, Crossbow is not a good choice near water compared to glyphosate or the amine form of triclopyr.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 9:41PM
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blameitontherain(8 PNW wetandwetta)

From the makers of "Dances With Wolves": "Swims With Crayfish."

Yikes, somehow I picture Beluga and kin cavorting in the ol' swimmin' hole au naturel. I'm not a guy but the idea of splashing about with anything dangling over the claws of scuttling crawfish makes me wince. Codpiece, anyone?

Squeamishly,

Rain

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 5:02PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

>dangling over the claws of scuttling crawfishResulting in the combined new production Dances with Crayfish.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 5:10PM
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blameitontherain(8 PNW wetandwetta)

...not to be confused with the NC-17 version, "Castrating with Crayfish."

Shameless,

Rain

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 6:16PM
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