Eradicating lantana

bird_valleyAugust 30, 2002

My local council has given me four months (until 1 January 2003) to remove and/or 'suppress' red-flowering lantana in a particularly inaccessible and remote area of my property in the lower Hunter Valley NSW. No tractors can access the area, maybe a dozer but getting it in there would cost a fortune.

In total, the lantana covers about a quarter of an acre growing actively over the fence from my neigbour's property where it covers a huge expanse. While I am not happy to have lantana on my place at all, I have managed to kill off any further outbreaks which have sprung up further down the creek bed as birds drop their seeds.

I have previously had success with spot spraying outbreaks in March with Grazon herbicide, however it's not been 100% successful every time. The label says the plants must be actively growing (and flowering in March, I think) for Grazon to work.

The problem is that right now, it's as dry as the proverbial and the lantana out in the open is leafless and fairly sickly where it grows under the tree canopy. In other words I cannot see Grazon doing any good between now and January.

The label on Garlon herbicide says that cut stump applications (with diesel) are an effective control on lantana. I could scratch myself to death and get into some of the large clumps, cut the main stems (stumps) and paint a Garlon/diesel mix on.

But will it work? Should I wait till March or when some rain (pleeeeese) falls and the plants are actively growing?

The only other herbicide I can think of is Starane which I believe is specifically formulated for red-flowering lantana.

Any thoughts would be most welcome.

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Glyphosate 360 will kill Lantana and is reasonably cheap @ under $10.00 per ltr.(Don't waste your money buying 'Roundup' 'cos it's the same thing at almost double the price). I used 15 mls per ltr of water and got a good kill although if I had added a wetting agent and urea the kill would have been better. You will get regrowth from some mature plants at the bases after a few weeks and then they will need to be poisoned again. There will be small ones pop up (maybe for a few years) if they have seeded down, so a regular wander around the area with the 'back-pack' on is advisable. The caution I have to make though is only use Glyphosate when there is no chance of wind drift or overspray. HTH. teddy,J

    Bookmark   August 31, 2002 at 4:23PM
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I'd started on posting some thoughts but appear to have lost them while chasing up this URL which you might find interesting. I've chased, fairly successfully, lots of mainly pink lantana in CQld by a variety of methods depending on situation, health of the plant, energy levels etc. Shall also have a chat to my rels who have experience with red on the Connors/ Clark range south of Mackay.

Hope to get back to you later. Cheers, Rose.

Here is a link that might be useful: DNRM Pest Plant fact sheets

    Bookmark   August 31, 2002 at 5:12PM
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Thanks for the 'very useful' link Rose. teddy,J

    Bookmark   September 1, 2002 at 5:41PM
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I assume you sprayed the foliage. My problem is there is hardly any good foliage to spray and the plants are extremely stressed at the moment due to lack of rain over the past eight months. It's been my experience that spraying drought-effected plants or cut stumps doesn't always work. They go dormant and re-shoot when the rains come despite a dose of herbicide.

The label says Garlon 600 and diesel can be applied to cut lantana stumps at any time of the year. However it says that any application must be made when the plant is actively growing.

Maybe I should wait until spring shoots appear (if at all)and get an extension from the council.

Thanks very much for that link.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2002 at 6:11PM
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Hi B-V, I would do as you mentioned and ask the council for an extension and use Glyphosate which leaves no harmfull residues in the soil. The council should understand that the effectiveness of many herbicides is dependent on the weeds growing well. Unless you want bad residues in your soil, I would avoid anything that requires diesel. teddy,J

    Bookmark   September 2, 2002 at 5:43PM
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Under the canopy of Lantana, it is often surprisingly accessable (with a bit of squeezing here and twisting there0. I was quite successful by crawling under, cutting the trunk of the plant off at about ground level and painting the stump with neat Glysophate. I am also very tall.
The canopy will not collapse on you. It tends to just sit there. So I go through as far as possible cutting and painting, dragging my pruning saw, jar of weedkiller and paint brush. Then I find another access point and go in again. Not one stump has regrown!
Bit by bit over a few months I made quite an impact. Apparently this is a popular method with Bush regeneraters.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2002 at 5:23AM
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That's exactly what I thought I'd do. There are a few entrance points under the canopy through which I can gain access to stumps (hell you could almost set up camp in there!)

I pulled a few clumps about to test them, and they sort of sit on their edges (like an umbrella) and some bits have anchored themselves on trees higher up. As you moved through a clump you could eventually get all the main stumps and spot spray any regrowth afterwards.

Ahhh a few mls of rain have fallen...more please.

Robert, did you cut any small new growth with stems/stumps from say half an inch to an inch? There are a few new growth spots out in the open I want to poison.

Cheers, thanks for all the info.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2002 at 6:52PM
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Glad you've had some more good feedback. Certainly the crawl and cut method is one I've enjoyed(!) and had good results with. Seem to remember there are fewer prickles on the lower portions of the plant. Also like the minimal topsoil disturbance benefit tho' you may find that with the changes in light, nutrients, allopathic effect and straightout competion you get a crop of lesser weeds (painted spurge in my case) as well as hopefully something indigenous eventually.

Just think down the track when maintenance consists of roaming around after rain events gently pulling out small seedlings... you'll get there. Cheers, Rose.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2002 at 7:46PM
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I have read that the red flowering variety is the hardest to kill.
There are a few herbicides available for lantana but as the government site says, they have varying degrees of in it works on one plants and not the next?
Sorry I cant be of help.
They also say any shrub over 2 metres high will possibly not die?
Its a hard call, also, I didnt have too much so I did mine by hand as Glyphosphate had almost no effect on my ones here, the leaves dropped and then grew back.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2002 at 11:34AM
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Audioaus and everyone...thanks for the info. Negotiations for an extension of time are underway with council as they recognise the problem with herbicide treatments during drought.

I'll let you know what happens.

Cheers and thanks


    Bookmark   September 12, 2002 at 2:38PM
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Had a yarn with my sis about red in her area. She finds the "splat gun" (coarse drops) technique useful: glyphosate 360 1:10 with water. Particularly where there is regrowth for whatever reason; wait until it's , say, 18 inches plus height to give enough leaf area to absorb the chemical.

She also commented on the large number of seedlings she finds post-kill about the mature plant with red lantana.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2002 at 6:33AM
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Timing of application is the controlling factor - like with most weed control. The best times are spring and early autumn when there is active growth and that also depends on drought.

You may have had some of the recent rain and if not wait until the plants are growing actively between now and hopefully end of October. Use generic Glyphosate 360 @ 10 to 15 mls per 1 litre of clean water sprayed with a fine spray to run off and if the new leaves still do not wet easily add Agral wetting agent. Roundups major problem is the potent wetting agent in it which is very toxic in waterways.

Your problem even if you cut the stumps and yourself then paint with Glyphosate @ 3:1 painted on immediately you cut, will be getting back later to the regrowth in the dead tangle. If you can burn spray some of the grass or plants on the edge 30 days before you get fire authority to burn. There will be some regrowth which you may have to spray in spring and early autumn for this year or two. Good luck

    Bookmark   September 20, 2002 at 8:04AM
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UPDATE: Still no rain. However some lantanta clumps in full sun started to sprout (despire no rain/moisture). Couldn't resist testing a few large clumps,cutting them and painting some with Garlon/Diesel and others with RoundUp.

Got some lovely cuts and scratches on me arms as the lantana tried to strangle me as I crawled under its canopy and proceeded to cut off its four inch lifelines and give it a special drink.

Will let you know how these tests progress.

Certain (rainforesty) trees in the gully near the lantana are simply dying off as the dry really takes hold...not to mention the bushfires.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2002 at 3:39PM
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Hi Birdvalley, similar this area also, but we had our bushfires 3 weeks back now, don't have to worry about a thing now scorched earth, bare soil exposed to the elements and next rain will see all run down the hills and end up in the valley below.The only good thing to come out of it was it saved all that cutting and spraying.Will have to work on statagey to stop slope erosion now. Its a challenge this caring for the land?? isnt it. Peter R.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2002 at 1:00AM
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"The Council has given you four months" !! Surely you are not responsible for the lantana growing there. Once it is removed, will the Council prevent it re-establishing on your property from other areas ! Sounds like your Council is as backward, draconian and midaeval as Wollongongs

    Bookmark   November 17, 2002 at 9:38PM
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No the birds are responsible! But if I'd done something earlier, it would have been much easier to control. The place next door is really badly covered and I hope they do something.

I guess if everyone in my local area did their bit to control it, it wouldn't be the problem it sadly is.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2002 at 7:16AM
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Ive found that in rainforest country slowly but surely certain species will begin to push through the Lantana and shade it out. Species such as Archontophoenix cunninghamiana
and Elaeocarpus angustifolius will successfully beat the Lantana.
Has anyone see this before?


    Bookmark   November 26, 2002 at 11:16PM
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What about smothering with choko?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2002 at 4:33AM
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The selvage of the wet tropical rainforest in the Johnstone River watershed, specifically at Palmerston and Mena Creek grows the lush orange lantana, stinging tree, wild raspberry ++ as early invaders which then allow the early rainforest trees (sasparilla, milky pine) to emerge - provided the area is left to mend itself. CSIRO Forestry at Atherton must have a pile of data gathered now over the last 30 years unless they too have been razor ganged out by the Canberra philistines and leaden bean counters.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2003 at 12:45AM
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UPDATE: Three months later and no shoots from Garlon/Diesel treated cut stumps. However, roots about a foot from the main stump are still a bit green although they have completely died back to that point. While we've had some rain, I hope they don't shoot if we get a bit of a wet spell. If they stay dormant till April, I reckon that'll be the end of them.

Round-Up treated stumps have sprouted strongly from base and are a mass of green leaves - just about the only green thing left on the property.

Send me a truckload of Archontophoenix cunninghamiana
and Elaeocarpus angustifolius. Plus some chokoes.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2003 at 8:37AM
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Hey all,
Is Glyphosate harmful to livestock? I have plenty of lantana on the council side of my boundary fence and the council has cut it back, but has not removed the roots, i was hoping now to get in there and try and poison it off whilst i have the chance. But im not sure what i can use which wont be harmful to my horses who graze on the other side of the fence.
Any help would be great.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 11:45PM
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Hey all,
Funny that I have the same problem with Lantana and I live in the northern province of South Africa.I have also tried Glyphosate and had some plants die, while others just lost their leaves. There is something that works very well when sprayed on active growing leaves.It is called Browser and the main ingredient is Picloram potassium salt, it is however expensive but it really works.I am going to try the Gallon/Diesel way this winter.My biggest problem is that there

is no law inforcement, and my neighbours do nothing to control lantana

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 11:27AM
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I have dense lantana that is inaccessible, so I loaded an old fire extinguisher with diluted Glysophate, and pressurised it to 80 PSI, which then allowed me to discharge it some distance into the growth. It was a great success. A word of warning, don't use glysophate anywhere where it will run into water courses, since it is not good for frogs.
I have also cleared large areas of lantana, ( 26 acres, and 5 acres) where the trunks were as thick as 200mm, with a large Bobcat, and I found that it will crush and roll up quite well, allowing follow up treatment to be more effective.
On the smaller job, It was so dense that I found a collapsed WWII house full of ex army supplies, and a boat concealed beneath, and an old horse living in the gloom. Took the boat as payment!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 6:15AM
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There is registration for metsulfuron, you can mix it with Glyphosate as well.
If you are going to hit it, hit it with both, the hard part is being there and doing it Metsulfuron is dirt cheap.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 4:13AM
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