100,000 Buckthorns to kill

dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I thought I would open this subject on my system for killing Buckthorn here in Mn. I have been working on my 3 acre plot for 5 years now trying to kill it all. There were about 50 large trees and many more small shrubs when I started. Cutting down the trees and shrubs opened up the canopy and subsequently, the plants suckered with 50 times more plants and the dormant seeds in the ground added thousandns more. So, my system now is to use strong doses of 2-4-d. I can get 65% 2-4-d at Fleet Farm for about $16/gal. Using a strength around 2%, I get the new growth in April and May before the native plants come up. This pretty well kills the new growth and most of the plant.

So, along with pulling by hand, digging with shovel, and dousing with 2-4-d, I estimate my total kill will be around 100,000 plants by the time I'm done(another 5 years, maybe).

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terrineff

To abcsec(Zone 4): Congrats on your efforts! We were similar 'buckthorn virgins'; when moved into our metro Minnetonka property August 2014 had never heard of it. Lot consisted of 3.5 acres of pond plus 2 acres of invasive species. That fall we attacked females along house's east perimeter and particularly outsized females between backyard and pond. One we call "The Mother of All Buckthorn" -- looked like an ancient gnarled olive tree, likely original source of the thicket. Last year we focused entirely on wetland buffer area in hopes of gaining pond view from the house. Not yet. Had to desist when downed trunks and branches made the area impassable. Buy chipper/shredder. Still huge amounts fallen waste to address. Last month buy chainsaw (spouse to operate, off-limits to me). Past couple weeks I've addressed female saplings and regrowth on east perimeter trying 20% Triclopyr 4. Per my earlier post, mandated to use Shore Klear or equivalent in wetland buffer zone which is an 18% concentration. Wish could utilize 41% as disappointing stump regrowth. Tuesday began working west of the house and guess what? Thick with females covered with spiky thorns. Appears to be different variety. Nasty. Agree with you no one would guess how much work & how many hours we've put in to date. Hopefully addition of chainsaw to the armamentarium will accelerate progress. Oh, and of course I had to spray for new garlic mustard outbreak on slopes of city-cleared area we hope to develop as naturalscape. Lifetime battle....

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

There are several of us in the Twin Cities area. Holler if you need an extra hand sometime.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Previous post:

"abcsec(Zone 4)

I went back and looked at my Roundup mix rate. 6 oz 18% concentrate per 1 gallon water. Which gives a 5% solution, not 10% "

A problem with your math. A gallon is 128 oz. A ten % solution would be 12.8 oz of 100% Glyphosate!. But yours is only 18% Glyphosate so you would need 6 Times that amount or about 80 oz of your Glyphosate. But then that would amount to more than 200 oz of solution in total. So the math shows your numbers are wrong on the concentrate.

Another way to look at it, let's say you have a quart of 18% Glyphosate. To get 9% in solution you could only add twice as much water, or two quarts water to your 1 quart of glyphosate. To make it 10%, a little less water.

So, when you added 6 oz of 18% Glyphosate to 1 gallon of water, you were adding 6 times .18, or about 1.1 oz of pure Glyphosate to 128 oz of water. That is not a ten percent solution, not even 1%.

Fleet Farm has 41% 2-4-d. If I want a ten percent solution then I can cut 4 to one. Or 1 quart 2-4-d to 4 quarts water(1 gallon). Cost about $20. Cheap.

I bought 1 gallon of 41% Glyphosate, on Amazon, delivered for $20. Cheap.

I think Walmart has Glyphosate 25% in quart containers, about $10.

I buy at least 41% concentrate of any chemical so mixing math is easier!!!



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terrineff

Your point is ... math? Share your buckthorn kill results, not compulation please.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

I think Dandy_line's point is that this stuff is a lot of work, and doing it twice is twice the work (I double-checked my math on that, so think I got it right). Might as well mix the stuff right, so that we don't have the disappointments and have to do it all over again.

(and I'm thinking that 1 quart of 18% + 2 quarts of water = 6% solution)

Regarding cut and treat resprouts with weaker roundup or rodeo, I have had a 100% kill results using the weak retail store-strength stuff, but it wasn't just dabbed on. I soaked the top of the stump well, over and over, getting plenty of product to soak in. It takes standing around, waiting for it to soak in, and doing it again a few times. Those were cut at an angle, so there was more cambium area exposed. For what it is worth...

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A B(Zone 4)

Ok, dandy and Bill, I would definitely go with your math and experience. But here is my thinking. This is straight from the Roundup concentrate label.

"One quart makes up to 10 gallons of spray at the 3 oz./gal. rate."

So when I read this, I'm thinking by adding 6 oz./gal. I'm making a stronger solution than the 3 oz/gal. that roundup says will kill everyday weeds. When it comes to chemicals, I've alway gone by the motto, "a little goes a long way."

So I have two options.

#1 Wait and see what next year brings after spraying a weak solution (maybe I'll get lucky)

#2 Get out the 41% Big n' Tuf and re-spray this season hoping that I get my mix rate right and think of my first spraying as a lite appetizer. (Luck in my timing doing it this way?)

Like I said before, a lot of what I have learned has been from just getting out and doing and obviously from my "mistakes" too. Now my question is why don't the labels on these herbicide containers make it 100% clear and easy to follow what you are going to get when you mix for a gal. pump sprayer? An "end result percentage" chart would be great, or even a mathematical equation provided for the user to plug their numbers into. Haven't these chemical companies heard of Apps? I can understand why some people measure chemicals in glugs, glurps, drips and glops.

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terrineff

To abcsec(Zone 4): Love your comments as herbicide dilution labeling, seemingly written to obfuscate not educate. My first 'education' was improper 2,4-D weed application (too concentrated) because directions written in pints per acre, not % dilution. Fortunately only used in test area near roadside where no fescue or trees. Planned to do foliar spraying today but too windy. No visible results yet on saplings sprayed two weeks ago with standard RoundUp I found hiding in the garage.

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A B(Zone 4)

Had to post this. Click on page to enlarge.

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terrineff

No wonder colleges offer accredited technical writing classes -- only the person who wrote this treatise could possibly understand it!

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A B(Zone 4)

I guess what I took away from reading this study on glossy buckthorn were these two points:

"Owing to concerns for the environmental,
human health, and treatment costs associated with herbicide use, utilizing the lowest possible concentration of any herbicide is desirable"

"Our research fills an important information gap
by indicating that glyphosate concentrations as low as 1.25%
can be effective in killing glossy buckthorn resprouts arising
from mature plants previously cut and stump-treated with
20% glyphosate in Upper Michigan."


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terrineff

Thanks for culling out that information. What I find interesting is we've experienced varying degrees of success using same method / same batch of dilution / same day. Some regrowth required two foliar spray treatments at 3% for kill but several trunks of the same diameter still did not give up the ghost so resorted to 10%.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Thank you Terrineff, and others. As you said a while back"

"Only 6 to 7% active ingredient [glyphosate] is necessary for foliar applications (best for seedling & re-sprout spray in October, after leaves of native species have dropped)."

As we've discovered so far, manufacturers are interested in selling the stuff more than they want to convey accurate information.

Read the label ! It will show the active ingredient first(in USA), and inert ingredient last(which is water!). So if it shows 99.5% inactive ingredient, that only leaves 1/2 of 1% for Glyphosate or 2-4-d. Don't mess around, go to a farm store and get 41% or 61% Glyphosate(Roundup) or 2-4-d.

To figure out the dilution rate:

Take the concentrated amount, like 61% and divide by a number that gives the diluted amount wanted, like 6%. That gives the ratio, -1, that will dilute the concentrate.

Example: 61% to 6% solution. 61/6=10, subtract 1=9, so 9 quarts of water to 1 quart of concentrate will give 6.1% solution.

For stump treatment, I think previously it was suggested 20%, so that would be 61/3=20% Use 3-1=2 quarts water to 1 quart concentrate.


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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Headed to Tractor Supply right now to stock up on Agent Orange for the fall spraying. If I could only line up an air drop to get the whole woods full.

There was a you tube video about a small foaming sprayer which was used to apply a few blobs of 41% glyphosate foam (probably diluted a little by the blue soap) to a couple leaves and the stem of a Canada thistle. Killed it dead, without any carryover to non-target plants. I wonder if there is any application for any of these other things. I've got plenty of canada thistle to use it on. I wonder if it would work on those buckthorn trunk resprouts. Seemed like a minimal use of a good strong dose of buckthorn hurt!

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Maybe at 41% for Canada thistle. 2-3% foliar solutions just piss it off. The sprayed stems wilt and die but soon, their brothers and sisters are pushing out of the ground, typically giving you the middle finger. So it might be that two or more apps are needed on C. thistle. Tough, rhizomatous species.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Been seeing that particular finger too much lately. The triclopyr /diesel buckthorn mix seems to work on Canada Thistle, but I see the little ones jumping right up and laughing in my face. I'll keep at them.

There was still too much green in most areas of my woods last weekend to carpet bomb the buckthorn, but was able to find enough to empty one sprayerload full. Maybe next weekend.

Good news is that the sandhill cranes were there en masse, and got some good photos.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Species has been winging it over Wisconsin for at least two million years!

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A B(Zone 4)

Just finished re-spraying area #1 with a 10% glyphosate/1% 2-4d solution. Mixed 26 oz. 41% big n' Tuf glyphosate + 3 oz. 2-4d to (2 gallons) of water.

After my Oct. 5 label confusion and spraying of a measly weak 1% glyphosate solution, I learned the hard way, but that is usually the case. Hopefully the buckthorn enjoyed this heavier 10% dose.

I won't re-spray area #2 and compare the results of spraying with a 1% solution of glyphosate versus this heavier 10% dose. I'll monitor these two areas and report back on the results.

Here are the mixing tables from the glyphosate and 2-4d.

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terrineff

Foliar spray and/or stump sprout regrowth? Did you add surfactant? Any trouble achieving and maintaining suspension? Correction: My bad, upon re-reading noticed it's glyphosate, not Triclopyr. Have you ever mixed 2-4D & Triclopyr in water for use in areas where fescue and ornamental grasses present?

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A B(Zone 4)

Primarily foliar spray, no surfactant, no problems with suspension that I was aware of. Just an ordinary Joe out in the woods getting the job done, no phD or chemistry degree. I have yet to spray any Triclopyr, but I would assume that day will come. Regarding THISTLE: in my prairie restoration, I have spot sprayed Milestone on thistle and have had great luck. Just takes a quick squirt right down the throat. A few days and it is dead. Don't recall exact measurements but it is only a few ml. per gallon of water. Have heard some thistle may becoming glyphosate resistant.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Thanks for the suggestion of Milestone, abcsec! I'll give it a shot.


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terrineff

Despite all my research first time learning of Milestone. Feel I've been forced to become minor expert on invasive weed species and their eradication. Our property was platted in the 1950's but remained undisturbed until County 61 widened into multi-lane highway sometime after 2000. County planted a few conifers plus lilac and viburum shrubs and apparently scattered fescue seed. Fast forward to beginning construction fall 2013. Buckthorn, brush, and mature trees removed house and yard footprint, wetland buffer zone + wetland grounds not disturbed. Same for band of volunteer honeylocust trees infested with buckthorn thicket east of the house. Fall 2014 began addressing females in that east band, no-mow fescue lawn seeded + erosion matting literally final days of November preceding snow.

Spring 2015. Section of matting closest to 61 sprouting Canadian thistle, not fescue. Ditto south-facing house perimeter. First rounds 'o RoundUp. Area along 61 grows into weed-zones: Burdock /Common Mullein / Leafy Spurge /Western Ragweed/ Vetch /Oxeye Daisy. And of course all preceded by garlic mustard eruption. Attack with diluted HDX 41% glyphosate -- mullein, ragweed, oxeye laugh it off and keep coming. Research indicated need to spray ragweed with 2,4-D following spring at 2-4 leaf stage (ah, interesting naming coincidence), Ordered, check.

Spring 2016. Weeds stunting growth of shrubs and especially conifers. Hand clear 2-3' perimeters since read till soil = disturb weed seeds. Spray lush garlic mustard carpet along 61 viaduct, the first invader to appear. Most burdock gone. Same w/ spurge. No "field of ragweed" appears, spot treat w/ 2,4-D on occasion as plants emerge. Vetch controlled by 2,4-D. Fescue fills in area originally dominated by thistle. Then outbreak of enemy #1: oxeye daisy. 2,4-D prevents flowering but requires total leaf saturation to kill. Resort to spot glyphosate spraying, battle all year (using only 2,4-D in lawn). Mid- to late-summer enemy #2? Birdsfoot trefoil. Regular 2,4-D spraying of grassy areas required to achieve 90% control.

August 2016. Hand-pulled yellow nutsedge for two years but now threatening to choke out fescue in any thinly seeded area. Research reveals unless one kills or removes all tubers and rhizomes, simply regrows. Find Sedgehammer via Internet. One gallon sufficient to effectively kill on entire property. Fescue unaffected. Small victory. Hand pull dead sedge and build small mound's worth out of sight.

October 2016. Oxeye sans flowers laughing at me again. Try glyphosate w/ Triclopyr in water + surfactant, will see if more effective. Garlic mustard infestations reappear. Still finding occasional obnoxious mullein in far perimeters (hand pulled those where possible). Buckthorn work underway. Conifers and shrubs grew like crazy with abundant rain and less competition for nutrients. Rabbits, squirrels, and deer ate everything except catmint, tarragon, rosemary, oregano, lemon balm, lemon verbena and thyme. Even super hot chilis being consumed once turn red!

2017: Blast opening through buckthorn thicket to the pond, finally gain view from the house. Pray fall foliar spraying safely killed saplings thick among honeylocust trees. Apply pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide to boulevards and city-seeded grass areas. Aggressively treat early season garlic mustard. Hire professional to address trefoil and clover in the fescue. Keep learning and working to reclaim this gem of a property from "the gnarlys".

Realtor friend says we are all greatly increasing value of our properties as most buyers are now aware of buckthorn and simply do not want to deal with it. Period.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@terrineff, you asked about 2,4-D and triclopyr mix on grasses. I did that mix trying to slow down creeping charlie this spring. I may have mixed it too strong. Charlie laughed, grasses browned up some.

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terrineff

OMG, googled Creeping Charlie and realized that noxious weed made its first appearance in areas where yellow nutsedge knocked out. ARGH! But there is hope: "CC most susceptible to herbicides when flowering and when preparing to go dormant in fall. Make an attack right around time the first frost is expected or right after. If treated at this time plants store the herbicide, making it even more effective. Next project... Thanks for the heads up!!

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Yellow nutsedge is an interesting one; actually native, it has a terrible reputation because if you're trying to grow turf-like golf courses-this is a very tough weed. Somehow, that "problem"-one of maintaining an entirely non-native stand of "high quality" turf has been able to shift perceptions of this "weed"-actually a native plant that provides food for wildlife-into the very bad zone. I don't even manage for it in our sites and I sure would not be using a product intended to selectively take out sedges! They are collectively among our most valuable plants. a great report but that bit gave me pause.

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terrineff

On CC: http://freeplants.com/creeping%20charlie.html

On sedge: Our no-mow fescue seed Wisconsin's Prairie Nursery (interesting company history on website). A blend of six creeping fescues, once established it is drought resistant requiring little if any watering, its dense roots inhibit weed propagation, and is said to require no fertilizers or "chemical treatment". Where flourishing second year post-seeding--such as aforementioned thistle patch--minimal, directly-on-plant herbicide needed. Most sedge appeared on slope adjoining house where seeds washed down plus area under cantilevered room that blocks rainfall. After two futile years hand-pulling and re-seeding though native, falls into my weed sphere (MN classifies as secondary noxious weed).

My philosophy has become pick your poison. In east naturalscape I allowed horseweed, an unidentified weed similar in appearance to firewood, and (big mistake!) goldenrod to provide cover as city-spread fescue mix spreads down the slope. West slope: yellow rocket, field pennycress, milkweed, indigenous catnip, a controlled stand of vetch. In wetland buffer zone where buckthorn trees poisoned but left standing to provide dappled shade Pennsylvania sedge (actually a carex) appeared, keeping weeds to a minimum. Unfortunately its abundance may be indication of "lack of diversity and degraded habitat". Pick your poison...

In researching this post learned couple attractive plants I left untreated are the noxious weed hoary alyssum. Fire up the glyphosate / 2,4-D sprayer...

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ncrescue

I have to admit that since this thread got so long, I have not read it in a few months. However, I came across this new approach that some of you may be interested in. I think it will work for all types of trees, of course. Kill invasives without chemicals And it is from an area of many of the posters. I may try it myself on tree of heaven, a problem here in NC.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@ncrescue, thanks. I have heard that it works, as does an inverted coffee can. Hopefully you don't have too many buckthorns to deal with.

For the last few weeks, I have been spraying seedlings. Hopefully, the foliar spray with 2,4-D will kill them. There were many areas where I could not see the ground through the 12" to 18" tall buckthorn seedlings. Maybe I sprayed 5000 or more seedlings each week.

When I have the sprayer loaded with 2,4-D for the foliar spraying, I also carry a large lopper for the larger live buckthorns that I come across. In my shirt pocket is a paint marker, something like a Buckthorn Blaster http://landscape-restoration.com/product/ . It is loaded with 41% glyphosate and a little blue dye. The buckthorn is lopped near the ground at a 45 degree angle to give more cambium exposure (plus, I don't have to bend over), then dabbed with a healthy dose of glyphosate. My paint marker is small, about the size of a roll-on deodorant bottle, and it is still 3/4 full after three weeks in the woods, so I know that the chemical use is pretty low.

I'm going to try one more experiment this weekend. I bought some small foam pump bottles, http://www.premiumvials.com/50-ml-1-75-oz-clear-pet-bpa-free-refillable-containers-foam-pump-soap-dispenser/?gclid=COvNtoDx-s8CFQEyaQodcYsMWg and filled one with about 1/4 surfactant and 3/4 41% glyphosate, also with blue dye added. It does pump out foam. An empty hand cleaner or dish soap foam pump would also work. I'm wondering if the foam would allow a little larger reservoir of glyphosate to soak in to the stump. Again, a very small amount of chemical.


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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

I'm becoming impressed with those little pens. Even just like you are now using them-as sort of mop-up tolls-surprisingly useful, huh?

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Has anyone used a brush hog to "level the playing field", then foliar treat the resprouts with 24D as they appear? I'm thinking of trying this next spring on 6 acres of skinny but tall buckthorn. I'm currently going through with a chainsaw to remove and treat the larger stuff.

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terrineff

To bill_g_wisconsin: What concentration 2,4-D did you utilize for foliar spraying? Do you anticipate being able to tell if treatment successful this fall or must wait until spring to see what simply does not re-sprout?

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

gnome, we've done similar here in our stormwater utility. Basically, sandbar willow comes up everywhere and while native, we don't want sites consisting of 100% sandbar willow, so we brush hog that stuff whenever we can get into the sites with a tractor-which on't be anytime soon around here! A little wet shall we say! Then later, yes, we may go in and do foliar spraying with resprouts and seedlings. Similar to what you propose-just not identical. I think your plan a reasonable one.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

To terrineff I've been buying 41% 2,4-D and mixing 2 gallons of water, 1/2 gallon of 2,4-D. Just about the right sized load in the backpack. I also pour some blue dye and surfactant in the mix. Not sure if I will be able to tell this year or not.


To wisconsitom, yeah, the pens are pretty handy, especially when carrying a heavier load of something else. Now, if I could figure out some sort of holster on the sprayer for the lopper... A person might even be able to girdle the buckthorn with a pocket knife and use the pen to finish it off. That would make for a pretty lightweight setup for even recreational hiking through the woods down the road.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Question for terrineff : You mentioned "(big mistake) goldenrod" before. In some of the prairie seed mixes that I bought, there was quite a bit of goldenrod, which took over and choked out everything else. I've been going through and pulling it. Have you been doing anything to keep it thinned out? Some varieties are beautiful, and the butterflies and bees really like it, but it has grown so thick!

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terrineff

Bill_g: Thanks for your reply. None of my foliar spraying shows any kill progress. Month ago: 7% glyphosate east of fescue lawn where buckthorn saplings cover the ground around indigenous honeylocust. Three weeks ago: Shore Klear Plus (18% gly) saturation of re-sprouting tree stump foliage in wetland buffer. Two weeks ago: saplings encroaching along fescue perimeter with 7.5% Triclopyr + surfactant in water. Last week: 7% glyphosate + 2% 2,4-D on west naturalscape slope.

Re: goldenrod. I've posted what a noxious weed mix we 'inherited' from road construction soil disturbance. This spring hand-pulled all goldenrod 2-3' around conifers and shrubs; did not experience regrowth. Field of Western Ragweed did not materialize but goldenrod migrated to fill in a portion. Besides its rhizomatous spread, the tall dying plants late season provided cover for sprouting garlic mustard and enemy #1, oxeye daisy. Think next spring will hand clear around shrubs & anywhere near trees and then apply metsulfuron, working entire season to keep weeds at minimum prior to fall annual rye + fescue seeding. Initially I'd hoped to plant Prairie Dropseed but read it's difficult to sprout. Wild Bergamot, lemonbalm, catmint, and other members of the mint family in addition to prairie grasses seem to be the prescription. Work in progress...

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@ terrineff , this spring I did foliar spraying on the early buckthorn. It worked like a dream. Well, more like a nightmare. I sprayed too late, and killed everything in those spots. The areas I sprayed were completely devoid of vegetation most of the summer. Some things growing in now, and I suspect that it will be OK by next spring. I used Crossbow for that, a blend of 2,4-D and triclopyr, at the recommended, fairly weak dose. It would be interesting to see if that foam pump with glyphosate would hit those daisies without touching anything else. After garnishing your salads with those delicious young leaves from the daisies, of course. Maybe blended in with some young bergamot leaves. I don't know if garlic mustard would taste good with that or not, but I suspect that it would.


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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Surprised to hear oxeye daisy being such a problem. Nothing more than a tier three or maybe four invasive here......far far down the list of concerns.

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terrineff

To wisconsitom(Zone 4/5): Yes, somehow oxeye finds a way to sprout even amongst dense goldenrod and throughout second year no-mow fescue lawn. I find it the most difficult invasive to kill, must virtually saturate the entire plant base vs. for example, garlic mustard that is gone if even single leaf hit with 2,4-D.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Wow, what a bummer. As far as that goes, you identified the one big caveat i have regarding no-mow and low-mow fescues and such; They still will load up with weeds and need treatment for that if you want a relatively turf-like lawn. We're using such a groundcover in a "dry pond" which is part of our stormwater system, and so far I'm not impressed. Not only broadleaf weeds, but other, more aggressive grasses have been able to get in there and I doubt the stand will perform as advertised.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

So who has done in lots of box elder? I've got about ten acres of tree plantation that is doing very well, but neighbor's mother box elder tree-directly to NW-seeds in regularly. Every spruce, every larch has a *&^%$# box elder sapling coming up with it. My understanding is that glyphosate does a poor job on maple (box elder is a maple) and that it is triclopyr I want for this cut/treat job. Any opinions one way or another? Like all of you, the goal is to not have to repeat. As it is, more seeds form that tree will blow in. I'm thinking about talking to the guy about a trade; I'll give him 5 good trees if he takes that one box elder down!

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Just wanted to report on the foam pump sprayer with glyphosate, for what it is worth. I know it is a little off topic, but it worked very well. I mixed about 1/4 bottle of non-ionic surfactant and 3/4 bottle of 41% glyphosate. Well, I left some room for blue dye, which really helps. It was really easy to pump some foam on the thistles without hitting anything else. Other than having to go to the restaurant afterwards with a bright blue hand, it worked quite well, and pumped a nice foam blob which adhered to the thistle, and eventually flowed down the leaves.

After trying a couple of arrangements of this, I think I'd recommend just using the empty foam pump bottle of Dawn dish soap. It has some little "wings" which make it easy to grab on to.

I'll bet that would work for those oxeyes.

Regarding elm and triclopyr, there was a row of large chinese elms along our parking lot, which were taken down. Initially, they survived a double girdle with a chain saw. Once cut down, they resprouted like crazy from the stump. I happened to have some triclopyr/diesel in backpack sprayer, still in the car. I hit them hard, and they browned up and seemed dead for over a year. I see that one is now starting to resprout. Tough trees! Might have worked better if I had sprayed them right away when the sap was still flowing down.

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A B(Zone 4)

Bill, have you come across this Green Shoots website? https://www.greenshootsonline.com/


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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Yes, I saw that, abcsec. Being a cheapskate, I thought I'd try the $1.69 solution (or free, with the empty dish soap bottle) instead of the $100 solution. Their bottles do look good, though.

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klunker

I have done lots of Box Elder.

I used triclopyr and diesel sprayed on the trunk from ground up to about 12-18". Killed everyone, even the larger (6-10") dia. trees. After they die I give them about a month then cut them down. No resprouts. Ash and Elm are tougher. I have about 1 acre field that I have been transplanting prairie flowers into. I find a elm seedling dig it out and into the hole goes a transplant. I was thinking of finding a source of "cheap" cover to kill seedling trees like the Buckthorn baggie.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Thanks klunker. Yes, everything I read leads me to the conclusion that triclopyr will work on the box elder. I will likely have to do cut/treat as many of these are growing right in amongst good trees. Imazapyr is mentioned for work similar to what you did, but if triclopyr can do it, I'd prefer to use that chemical. Imazapyr is a bit too persistent for my tastes.

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terrineff

Wine country has its fall stomping of the grapes, with this gorgeous weather decided to stomp down my field of dead Goldenrod. No intent to spray but found extensive Oxeye outbreak so mixed 7.5% Triclopyr + 1% 2,4-D + surfactant to spot apply plus hit buckthorn saplings along a silt fence. Did find saplings foliar-treated with same mixture three weeks ago (separate location) turning brown and shriveling.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

terrineff, what general area are you in? Reason I ask is that there are an awful lot of good goldenrods. They are generally native, beneficial plants, known to be powerhouses for pollinating insects. True, the giant Canada goldendrod is both native and considered invasive in many areas, but goldenrods generally are desirable plants, not weeds! I'm just kind of wondering what is going on with your battle against this native and beneficial species.

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terrineff

wisconsitom(Zone 4/5): Don't want to seem a broken record, I've written on this subject previously. We live in Minnetonka, east of 494 immediately along Cty 61 /Shady Oak Road. Property is oak savanna cleared for farmland, then platted but undeveloped in the 50's . When 61 expanded into a four-lane highway ~10 years ago massive soil disturbance; other than seeding narrow strip of bluegrass and handful of conifers& shrubs, city/county allowed weeds to claim the naturalscape. It is our third year owning the property, first able to address slopes in earnest.

Yes, mine is Canadian goldenrod. Over three years watched it spread, thinking least noxious 'poison' (as in pick your --). But where cleared around conifers and shrubs, amazing growth vs. 2015. Goldenrod also provides cover for my Enemy #1, Oxeye daisy, along with Canadian thistle. Our ultimate goal is prairie restoration with native grasses and indigenous oak savanna species. Useful links:

http://oaksavannas.org/

http://oaksavannas.org/savanna-forbs.html#Pruka

(Interestingly, naturalscape west of the house where soil was not disturbed contains abundant rare purple milkweed and to lesser degree, other forbs on Pruka's List #1.)

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

wisconsitom, I agree that some of the goldenrods are beautiful and good. My small patch of restored prairie grass became so choked with them that nothing else grew underneath them. Part of the goal at my home was to develop a deep root system to fend off the riverbank erosion. Goldenrod defeated that. The bees and butterflies really do like them, though.

There were a couple of taller things that came through, like swamp milkweed, stiff sunflowers and cup plant, and this year, finally, a little joe pye, but the short stuff was gone. Where I removed all of them in one spot, I had to re-seed because it was just dirt where they had been. I'm either going to pluck them all or start over with glyphosate. My place in Wisconsin is starting to get choked with goldenrod, too, so I've been pulling them as I go. Unfortunately, they were in the seed mixes that I bought for both places.

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terrineff

Today two hours lop and/or saw cut + Triclopyr stump application. Me 100+, buckthorn one --as a trunk fell hit jagged dead buckthorn branch that richocheted into my chin. Dangerous work but did manage to create another path to our pond.

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Nettie

Completely trashed my back two years ago with the buckthorn clearing so not much done this summer. I did want to say that we are currently using the cut up buckthorn logs in our wood furnace- love how it burns...hot and clean and with the added benefit of feeling satisfaction that it is no longer growing in the woodlands.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Made my fourth trip to the Arboretum today for the year. Brought 1 1/2 gallons of triclopyr/diesel mix. Used it up in about 1 1/2 hours. Will have to try to remember that usage rate in the future. Mostly basal bark treatment but with a little foliar spray too. Also hit some Asian Honeysuckle with the spray, another mess to deal with in the future.

I'm now seeing the 2nd generation sprouts coming up, a thick carpet of new inch high seedlings which are going to have to be dealt with soon. It's been really nice here this week with temps in the 60's so think I might set out again next week with about two gallons of 2-4-d mix to hit some of the new seedlings. Practically everything else is dormant now so should be little collateral damage to natives. Saw one small area with about 1000 seedlings all clumped together. Think I'll put a little plant label on it denoting this is Buckthorn for visitors to see.

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terrineff

to dandy_line(3B): What concentration 2-4, D do you plan to use? For basal bark treatment did you target all females first? Is the intent to leave dead trees and shrub-size buckthorn in place? Always interested how others approach this issue.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

For foliar spray, probably around 7 to 10% concentration of 2-4-d. I really like to spray on tender young leaves in Spring as they seem to really sop up the poison at that time. So I hope I do some major damage this Fall yet.

At this point there are no longer large trunk type BT on the property so I just hit everything I see. Yes-I leave almost everything in place, except very large things like dead Asian Honeysuckle, which I plan to remove next year. The smaller shrubs seem to disappear on their own after a few years. New vegetation fills in rapidly once the BT is dead.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

dandy_line,

In your initial post at the very start of this thread (way back in 2007), you indicated that you used a 2% 2-4-d solution for spring foliar application. Did this concentration turn out to be too low, or is a higher concentration only needed for fall application? I want to spray about 6 acres next spring, but need to do it in the least expensive way I can.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Wow-you know more about me than I do! I'm not sure how to answer this question since I cannot remember the details from 9 years ago. I suspect that I have just upped the quantity a little bit since then, and these are not young leaves I'm trying to take out this late in the season. I'm glad you reminded me because I want to make sure I don't over do the poison as this will be going directly on the ground. So my guess is I will use about 5% mix this time.

To make a point, there really is no exact percentage, only an approximation and I do not make real careful mixtures.

In your case in the Spring, after spraying wait about a week and the leaves should be showing severe depredation. If not, then up the dose by doubling the previous percentage. And, make sure you wear some sort of respirator and leather gloves.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Dandy_line, in the fall, what do the leaves look like a few weeks after the 2,4-D foliar spraying? I've been hitting them with an 8% solution, and they look a little patchy after 3 weeks, but I can't say they look like they have been whacked.

On another subject, there is quite a bit of green besides buckthorn that I've not been able to identify. I think some might be bloodroot, which I avoid spraying, and there are some large clumps of larger, round dark green leaves, flat on the ground. I'm not sure how to identify garlic mustard, and I hope it is not what I'm looking at, but if so, I want to whack it at the same time. What else is green that is native and good right about now?

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terrineff

Bill, could you upload photo of the round leaf plant? First year I was thrilled to find thick patch of wild ginger -- which turned out to actually be first year growth of biennial garlic mustard.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

......and garlic mustard, when crushed, will smell like...........garlic!

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Thanks dandy_line, didn't mean to put you on the spot like that. All of the official information on buckthorn control seems to focus on triclopyr, even though it seems 2-4,d works just as well but at a lower cost. I wish the powers-that-be would concentrate their research on finding the most cost effective approach to encourage more homeowners to take on the battle.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

I think glyphosate is just fine for buckthorn. I get into triclopyr once the conversation turns to native-but obnoxious-box elders. Being maples, glyphosate doesn't quite do it on these things. One thing with glyphosate of course is that the water carrier will freeze. Guys are using regular automotive windshield antifreeze in the mix, I do believe.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

I've never had luck using glyphosate as a foliar treatment for buckthorn. I get a little browning but very little in the way of total kills. For cut stumps however, it's fantastic and near 100% effective for me. I'm thinking of starting with a 3 or 4% 2,4-D for my foliar application next spring after brush hogging and see what happens.

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terrineff

Thanks for the tip on glyphosate used as foliar treatment. 2,4-D it is in the future.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

My bad- I thought we were talking about cut/treat. Yeah, for foliar, it would depend on what else is around or in the background.

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A B(Zone 4)

What do you say on the 10th anniversary of this blog/thread, December 10, 2017. All the pertinent and effective techniques and chemicals/mix rates be culled out and all the BS discarded. I think a nice book/pamphlet/flyer could be published and would be a great resource for the average amateur buckthorn warrior. Obviously titled; 100,000 Buckthorn to Kill

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Yes, good idea. I am involved in invasive plant species in my work and to me, buckthorn is the very worst offender, although there are many more. I might go into consulting when I retire in the next 5 or 6 years, and a key aspect will be invasive plant species management.

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terrineff

To wisconsitom: Neighbor who built the same year has spent $$$$ on professional buckthorn removal and noxious weed control. She doesn't want to be bothered so there's definitely a market for your services. City of Minnetonka NR Restoration Specialist said there are goodly number landscaping companies that don't know what they're doing; i.e., remove beneficial native cover along with invasives.

To abcsec: Excellent. Why condemn each newbie undertaking prairie naturalscape reclamation to reinvent the wheel?

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A B(Zone 4)

BOTH PHOTOS TAKEN NOVEMBER 8, 2016. Ok, what I have here is a photo comparison between an area of buckthorn that was sprayed with a 10% glyphosate/1% 2-4d solution on Octber 18, 2016 and an area of buckthorn 50 yards away that was not sprayed. I can see a difference, wether or not this sprayed, browning buckthorn equates to KILL, I will have to wait until next year to see. I can only hope.


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terrineff

Anyone know if 'mutant' garlic mustard? Leaf shape has me questioning its identity.


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terrineff

Walked to polling place and back, route taken once before by car. Road crosses marshland with creek on either side. Slopes are nasty, nasty dense female BT plus roadside is thick with garlic mustard and Creeping Charlie. How can we keep up?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

terrineff, that might be what I have at the lake, too, and I don't think it is garlic mustard (hopefully). There is some garlic mustard down the street from my house that was thick last spring, so I walked down there and looked closely. Besides being rounder, the garlic mustard leaves by me had a much more textured surface, wrinkled almost like the surface of a boneset leaf. Hopefully, someone can ID this thing and it is not an evil alien invader.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

kind of looks like motherwort to me. We have tons of it mixed in with the garlic mustard.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I agree-Motherwart. Not native and only mildly invasive. Easy to pull up.

Did my last spray for the year with one gallon 4% 2-4-d. No BT tops with foliage anymore, just new seedlings at ground level. Think I am too late in the season now as most of the leaves had lost a lot of their chlorophyll which I suppose means the metabolism has decreased significantly. Must plan to get out there early next Spring and see the results.

terrineff, since you are doing a massive restoration on your property would you like some Viburnum triloba seeds to get into the ground this fall? They have been cold stratified for a year so should germinate next year.

If so, Go find my home setting and send me a private msg with your addr and I'll get them out right away.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Kill that motherwort though. I wouldn't call it "easy"....it spreads like mad, by seed. All I have to do is see the stuff from across the road and there will be motherwort seeds stuck to my pants legs.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

bill_g_wisconsin, I sent you a private msg. Check your junk box if you haven't seen it.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

dandy_line, did you get my reply? I'm not sure it got through. I'll try again.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Ok Bill. Got your msg.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Terrineff-did you get my email? Check your junk box because this houzz is a .com now and may be flagged as junk.

To Abcsec: Your photos do show that the spray affected the plants. To how much, I can't say. But my experience with Glyphosate is that it takes a long time before the kill sets in. You will know sometime in May next year.

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terrineff

To dandy_line: Received and responded via Houzz message unless subsequent to forwarding my address. Thanks again for your offer. Spouse just came in saying unfortunately lithium battery on chainsaw out of charge after two hours stump killing females. My advice, charge that baby up and try to get another half hour in while daylight. What perfect BT kill weather!

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Glyphosate often works slowly. For one example, way back in the 70's when the stuff was new, farmers would spray fields full of Johnson grass, only to see no reaction. But come spring, all that grass would be dead. It takes time and this is by design; Moving slowly through the plant ensures total kill.

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A B(Zone 4)

Got out into the woods as temps were slightly above freezing December 20, 21. Took my dauber bottle with 40% glyphosate mixed with a little isopropyl alcohol and my trusty Corona RS 7500 razor tooth pruning saw. Last winter I cut down a group of buckthorn with 3"-4" diameter trunks. Leaving about 3 feet of trunk standing. This summer they sent out new branches from the top of the trunk, so they were easy to spot. Yesterday and today I cut them as low as I could go (approx. 6") and treated the cambium layer with my dauber bottle. I enjoy these days in the winter, when you can roll around in the snow and feel like you might be making some progress in the fight. Hopefully the buckthorn sucked down my mixture to the roots.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

It should.

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fherlingjr

Alright everyone, is NOW a good time to cut buckthorn? Middle of February, 45 degrees. There's no leaves so it easy to cut up and burn as I go. I'm spraying the stumps as well.

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A B(Zone 4)

This is my non scientific answer: in the fall and winter the buckthorn is using its energy to draw down nutrients to the root system. In the spring and summer the buckthorn is pushing nutrients up to the branches and leaves. You want to treat the stumps when the plant is drawing down to the roots. There must be some point at which the buckthorn switches modes? Your guess is as good as mine, but I would guess late February early March, or maybe maple syrup season, would be a good time to stop treating? All you experts set me straight...

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Any time is a good time to kill it. Go ahead and cut/treat them now and give us a report in a year as to how well it worked.

I like foliar spray on large swaths of small shrubs in May, as the young leaves really absorb the chemicals deep into the plant.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

For cut/treat, A B has summed it up nicely' Quit when the sap is running. It really is just that simple.

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terrineff

Cut/treat time is over. Now cleanup of felled trunks, dead branches, and mounds of twigs begins in earnest. Pulled first garlic mustard and Oxeye daisy shoots Monday. Herbicide spraying to initiate soon. Does anyone on this thread have experience using picloram or metsulfuron to control Canadian goldenrod and common mullein?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

My understanding is that picloram stays in the soil for a very long time. I'm not a pro, though. Maybe Wisconsitom could shed some light.

I used triclopyr for the goldenrod, spritzing the top of the plants. It was my buckthorn mix in diesel fuel, but in a little spray bottle. It killed them. I wish I had not done that, though, as it damaged some cup plants nearby, and other things. In hindsight, I wish that I had just pulled them. They seem to be pretty shallow-rooted, and come out easy, especially after a rain.

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terrineff

to bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3): Thanks for your response. Last year I hand-pulled in an area with minimal goldenrod; that + 2,4-D of mustard and Oxeyes allowed fescue to fill in nicely. Section I want to treat is quite large. Other than city-planted viburnum shrubs, nothing desirable is present. Imagine I could hand pull around shrubs and new plantings (catmint, Russian sage, salvia) to reclaim widening area each year plus treat open areas. Was leaning toward metsulfuron based on Internet comments.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Avoid picloram if you care about groundwater. It goes down down down. Not a reasonable material for the uses for which it's labelled-it should be pulled from the market.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Triclo-flation! Wow! Triclopyr went frim $51/gallon to about $70/gallon at my favorite places. Does anyone have a good source? I wonder if county entities ever buy in bulk so the landowners can get in on the quantity purchase?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

You were getting a real bargain before at $51/gal. My source at Amazon is now $69 delivered. That's the best that I can find. I did get Glyphosate for $20/gal about 2 years ago on Amazon.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I forgot to add that a friend of mine was paying $100/gal for Triclopyr at the local farm store.

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terrineff

Timing of this post fortuitous. Created spreadsheet of dilutions for various buckthorn applications but did not save my back-of-the-envelope calculations for broadleaf weeds. What are % and volume dilution 2,4-D / triclopyr 4 / glyphosate, etc. per gallon are others using?

dandy_line, I'm guessing you purchased Triclopyr 4 from Agri Star as I did.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Farm and Fleet had 2.5 gallons of Cropsmart 41% glyphosate on sale last week for $34. Unfortunately I didn't discover it until last night! Sale is over now.

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terrineff

gnomeabram: Have you begun 2,4-D 3 to 4% foliar treatment of buckthorn saplings? Yesterday discovered areas needing treatment if you believe effective.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

terrineff, for triclopyr, I'm using the same stuff from Amazon as you and dandy_line. I mix it in my 2.5 gallon backpack sprayer, 1/2 gallon triclopyr and 2 gallons of diesel for basal bark applications. It seems that when I count, I can zap about 1500-1800 buckthorns with that batch.

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terrineff

bill_g_wisconsin: Actually haven't done basal bark applications. Rather cut stump or frill treatment mixed w/ glyphosate, surfactant, and H2O as we target primarily females. Do you treat 1-2' saplings budding now and if so, with what?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

What is "frill" treatment? Not mentioned before, I think.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

terrineff, I have only done some spot foliar spraying so far with 1% 2-4-d since I'm mostly after weeds right now. I managed to get everything clear cut to the ground this winter with my echo brush cutter (didn't need a brush hog) and they are just now showing signs of resprouting. I figure by the middle of may I will have to start mixing large batches of 4% 2-4d

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terrineff

Our Minnetonka city arborist is big proponent of frill treatment where one wants to kill but leave trees standing either due to difficult access, desire to avoid herbicide use in proximity of specimen trees, or maintain dappled shade to inhibit otherwise inevitable explosion of dormant noxious weed seeds in the soil; e.g. garlic mustard. Personally I found this technique very useful on wooded slopes. https://eminnetonka.com/images/naturalresources/CHEM%20control%20of%20BTH%20Feb2016.pdf

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terrineff

gnomeabram: Thanks for the tip. Fortunately most saplings located in naturalized area where no concern re: drift to perennials and shrubs.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

terrineff, I haven't found the best answer for that. I've made mistakes, though. Glyphosate kills everything, obviously, so it takes a while before it looks like anything other than a wasteland. There is plenty of green besides the buckthorn that gets wiped out. 2,4-D same thing with the broadleaf plants. Triclopyr overspray has killed trees for me, unfortunately, when I get carried away with the carpet bombing of those patches. I'll have to deal with them soon, though. Quite a few viburnums to plant where the buckthorn used to be. Also putting in some pin cherries.

This stuff is tough. A couple of years ago, I wiped out 90% of the buckthorn in some areas. Last year, I got the other 90%, and this year I'll get after the other 90%.

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A B(Zone 4)

The buckthorn that I sprayed with a 10% glyphosate/1% 2-4d solution on October 18, 2016 appears to be having a difficult time making a comeback this spring. Note deeper in the woods the green foliage. The areas I hit with spray were dense with 3-4' trees. I also noticed the area I sprayed with just a 1% solution of glyphosate, seems to have had an effect on the smallest trees and saplings with what I guess would be a 50% kill rate? On another note, just came in with a bowl full of morels. (Not from the area I sprayed;)


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kamereone(MA z5b/a)

I've noticed this thread in the list many times over the years, and it always caught my eye, but I never opened it to read - perhaps my subconscious was trying to protect me from a horrifying realization: I've got buckthorn. (insert horror movie sound effects here)

Lots of good info in this thread, one question I have is: What method(s) are you using to positively identify buckthorn vs. not? Are there any desirable species that are visually similar, or is there a distinct trait that is unique enough to enable bull-in-china-shop mad-man swath of destruction?

Thanks :)


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terrineff

To MA z5B/a: Where do you live? Naturalized property? Have neighbors allowing their property to 'run wild'? As an ND and CA gal, never heard of buckthorn until moved to platted but undeveloped Minnetonka MN property. Yes, BT is identifiable but I suspect every person on this thread has inadvertently learned lessons by removing desirable plant species. Just part of the learning curve. Good luck.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Common buckthorn is the one that's far and away most problematic where I work and live, and it's hard to imagine mistaking it once one gets reasonably familiar; Begin by looking for those shrubs/sub-trees having glossy bark. Look for early leaf-out in spring (but not as early as now-bright-green exotic-invasive honeysuckles now greened out in the north)/late leaf senescence in the fall-long after nearly all native deciduous shrubs. Look for spur-like thorns. Look for glossy green fruits later this growing season which turn deepest black by winter and persist on the shrubs. Against the snow, nothing else like it, even if Aronia and some other genera also give us black fruit in this zone. If you have primarily glossy buckthorn, then it's a different thing. We've got that too, but it's child's play (so far) compared to Rhamnus cathartica.

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terrineff

wisconsitom(Zone 4/5) Thanks for the tip re: avoid picloram. Ordered metsulfuron for control of my Canadian goldenrod explosion but early season 2,4-D spraying for various noxious weeds has proved it quite susceptible, readily killed. Fescue now spreading down those slopes. For now will retain select areas to prevent erosion.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

I performed my first large-scale spraying this weekend following the clear-cut removal of about 2 acres of sapling/seedling buckthorn/honeysuckle over the winter. It took over 6 hours spanning two days to spray 12.5 gallons of 2.5% glyphosate and 5 gallons of 4% 2-4,d. The 2-4,d was only sprayed in areas with existing field grass. There is very little in the way of native species on the property. Blue marking dye was used.

Since I have hard water, I mixed 30 gallons of water in a plastic garbage can and added 5 lbs of Ammonium Sulfate a few days prior. (source: https://grdc.com.au/Media-Centre/Media-News/South/2015/01/Getting-chemistry-in-the-spray-tank-right (under the headings "The Party Venue" and "Match Making")

I had originally planned to use an echo backpack sprayer, but I have bad shoulders and found the sprayer to be intolerable. Instead I used this wheeled sprayer: https://www.ruralking.com/country-way-5-gallon-rechargeable-sprayer-lg-05-ss.html . I liked not having to pump it up, but the wand is no where near the quality of the back pack sprayer, which I'm sure resulted in a lot of overspray. It also didn't navigate all of those sapling stumps very well. I would not recommend it over a backpack sprayer.

Everything over 1/2" diameter was stump treated at time of cutting with concentrated glyphosate and doesn't appear to be resprouting.

I'll report on the progress over the next few weeks. I anticipate performing another large scale spraying in June. I hoping to plant grass and wildflower seed next spring.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

To kamereone : I've made some mistakes with identification, mostly trying to identify by bark after the leaves are gone. The bark looks like other fruit trees, so I have killed a couple of plums and black cherry trees, unfortunately. Once you learn the leaves, particularly the veins that turn back in towards the tip, it is hard to mistake. Soon, it will be like "the force is with you" as you smite the buckthorn with your light saber.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

To kamereone again: If you choose to do the basal bark application with triclopyr, I'd encourage you to have a few more tricks up your sleeve. Sometimes, the buckthorn comes up close to the trunk of a desirable tree. I've killed some desirable trees by being too exuberant. Depending on the size of the buckthorn, either pulling it out by the roots, or cutting the trunk and treating the cut stump with glyphosate using a sponge tip applicator are safer for the big tree. Now that I have the majority of the big ones out, I'm switching to more of a maintenance mode using those two methods.

A question for my brothers/sisters in arms... is there a good tool to assist in pulling the two-foot tall, 1/4" to 1/2" diameter type saplings? The "weed wrench" type tool is awfully heavy, doesn't seem to grip the small trunks, and can't pull larger ones because of the nasty roots. I'm thinking if there was a lighter weight tool with a shovel type "D" handle, and maybe a compound leverage "vice grip" type gripper, a guy could pull a bunch in a day without screwing up his back.

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A B(Zone 4)

Bill, your comment got me to thinking this morning. I usually resort to my pick axe as it is not extremely heavy and has good leverage. I have had good success getting the pointed end under the root and prying the buckthorn out. I have dreamed about rigging up a chain with brush grabber on the end and using my t-post puller, and trying that. But haven't done so yet.... When I went to look at brush grabbers this morning I came across this interesting tool on Amazon. I like the idea, but based on reviews, it looks like it could use some design improvements.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001TK22P6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B001TK22P6&linkCode=as2&tag=chainjourn-20&linkId=QSFH6FYDY5ZPN23X

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Some success was noted this week on areas that I started restoration three years ago. In the first photo, there is a dead BT stick and new ground cover of Wild Ginger that wasn't there last even year. Proof that the seed bank is there just waiting to recover.

The 2nd pic shows an area that is under where a large BT was eradicated last year with Triclopyr. The ground underneath is covered with small Glossy Buckthorn, circled in red(those I could identify). Shot them dead with 2-4-d.


Also some Populus balsamifera in an area that was solid BT two years ago.


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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

A-B, the ones that I want to pull are the little ones. If I am wearing gloves, I can usually get a grip and yank them out with a two-leg pull. I hang them in the branch forks of some of the other dead buckthorn rather than put them back on the ground. But, for an old man, it is a lot of bending over. Earlier this week, I ordered a "Grandpa's Weeder" http://www.grampasgardenware.com/ to see if it works. It is not exactly what I was looking for, because it does not grab the stem, but it might hook the roots. If it does, it will save a lot of bending over. If it doesn't work on buckthorn, there plenty of weeds in the yard that it can used on. When it comes in, I'll post a report.

Maybe someday, I'll build something like a miniature weed wrench for those little guys.

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terrineff

To dandy_line: How did you discern the excellent ground cover wild ginger was not garlic mustard when began sprouting? Spraying for g,m, yesterday I may have inadvertently killed a small patch, first appearance of ginger on the property if so.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Update to my post from 5/10/17 (one week since spraying): Buckthorn/Honeysuckle that was treated with 4% 2-4d is noticeably wilting/shriveling, whereas everything treated with 2.5% Glyphosate is not wilting much, but instead experiencing varying amounts of chlorosis. I would not declare anything "dead" yet. This has me a little concerned since the research posted by A B on 10/14/16 indicated there should be some death by Glyphosate by now. However, the weather has been somewhat cool up until the last couple of days so I'm not overly concerned. Will post another update next week.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

terrineff: I didn't spray this area this year. It is the result of being BT free, and I don't access this area that frequently.

gnomeabram, It was posted some time back that Glyphosate has a mush longer kill time, which allows the chemical to get deep into the roots. So, wait for at least a month. The 2-4-d is faster acting but may allow some new growth to regenerate.

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A B(Zone 4)

I am very pleased with the results I am seeing from my FALL spraying on Oct. 18. I can see clean through the buckthorn that I sprayed, where as before the spraying it was a dense wall of buckthorn. The young buckthorn that I sprayed with 1% glyphosate seems to have about a 50% kill rate. The larger 3'-4' that I sprayed with a 10% glyphosate/1% 2-4d is dead at a 90% rate or have extremely immature/stunted leaves at a 10% of overall sprayed area. I am guessing this buckthorn is on the way out as it looks sickly. I will continue to watch and see if the immature/stunted buckthorn is able to make a comeback or bites the bullet. I will definitely be spraying every late October based on my results from last season. I hope to someday try the basal bark method with Triclopyr and diesel with a low pressure sprayer but haven't cleared that hurdle yet.

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terrineff

Out of state for one week, last week rain and family obligations prevented weed spot spraying. Finally yesterday walked much of the property. Much to my dismay, garlic mustard explosion on portion of west slope naturalscape. I've also noted must be banner year for Creeping Charlie, a new invader popping up everywhere. How are others dealing with 2017's most problematic invasives?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

I think i spotted some garlic mustard last week. Won't have a chance to get at it this weekend. Hit about 200 or so wild parsnips with a shovel and a large infestation of canada thistle with triclopyr. Not optimistic about the demise of the thistle, though, because it started to rain shortly after.

Reporting on the effectiveness of "grandpa's weeder" on young buckthorn. Does not work, unfortunately. Otherwise, it is a well made tool for dandelions, etc, like it was designed for. Buckthorn roots are wrong for it.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Update to my post from May 15th 2017: Practically everything that was sprayed with glyphosate and 2-4-d looks the same now - very yellowish-green or shriveled, and no additional growth. However, I'd say only 10% or so are officially "dead" with no leaves. There are plenty of cut off buckthorn and honeysuckle seedlings interspersed that didn't re-sprout until after the first spraying, so I've started spraying again today and hope to finish in the next couple days.

PS - What are people's opinions on Pokeweed? I've got tons of it all of a sudden, and opinions seem to vary on its value. It responds very well to glyphosate I've discovered. The tall plants are a nice change of pace to the otherwise post-buckthorn, barren landscape. I'd like to keep a couple of the strongest/best positioned plants but it seems to spread like crazy so I'm contemplating eradicating it before I spread wildflower/grass seed next spring.

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terrineff

To gnomeabram: Pokeweed's a new one for me, haven't found on our property -- fortunately. Per google research links would seem prudent to eradicate ASAP: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/rid-pokeweed-75758.html

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terrineff

In from 90 minutes pulling Canadian goldenrod and Oxeye daisy. Another round spot-spraying Oxeye in order as sprouting like crazy; our clay soil is SO dry amazing that nasty stuff can flourish. Everyone else experiencing conditions that seem to be morphing into hot, dry summer drought weather pattern?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

They say that goats eat the buckthorn, but maybe you need Polk Salad Annie to move in and eat the pokeweed. All due respect to Tony Joe White. (According to Wikipedia, "poke sallet" is a cooked dish of pokeweed, which tastes a little like spinach. Not to be confused with "salad". Apparently bad for you uncooked)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRF24LY5pvw

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Update from last weekend...

not too much effort on the buckthorn - will wait until July to hit it. The effort now is trying to hit all of the canada thistle and wild parsnip before it blooms. Tried the foaming dispenser of glyphosate on some areas of thistle, and backpack sprayer glyphosate / blue dye trickling down the thistles in thicker areas. The foam pump was nice, but didn't hold enough product to cover more than just a small area. Hopefully, the glyphosate nails them. Shot well over a thousand of them.

Cut the parsnip tops off with a parsnip predator shovel, and hit a few that I missed while doing the next pass with the backpack sprayer. When I get back to it in a couple of weeks, I'm sure the parsnips will be all flowered out, and I won't make the mistake of just letting them lay there after pulling again. I think the seeds still develop that way.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Thanks for the links, its a plant with a very interesting history. Unfortunately, while out spraying this afternoon I discovered a new area with a gazillion pokeweed seedlings, so total eradication seems to be the only option now...too bad wildflowers don't grow like this stuff!

Weather here (southern Wisconsin) is supposed to get hot this weekend, but fortunately we've had close to a foot of rain since the beginning of April, so no drought in sight down here.

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terrineff

Thought I'd post photo of our west slope naturalscape taken from upper deck. Strive to eradicate thistle, Creeping Charlie, garlic mustard, common mullein while spot spray to keep vetch, leafy spurge, milkweed, etc. confined vs. spreading into the fescue. Yes, this year we're allowing fescue to self-seed before mowing. (Buckthorn belt at base of the slope out of range. We've cut down and stump-treated females while leaving males standing to provide weed and wildlife barrier.)


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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Update to my post from June 6th: From a distance, it looks like my spraying efforts from this spring were very effective. However when you look up close, particularly in areas that were carpeted by buckthorn seedlings, many of the seedlings are still alive. They are not actively growing, but they don't look dead either. I'm thinking another mass spraying is going to be needed this fall.


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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Very definitely more spraying needed. It's the seeds waiting for the opportunity to germinate that cause so much grief with this species. I believe the seed bank can be viable for , oh, maybe 50 years or so??? That's why I gave the title of this post as I was expecting 100,000 new seedlings to eventually appear. I wonder if there is any data on this plant's seed life time. i think if I were younger I would be looking at 50 years of effort on one plot of land.

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terrineff

This post is timely in that yesterday spouse chainsawed overgrown thorny black honeylocust and female buckthorn tagged last fall that we did not get to. Cut BT at chest height and applied glyphosate, knowing we'd stump cut and treat again in autumn. Weed control requiring much less herbicide as fescue flourishing, loving recent rains. Since it's ALWAYS something now dealing with Japanese beetle outbreak in backyard. Anyone have experience using Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer? Soaked down offending grass two days ago but blades beetle-covered again. Perhaps takes time to be effective? Also can anyone identify these swaying-trunked volunteer trees growing like crazy in some places BT removed?


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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Does anyone know if the cut and glyphosate method works with seedlings, or should I just wait until fall and carpet bomb them with 2,4-D? Some of the woods is getting so thick that it is hard to walk. I'm still finding a few 1" type trees that I missed last year, and will be taking the lopper and buckthorn blaster to them over the summer.

On another front, the effort on wild parsnips seems to be working. I only found a few on Saturday in my 1/4 mile of ditch, but the neighbor across the street has just let his grow, and now there is almost nothing else there. Frustrating, because I'll have to deal with his seeds. My daughter just tangled with it in her own yard, and wound up at the doctor today with the burn blisters.

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terrineff

According to Minnetonka DNR, 2% glyphosate works for foliar spray of seedlings. I've been experiencing success using my 'standard Creeping Charlie mix': 1% Triclopyr-4 / 1% 2,4-D / 0.5% surfactant / Bayer Advanced All-in-One Lawn Weed & Crabgrass Killer concentrate diluted 0.4 cup to one gallon water. Mix allows me to be ready for most anything (except sedge of course) while safely allowing fescue growth.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I just rely on 2-4-d to treat anything with a broad leaf and doesn't leave a burn mark behind.

terrineff, I've seen those ditch trees many times in the past but I can't recall just what they are. One of the tree specialists on here should know., And, what do you have against sedge?

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terrineff

Nothing against native Pennsylvania sedge but rather invasive yellow nutsedge. Slope seeded with no-mow fescue literally choked out until I discovered Sedgehammer to kill its nasty rhizomes. Yes, had to reseed. Still a battle but significantly less present.

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klunker

terrineff, the tree looks to be Box Elder (acer negundo), hard to say. Opposite leaves are typical of all members or the Maple family. The leaves in your picture are not fully developed, at close look the one maple leaf looks to actually be 3 leaves. That makes me say Box Elder, that and what I can see of the branches.

wait a week or two and give us a better picture.

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terrineff

To klunker: Thanks for your reply. Photo below from same species in different location. Tree is rapid growing and we definitely have box elder seedlings intermingled with BT seedlings. Better than BT though another 'junk' tree apparently.


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terrineff

New BT control method? Argh!


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terrineff

In a related matter notice round dead patch in foreground fescue caused by drift from glyphosate sprayer. I've been using atop clumps of reed canary grass, an extremely problematic invader this year. Has anyone found an applicator that would quickly apply glyphosate to individual blades to avoid collateral fescue kill?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Hi, Terrineff. As it turns out, just two days ago I picked one up. It is a foam dispenser from GreenShootsOnline. You mix glyphosate with water and a little bit of their foam additive, pump it up, and it lays a small blob of foam (with a blue dye indicator) right where you want it.

It seemed a little expensive, but I can say that it is very well made, and looks to be well worth the price as a good durable device. It holds about a quart of fluid. John, the owner and designer of the product, is located here in St. Paul, is a very nice guy, and really knows his stuff. He is fighting his own buckthorn battle at his lake place, and uses the foam dispenser along with the "frill" method that you have mentioned here, and also with cut and treat, laying a blob of foam around the cambium. Looks to be a good way to go with buckthorn. He has videos online doing these things.

https://www.greenshootsonline.com/collections/foam-herbicide-dispensers

I got the large version, and will be using it tonight to thin out the stiff goldenrod that took over my prairie grass planting in the back yard.

Another thing that I have used in the yard is a Weed Wand, from here: http://www.amleo.com/weed-wand-magic-applicator/p/WWA/ It is a cane with a valved sponge applicator on the tip. I've used it with glyphosate and dye to dab on some of the tougher ground hugging weeds in the yard. Currently experimenting with Charlie, but that stuff is tough. It leaves about a 1" diameter spot of glyphosate. This is similar to a Buckthorn Blaster or art marker, but with about a 3 ft cane which serves as a large reservoir. Also a good guy, with great customer service.

Both are different tools, and I'm glad that I have both.

Bill

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Quick status update... after getting off of work this evening, I went through the prairie grass area in the back yard with the GreenShoots sprayer, and put a couple of blobs of glyphosate foam on every goldenrod that I could find. It worked like a dream, producing a rich lather that stuck to the leaves and stem. The blue dye is highly visible in the foam, so it was really easy to see what was done, and what needed to be. 32 ounces of foam goes a long way! I mixed 32 ounces, and might have gone through 12.

Then, I went through the mowed grass and hit the creeping charlie to test in that application. While I don't know if anything short of dynamite can knock off charlie, it was really easy to control where the blobs of glyphosate foam went.

One word of caution... it is fun to use, and easy to get carried away. I'd recommend walking into the bed of weeds. then walk out backwards, foaming behind you. Otherwise, you can paint yourself into a corner, having to walk through blobs of blue foam on the way out. Don't ask me how I know this! ;)

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terrineff

Bill, thanks, will order Greenshoots sprayers. Assume BT Blaster blue dye works as colorant. Own lifetime supply of Alligare Surface^ nonionic surfactant so will try in place of Blue Foaming Agent. On related note, do you think Weed Wand Magic Applicator would be great tool for killing low sprouting Oxeye daisies?

Check my July 3, 2017 post detailing mix I've found virtually 100% successful vs. Creeping Charlie this season. (Love your final tip!)

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

I'd think that the greenshoots foamer would work better on the daisies, but I don't have any here. Use the little leaves on salads, first. I'll give your mix a shot. Have to order some triclopyr for the buckthorn season, when I get the darned RV back from the shop. The weed wand needs to be pressed against the ground.

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terrineff

Bayer product added to the elixir is what makes the combination so potent against C.C. Dead, dead, dead wherever sprayed w/ no ill effect to grasses. Regarding daisies, first year here didn't realize Oxeyes are non-native invasive weeds and I ignored slope infestation. No doubt will be dealing with seed sprout forever.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Just a comment about the Reed Canary Grass: In my own controlled environment, I would burn off all the dead grass residue/detritus in early Spring where the RCG was present. Then, a few weeks later, only the bad grass would emerge from the bare ground and at about 6 inches in height, would nail with Roundup/glyphosate. This would turn out to be about 95% effective the first year.

Note:If you choose this method, do NOT let the fire get out of control. Don't ask.

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klunker

Thanks Too Bill, I'm going to try the Greenshoots sprayer on small elm, mulberry, box elder and aspen seedlings in a grass area. I have been hitting these trees with spray of glyphosate but as typical I end up with small dead zones. This looks like a really good solution. Every time I take a walk out to inspect the flowers I'll take along the sprayer.

Also I'm going to go buckthorn hunting in my woods. fortunately I have very few buckthorn. But I may also hit some of the honeysuckle that is more common.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Thanks for the tips on the reed canary grass, Dandy-Line. I have a bunch of that and want to get rid of it to replant with a short prairie grass mix. I wonder about somehow mowing and raking it up, then burning the stubble with a torch. It would be awful to have one get out of control.


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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Yes-that sounds like a good plan. In my case, the area was too large to be able to manage it that way. But, the roundup is the cure all, and early enough in Spring to not affect the later emerging natives.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

First report: GreenShoots foam pump vs buckthorn seedlings and saplings

Yesterday, I walked through the woods and foamed maybe a thousand or more seedlings and saplings. I used about a 50% mix of glyphosate and water, with about half of the recommended amount of blue foaming agent. I was able to selectively put a blob of foam on the seedlings and multiple blobs on the saplings, without any collateral damage. One nice thing about the foam blobs, is that if I did hot something by mistake, I was able to just pluck the mistakenly treated leaf, so that I am confident it did not damage the plant. On areas that were thick with seedlings, I pumped up the pressure higher and shot blobs of foam over the bunch of them. The blobs stuck to the leaves, and did not run off onto the other plants in the area.

GreenShoots made for me a longer than usual discharge tube so that I did not have to bend over to apply the foam. The tubing is high density polyethylene, and had a curl to it. I might try to slip a metal tube over it to stiffen it up a little, so that it can have more horizontal reach.

It will be a few weeks before I can report the effectiveness of the herbicide, but based on a buckthorn sapling that I found in my yard a few weeks ago and hit with the same mix with the Dawn foaming dish soap pump, I think they will turn brown.

A question for some of you pros... maybe wisconsitom... has anyone tried a mix of 2,4-D and glyphosate? From what I understand, they work in opposite ways - the 2,4-D stimulates uncontrolled growth, and the glyphosate stops the production of a protein required for growth. Maybe the plant dies of confusion. Or, maybe it is just me that is confused.

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terrineff

Yes, dedicated one sprayer exclusively to glyphosate + 2,4-D elixir. Use in areas where not currently anticipating desirable fescue migration such as slopes cleared for construction that fall outside required silt fence. Kill rate is excellent. Looking forward to attacking RCG with GreenShoots!

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

All of my buckthorn removal from last winter resulted in six large brush piles that i am going to be burning in place soon, along with a bunch of pines and spruces i removed and cut up the last couple months (all of which were choked out by the buckthorn). Question is, what should I do with all the ash? Would it be advantageous to spread it around the post-buckthorn bare ground (which will be planted with grass/wildflower seed next spring) or should I just dispose of it in the trash? Based on past experience I expect to have 3-500 pounds of ash (dry) when all is said and done.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

There have to be a lot of nutrients in the ash, minerals that will be excellent fertilizer on your grounds.

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Pat & Bill Brown

A beefy thread indeed!

We own 3 1/2 acres of BT in Grant, MN. Also interested in eradicating.

Inviting comments on several non-chemical approaches:

  • Mowing with Brush Mower - helpful? can it be effective on it's own?
  • Hinge Cutting - will it kill the sapling or tree without chemicals?
  • Horticultural Vinegar, Dish Soap, or other Non-chemical caustic solution - Anyone tried one? Results?
  • Other?

Look forward to learning your experience and thoughts.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

If they are very small, pulling them will work. Bigger ones can be pulled as well, but you will need a Bobcat or something. Cutting them multiplies your problem. Tools like the weed wrench might work on smaller ones if you try after a good rain when the soil is soft, but for me the stems just broke off. The "Buckthorn Baggie" approach might work if you have just a few, I have not tried vinegar. I have doubts.

This stuff is very tenacious. It re-sprouts from the root, and where there was one, there are now 10.

Maybe, try a very minimalist approach. Cut the buckthorn, and using a sponge-tip applicator or a foam pump, dab full strength glyphosate to the cambium layer. Using a sponge tip applicator like a Buckthorn Blaster, (basically the size of a roll-on deodorant bottle) you can work all day and not use it up. Put some dye in it, though, so you can make sure that you don't miss any. Be careful what you read about glyphosate. It is really pretty benign.



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Skip1909(7a New Jersey)

Why are you guys killing the goldenrod? I have a patch of multiflora rose and Japanese honey suckle that I chopped down in the spring, then cut again in the summer, and the tall goldenrod is actually filling in and outcompeting it now, and other native vines like rubus, Virginia creeper, and grape are moving back in. It seems like the goldenrod will help with getting rid of the invasive species.

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terrineff

In my experience it comes down to pick your poison. I too have 'used' Canadian goldenrod to choke out noxious invasives such as Canadian thistle and garlic mustard but CG is aggressive, spreading into fescue rather than the inverse desired outcome. I have found 2,4-D quite successfully allows fescue coverage migration; over time my plan is for smaller and smaller CG patches to exist.

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Pat & Bill Brown

Yes, I'm getting geared up for minimalism as I write this. Just bought a good pair of ARS pruners, hand saw, and holsters http://www.wood-avenue.com/default.asp. I have my buckthorn blaster https://landscape-restoration.com/ already but bought a holster for it as well. Hoping to pull and do "cut stump" to address up to 3-4" diameter saplings on about an acre where there are still natives around that I'd like to preserve. Am thinking about 1st pass pulling, 2nd pass two handed "cut stump", buckthorn blaster in my left, pruner or saw in my right. Go to town.

Larger trunks will require a chain saw but I'm not sure if I should move directly to the saw or use a brush cutter for the next largest stage before moving to the chain saw for the thickest pieces. Any suggestions? As mentioned above, the problem with these, is that one is constantly slowed down by having to swap out the equipment for the buckthorn blaster and vice versa.

I also have a couple of acres that I cleared 6-7 years ago and regretfully just left thereafter. It's just a solid sea of saplings now about head height. Too much to be done by hand and apparently, too tall to spray. Would you agree?

I'm thinking about mowing them next spring with a brush mower. I hear you bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3) about the resprouting but I think I need to get the height down. Would you agree?

A bobcat is an idea but it would upset the soil and I'm afraid to think what that may mean. Besides, I'd think it would take multiple attempts. I'm thinking about $5k to buy the mower but the bobcat sounds multiple times more expensive and don't think I can afford it.

Most experienced people I know advise against the weed wrench. They say it's not worth the soil disruption. There are probably too many saplings for the baggies. Agreed?

My neighbor has sheep and said he'd buy some extra to graze but there won't be enough for the whole area so we'll have to partition the space for them. I know goats would be better but they're a lot to handle and relatively expensive to rent. He's used the sheep on his property and they seem effective. Any thoughts?

I think the most practical and effective removal approach would be to foliar spray the remainder unaddressed by the sheep the following fall or spring but my wife, a natural health care physician, and the same neighbor who has a decent sized organic vegetable garden near by are having big problems with the idea of broadcasting chemicals. It also pains me to think of all the little things that I will cause to suffer not to mention environmental upset and absorption by humans so I'm desperately trying to find a reasonable alternative.

What would happen if I just kept mowing one or two times a year? Or maybe a mow/graze cycle over a few years? Would the BT die off in time? Alternatively, the vinegar or some other natural product would be great if it worked. Apparently, its used in gardening but I haven't seen anything about it related to BT yet. Has anyone?

More to the minimalist approach, there are products like the Sideswipe Pro http://sideswipeinc.com/ and others which are to spraying like the buckthorn blaster is to "cut stump". I don't know if it would be practical to do 2-3 acres with one of these though. Any thoughts?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@ skip1909(6b New Jersey). the area of my yard that is planted in prairie grass is used as a buffer for the river bank. I wanted varieties with deep roots, to prevent the loss due to erosion. The seed blend that I got had stiff goldenrod, which became a monoculture in areas. It choked out all other varieties of plants. Further, the root system of stiff goldenrod is very shallow, defeating the purpose of the prairie grass planting. That is why I am removing it.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@ Pat & Bill Brown, might I suggest an approach? Priority 1, right now, is find the buckthorn trees with berries, and kill them. Do it right now. Stop the seed production. For the last few years, I have been doing this with a backpack sprayer using a blend of triclopyr and diesel fuel (2 gallons diesel, 1/2 gallon triclopyr), applied to the bottom 18" of the trunk at very low pressure, to where the liquid is just dribbling out. There is very little overspray, and any overspray can be eliminated by wrapping a piece of cloth about 2" long around the nozzle and tie-wrapping it on. This has been virtually 100% effective for me, as long as the triclopyr is applied all the way around and all the way to the ground. I was easily able to kill 3000 larger buckthorn in a day this way, about 1500 per sprayer load. The small thickets that you talk about are very easy to treat en masse this way, especially with the reach of the wand. The small ones don't take much juice - just hold it against the trunk and let it dribble down the trunk. 3 weeks later, brown and crispy. If you are uneasy with diesel or kerosene, there are some vegetable oils that work, too. The idea is to get it to soak into the bark and stay there. Oil makes it stick. The water based stuff just beads up and rolls off. There is some merit to leaving them standing after they die to block light from the existing seed bank, giving the seeds some time to deteriorate rather than sprout. If the buckthorn is within a few feet of a desirable tree, I'd switch to cutting and treating the stump. No point in risking losing the other tree.

Stop at Home Depot, and pick up a 32" Fiskars geared bypass lopper. Make sure it is the geared one. That will easily lop a 2" buckthorn, then just dab around with the buckthorn blaster. (I carry it in my shirt pocket). Easy to walk through the woods that way, and you would be surprised how many you can do in a day. I cut at an angle so that there are more linear inches of cambium exposed to dab. Also, virtually 100% effective, and uses just a few drops of glyphosate per tree.

John, from GreenShoots, suggests lopping the buckthorn at about 3 or 4 ft high, and treating up there. One thing that I have noticed is that the roots rot fairly quickly, and I can grab a 2" tree after a year and a half and break it off at the ground and pull it out. The high cutting might facilitate that well because of the leverage that it gives you. Also, for an old fart like me, there is some merit to not bending over all the time. John, and terrineff here, also suggest a method they call frill cutting (I think) where you whack at the bark near the base with a machete, and foam the cut area with glyphosate. Just a minimal amount is used, and it doesn't get anywhere other than where you blob it.

Give some of these a try, and I don't think you will feel like you have to be spraying all over.

Bill in MN with 40 acres in Wisconsin to deal with.

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Pat & Bill Brown

Thanks for your thoughts bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)!

I think that's right, I should get the productive females now to stop them from depositing another year's worth seeds onto the soil. Do you know approximately when they start to become viable in a woodland?

Re: saplings and smaller: I was initially thinking loppers and I've see Fiskars ratchet tools but I was talked into pruners and the high tech saw instead. I'll have to experiment but thanks for the tip!

3000 buckthorn a day is impressive efficiency.

I suppose the backpack sprayer and cloth idea is akin to the Sideswipe Pro approach except you get to carry more herbicide per refill and you're carrying the weight more easily on your back than with your arms. It seems a better application method for larger areas.

I guess I hadn't thought much about the environmental effects of the carrier. I kind of blew this question off thinking the herbicide mixed with it far more toxic but I suppose the herbicide may be more targeted. I need to learn more about this. Having only applied to cut stumps in the past, I used bark oil but that is also expensive. What are the environmental effects of diesel fuel? Which vegetable oils work?

Would you not admit, however, that basil bark treatment uses more herbicide than cut stump application? Only needing to address 3 1/2 acres instead of 40 with sensitive parties involved, this could make the difference.

Take care not to let that buckthorn blaster leak through your shirt! I bought a nylon holster hoping it will protect my skin but neoprene, plastic, or leather would probably be safer.

I just had a pro from one of the area's largest and most established restoration companies over here for a preliminary visit a couple of hours ago. He says the triclopyr in Garlon4 is the only herbicide to use. For any application, direct or spray. Hard to argue with your 100% kill rate but he says his glyphosate kill rates are much lower (98% vs 50%) and glyphosate is more broad spectrum so overspray is more damaging. If I wanted an herbicide different than the triclopyr in Garlon4, they wouldn't take the work. I heard the same from a conservation district staffer a few weeks ago but then again I had another pro, albeit more of a solo operation, say he only uses glyphosate. He hadn't heard of the off brand triclopyrs which should be worth further research. For spray, they mix Garlon4 with water and a surfactant.

I've read that cutting the stumps low leads to better kill rates but if kill rates aren't a problem, I've also seen cuts done at waist height. I'm with you on reducing the bending which is considerable in this project. It does make it easy to remove the stumps but still, that's another step. I guess one must decide whether one is comfortable leaving 3-4' stumps in the ground and possibly removing them or lower stumps without removal. Granted removal after a year or two isn't difficult but given the large numbers, doesn't that second pass for removal still amount to a lot of work?


Do you really get much shade from your dead buckthorn?


Where you at in WI? My wife is from Chippewa.

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terrineff

To Browns: LIsten to Bill_G. Wise man with extensive knowledge.. He absolutely nailed killing all females is #1 priority. Doing so at this point in their growing cycle I'd chainsaw or lop at chest/ waist height and stump treat. Ideally Oct-Nov you cut low and retreat. After seeing occasional resprout using glyphosate alone I've gone to glyphosate + Allegare Triclopyr-4 + surfactant in water 'elixir'. BTW, what is your ecosystem objective once BT contained (if you retain some males) or eradicated?

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Pat & Bill Brown

To terrineff: I hadn't really considered leaving the males but perhaps I should. We will need some under story trees. Doesn't it increase risk of future problems?

To bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3): Would you mind including a photo of your backpack sprayer with cloth wrapping when you get a chance?

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Pat & Bill Brown

I hadn't considered keeping the males but I will need some under story. Won't the males increase the risk of future problems?

You would rather recut and treat than remove the stumps of previously treated females? Apparently, bill_g_wisonsin did not need to retreat. Rather his stumps would die and, after time, with a little effort, he would remove them. Why do you think you need to retreat?

bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3) Would you mind including a photo of your backpack sprayer with cloth wrapped tip when you get a chance?

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Pat & Bill Brown

Has anyone tried just hinge cutting without chemicals? If so, please share results. My neighbor did on a couple of lots but then had his goats and sheep graze on them. It worked. Wonder what would happen with hinge cuts without the grazing.

Here's the theory: The plant starves while unsuccessfully continuing to feed and repair it's crown but is too damaged to survive. In the meantime, it neglects putting energy into new shoots.

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terrineff

In my experience, retaining select males does not cause single problem, simply an occasional trimming to maintain desired shape / height. In our wetland buffer zone males provide dappled shade that inhibits weeds and has allowed native ferns, mosses, and Pennsylvania sedge to prosper. Along east slope of our property which abuts County 61 Hwy /Shady Oak 'inherited' BT & black honeylocust provide lovely -- and sound muffling -- tree wall barrier. Please think through your eradication plan before clear cutting.

Useful BT flyers written by our city arborist (caveat in my experience is use Triclopyr + glyphosate combo to prevent resprouting = yet more chemicals);

http://eminnetonka.com/images/naturalresources/CHEM%20control%20of%20BTH%20Feb2016.pdf

http://eminnetonka.com/images/naturalresources/2015%20Buckth%20Workshop%20for%20Residents%20Sept.pdf

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terrineff

To Browns: "Even goats have their limits, however. Either they will have to come back again and again to kill off re-sprouting plants, or Minnetonka will have to use chemical treatments." [Note: quote from our city arborist -- her .pdfs cited above.]

http://www.startribune.com/minnetonka-is-the-latest-city-to-enlist-goats-to-clear-invasive-plants-in-parks/381834721/

LA's Getty Center gave up on use of goats to maintain the property's steep slopes after finding goats stripping away all vegetation caused unintended soil erosion issues.

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terrineff

To Browns: Read the materials I've posted written by Minnetonka's city arborist. This is the wrong time of year to kill BT trees as growth is directed upward into leaf production, not transporting nutrients --and herbicide-- down to the roots for over-wintering. Hence cut down and treat females now, destroy seed-containing branches, and expect to cut/ retreat mid-Oct to March/April, depending on temperatures.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@ Pat & Bill Brown I was not referring to the Fiskars ratchet lopper, I was mentioning the geared lopper - a different thing. The ratchet might be OK, I haven't tried it, but I can absolutely vouch for the 32" handle, geared model. It will easily take a 2" tree in one stroke.

I'll try to put the cloth on the sprayer tonight to take a pic. I don't usually use it that way, but have used it some. It does not cover the end of the nozzle, but rather, wraps around it overhanging by an inch or two, letting the nozzle shoot through the open middle.

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terrineff

To Bill_G: My understanding is if you 'Follow' me, I could message. Thanks.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@ terrineff - following now..


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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

This might be an interesting read for some of us. A guy located near Hugo, MN took on a heavily infested 70 acres, and has the buckthorn under control. He used the basal bark method. One thing that I noticed is that his triclopyr blend was half of the strength that I used. Wondering if anyone else here uses that blend. I like the idea of stretching the triclopyr further, and will start mixing it to 1 quart triclopyr to 2 gallons of diesel and see how that flies.

https://eastmetrowater.areavoices.com/2016/12/19/farmer-in-may-township-wages-war-on-buckthorn-and-wins/

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terrineff

Thanks for posting, Bill. Haven't wanted to mess with diesel so no basal bark experience. As you indicated earlier, I have used Triclopyr-4 + glyphosate + surfactant for frill treatment on steep wooded areas where stump cutting impractical. I do like his technique of working sections biannually.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

I couldn't do it alone without the basal bark method, terrineff. With cut and treat and the brush cutter, I could do a few hundred trees in a day, but the bigger ones were tough because of the saw blade diameter. With basal bark, those big ones took no longer than smaller ones, the lugging through the woods was easier with a backpack than with a big brush cutter, and when I was up to two sprayer loads, maybe 3000 - 3600 buckthorn killed per day. I don't think the oil hurts anything, and it really makes it wet to the bark. No beading off.


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terrineff

To Bill_G: Fortunately we have neither the density of BT trees nor acreage that you do (3+ acres of our property is pond). Spouse very skeptical of my abilities vis a vis diesel so I'm content with aqueous mix cut stump treatment. Spouse's fall project is to push farther away from the house killing any females encircling the pond.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Just for an experiment, terrineff, pick one buckthorn, maybe a 2 incher. Make yourself a little mix of triclopyr and Mazola in a small container. Paint the stem of one with a paintbrush, from about 18" up, all the way to the ground. It will take 3 or 4 weeks if it is going to work, but see what happens. I haven't tried Mazola yet, but can't think of why it wouldn't work.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Bill_g, I like the idea that an 8:1 ration triclopyr to oil should be sufficient. A fellow I met from Little Falls, said he was using a 2% solution triclopyr and that worked for him. He has a couple of 160 acre woods full of BT and at $100/gallon, he needed to conserve. I told him about the $70/gal I buy on Amazon.

My next effort will be using the lower percentage.

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Pat & Bill Brown

bill_g Good to know Fiskars geared lopper is a helpful tool.

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Pat & Bill Brown

A neighbor of mine recommended kerosene for stump cutting as sort of a compromise carrier; relatively cheap and relatively clean. Anyone think this a good idea?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Kerosene is also known as #1 diesel, except that the diesel version for road use has had most of the sulfur removed, and has about a 15% bio component, so it is probably cleaner. On the other hand, you pay road tax on the diesel.

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Pat & Bill Brown

bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3) Be sure to report back on your experiment with 1:8 triplocyr.

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Pat & Bill Brown

Anyone have a recommendation for a dye marker to be mixed with oils and triplocyr4? I was just about to use a bottle of "Mark-It-Blue" only to discover it's for use with water based solutions.

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terrineff

Personally I'd do test run using Mark-It but Alligare's Super Marking Dye claims to mix easily with any ingredient. [I use Alligare's Triclopyr-4 and surfactant products] http://www.alligarellc.com/alligare_super_marking_dye.php

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

I've used Mark-It, and usually use Turf Mark Blue because I like the larger bottle and measuring system. https://www.amazon.com/Turf-Mark-Blue/dp/B003ORSXR8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1502131556&sr=8-3&keywords=turf+mark+blue

They mix, but I think I've seen some of the blue settle to the bottom of the tank. I shake my back to mix it back up.

Neither stayed visible on the trunks for more than a few days unless there was moss growing on the trunk, then I could see the color in the moss.

I'll try the Alligare product next time. Thanks, terrineff. I'm looking for something that will keep my hands blue for months. ;)

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terrineff

I too own Mark-It, not Alligare's dye product. Can anyone identify this late season weed with very shallow roots? Plot erupted where BT removed in wetlands buffer.


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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@ terrineff, I have a bunch of it, too, and have also been curious.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Maybe it's Cacalia suaveoleans. I made the mistake of seeding it once and now have trouble trying to control it.

See if it looks like this.

https://www.prairiemoon.com/cacalia-suaveolens-sweet-indian-plantain-prairie-moon-nursery.html


Otherwise, post it up on the Name that plant forum.




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klunker

terrineff, my guess would be dame's rocket. Leaves look like it, but seems like there are too many leaves.

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terrineff

Not Dame's Rocket, does not flower. I also don't recall Cacalia-esque flowers last year. Thanks for suggesting forum question post which I will do.

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Pat & Bill Brown

More on Dyes:

Mark-It-Blue: Company tech support says not for use with oil based mixtures, only water.

Alligare Super Marking Dye: Company tech support says will work with bark oil but does not mix with diesel oil. They also sell a bark oil/dye premix.

I didn't find any other dyes that said they mixed with oils so I figured Alligare my best bet for use with triplocyr4 and bought some.

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Pat & Bill Brown

bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3): Someone said in one forum he was using a 1:9 ratio of triplocyr and diesel fuel for basal bark application. fyi

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Pat & Bill Brown

Need Application Advice


Best application approach to areas where there a a lot of saplings, 3-4' high, dense but not dense enough to make broadcast necessary given other plants in area?

One pro said he would "spot-spray" another said he would use "cut-stump" but it seems to me spot-spray would involve a lot of over spray but cut-stump would be quite time consuming. Not yet having used basil bark treatment, it would seem to me that the trunks are too thin.

Those PVC/wick type hockey stick applicators are like spot spraying without the over spray. Are they not? I haven't seen much info on their use, however. How must the application be made - touch some leaves? how many leaves? Use the spray dilution ratios? Triplocyr4 still the best choice? All said and done, is it really any easier or quicker than cut-stump?

How would you approach this application?

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Pat & Bill Brown

Where are all the berries?

I actually started to get my hands dirty yesterday for the first time in some years attacking berry producing females as advised above. One thing that surprised me was that berry production is only in higher sun areas. There are no berries in my woods. Will they just arrive later or is this aspect of the work smaller than I feared?

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Pat & Bill Brown

Garlon4 vs. Alligare Triplocyr4

Garlon4 contains no petroleum distillates for more friendly environmental impact per DOW. Alligare Triplocyr4 does per Alligare rep. fyi

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Pat & Bill Brown

Canola Oil can be used to dilute triplocyr

per one user on web. My concern is how well it will penetrate.

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terrineff

My estimate is just wait as relatively early for berry production. Spouse recently chainsawed/ lopped females tagged last fall he didn't get to -- only way we knew female were those tags. As I mentioned, Oct-Nov he will cut to stump height and retreat (at least they're not fruiting). First year as we tackled backyard perimeter along our pond discovered what we term "The Mother of All Buckthorns". Appeared as if ancient Van Gogh-esque gnarled European olive tree.

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Pat & Bill Brown

I found one of those mother's too. I was cutting saplings for hours then I saw it. Took my breath away. Am going to visit it with a chain saw momentarily.

Some of these sun blessed berries around the property are pretty ripe, i.e. not too early to cut down but I guess I need to check periodically around the property for late bloomers.


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terrineff

Spouse had to tackle ours in multiple sections. As located in wetland buffer zone used Shore-Klear Plus aquatic glyphosate (18%) which successfully killed, no regrowth. Keep in mind fall /winter herbicide application is most effective time.

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terrineff

To Bill_G and dandy_line: Thanks for Houzz Name That Plant Forum suggestion. Believe responder from U.K. nailed it as American Burnweed. MN's invasive plant list reports present in Hennepin County. Interesting info:

http://extension.psu.edu/plants/crops/news/2014/07/weed-of-the-week-2013-american-burnweed

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

There were many of those big, gnarly beasts up to maybe 6-8" diameter at my place. Underneath them is the mother of all seed banks. Basal bark spraying killed the gnarly beasts 100%, though. They are all still standing from a few years ago, but they are dead, with no new shoots.If it was a multi-trunk hydra, I used a little more pressure to get the middle wet. Killed it just fine, too. Hit all the shoots, it will be brown in 3 weeks. With this method, they become just as dead in the spring as they do in the fall. If I whack them in the spring, there are no berries to worry about. In the late fall when the leaves were gone, I accidentally cut down a couple of wild plums with similar looking bark, so I like to do it when the leaves are on.

I cut down a clump of smaller ones with plenty of green berries this weekend, and foamed the stump ends. Berries are definitely out. I bagged the berries, along with the seeds from the two wild parsnips that I found.

I don't have the budget for Garlon brand, Pat & Bill Brown. I'm mixing it with diesel fuel, so adding my own petroleum distillates. ;] Go for the Garlon if you want. I've had to buy probably 25-30 gallons so far, and at the price they get for the name brand, I can't afford it.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Thanks for the ID. Here, "fireweed" is a whole different thing, a beautiful pink flower, just finishing its blooms.. The burnweed is not an invasive, according to Minnesota Wildflowers. Interestingly, one of the comments was that it showed up after clearing buckthorn. The leaves are actually tasty. Glad it is not garlic mustard!

https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/pilewort


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terrineff

To Bill_G. What I'm finding on Internet indicates another battle to fight. If left unchecked will spread from current wetland buffer location into the fescue and due to its late sprout date, pre-emergents ineffective for prevention. "It is absent or uncommon in intact,high-quality prairie fen systems." Guess we know we're not dealing with high-quality prairie systems at this point....

I don't want to exaggerate but believe our "MOABT" diameter was 18-24". MN DNR claims BT seeds remain viable for up to 5 years in soil so there is hope!

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Pat & Bill Brown

Whether to Leave Male BT in Place?

from my district conservation office:

"I would not leave the male plants unless you are really trying to prioritize. The leaves of buckthorn are known to be very high in nitrogen and can alter nutrient cycling. They are also known to be allelopathic (give off chemical compounds that prevent or deter other species from growing)."

fyi

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terrineff

Pick your poison, et. al.

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Pat & Bill Brown

Anyone know where to buy Garlon4 in quantities less than 2 1/2 gallons?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I buy Triclopyr 4 on Amazon for around $70 a gallon, shipped. I think it should be cheaper than that but this is the best I've found.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

The brand name Garlon 4 only comes in 2.5 and 30 gallon sizes, per the Dow website: http://www.dowagro.com/en-us/vm/products/garlon-4-ultra

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I looked around the net for info ion Garlon 4 contents. Found this which supposedly is from Dow chemical. Shows it contains petroleum distillates.



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Pat & Bill Brown

Re: Petrochemcial Distillates in Garlon 4 Ultra (current version)?

Yes, DOW promotes the absence of petrochemicals on their product page but I also found a MSDS sheet that listed kerosene as a primary dilutant which raised the same question. Here is the response from our local DOW rep:

"As I mentioned, there are no petroleum distillates used in Garlon 4 Ultra.

Instead, a methylated seed oil is used as a solvent. ".

She says I showed her an old MSDS sheet. It would seem that this was at least one of the changes made in the new and improved "Ultra" formula.

Here is the component excerpt from the Garlon 4 Ultra sheet:

Of course, this leaves a big "other" category accounting for nearly 40% of the product which it seems you're just supposed to take DOW's word for.

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Pat & Bill Brown

Re: Wick Application in Lieu of Spot Spraying

Anyone have any experience with this?

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Pat & Bill Brown

Do you broadcast spray? If so, is it possible to be specific about when?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I found that I got really good kill rates on new leaf growth in the month of May. It is early enough that most native forbs are still dormant and the new BT leaves are soaking up the herbicide.

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A B(Zone 4)

Is good to know May is crunch time, I haven't sprayed in spring yet. I still stand by my late October spraying. And will spray in October again this fall. You can't time the market, but you can time the buckthorn spraying.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Good to know. Do you have a good history of total kill in the fall with foliar spray?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Fall foliar spray killed the buckthorn pretty well for me, but the ground became pretty much of a wasteland, with things just now starting to grow back in two years later. Burnweed, motherwort, more buckthorn, etc. At least it is easy to find the buckthorn now. Luckily, no sign of garlic mustard.

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terrineff

To Bill_G: Our experience is similar. Consider motherwort 'good' weed, pulled or sprayed burnweed could access. Today's project glyphosate blade-treat RCG, quackgrass, even few clumping ornamental grasses that popped up in the fescue. City seeded along Shady Oak boulevard in spring but drop-and-pray is no plan -- I've controlled the ragweed and trefoils but barnyard grass winning vs. fescue.

On a positive note, cranberry bush viburnums and three conifers planted by county ~2010 on slope west of Shady Oak experiencing explosive growth since I cleared encircling weeds last year. That slope was land of garlic mustard, Oxeye daisy, Canadian thistle, common mullein. Now primarily goldenrod or migrated fescue.

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Motherwort is an invasive alien, that is destroying native woodlands across the continent. Are you for, or against the environment? I just have to ask, as you have grown tansy before as well. Hope you aren't encouraging others to grow these plants.

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Pat & Bill Brown

Re: Spraying

Seasonality - Both pros I spoke with spray in the fall. Unfortunately, I neglected to ask why. I'm thinking one benefit would be to allow more time for chemical to erode before the natives want to come back to life. DOW says the half life on Garlon4 Ultra is 30-45 days. I haven't looked at glyphosate. Anyone know?

Whether to Spray? - 2 years before natives return after spraying seems terrible to me and not what one would think given the above half life. What was your spray mix and ratios? How has this effected your decision to spray vs. treating the basil bark? Can you be specific about what point you resort to spot spraying (if you do it) and to broadcast spraying?

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terrineff

To Jay 6a: After four hours of partially back-breaking work (oh, ankles covered in burs somehow during my final pass too) pulling weeds on --in some areas 45' slope --yesterday literally laughed out loud at your conjecture. Recent rains promoted seed sprout of garlic mustard, ragweed, Oxeyes, burnweed, common mullein, Creeping Charlie, leafy splurge, etc., not to mention huge RCG issue in areas cleared by the city but not maintained for decades prior to us purchasing the undeveloped property in 2014. In my experience, one motherwort appears for every thousand or more garlic mustard plants. Hence gladly accept a few M. As to tansy, unknowingly purchased as nursery stock 7-8 years ago from central MN nursery now out of business so guess in the end 'they got theirs'.

Never even heard of buckthorn prior to moving here but go ahead and berate the many, many hours plus expenses we've dedicated to reclaiming MN naturalscape.

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terrineff

While getting discouraged that the weeds are winning on west slope yesterday, I stumbled onto weed-free patch of young yellow nutsedge. Am I crazy to consider leaving it untouched, actually encourage its spread, to choke out broadleafs knowing it can be effectively contained via Sedgehammer? Thoughts welcome (spouse deferred to group wisdom). :)

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Pat & Bill Brown

Re: Motherwort

Considered invasive by MN DNR



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terrineff

I know, gnomeabram and dandy_line identified 11/8/16 photo I posted. Agree with dandy_line only mildly invasive, certainly VERY minor player in our weed fields. Don't know what type of property you're reclaiming but outside of viburnum shrubs, 3 conifers, and narrow strip of seeded fescue every plant we 'inherited' is classified as noxious invasive weed. Hence my mantra, pick your poison. To that philosophy I'm now going to add Rome wasn't built in a day!

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

2 years before natives return after spraying seems terrible to me

I can believe this would happen when dealing with a thick copse of BT where sunlight had been shut out for many years. The natives wouldn't be very prevalent in that situation.

I saw natives coming back in the same year after spraying in the Spring. A few years later the woods was mostly recovered. Each situation is going to be different. This is not a simple process and can take many years to resolve.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Every alien plant that is currently wreaking havoc, was at some point in the past, rare and uncommon over here. Isn't it better to stay on the side of caution. Dandy, after ten years, how many of the 100,000 buckthorns are there still left to kill? If the situation seems humanly impossible to control, perhaps you could plant some native buckthorns so they can be incorporated into the gene pool of new generations. Just thought I would mention that some carriers charge for pdf file downloads, so if anyone puts on a link to a pdf could you please let us know beforehand.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

About an acre of land on my property is established deciduous and conifer trees that had an under story of buckthorn. Now that the buckthorn is gone, I have a shaded moonscape instead of an under story. Budget for restoration is quite small. I was thinking of planting orchardgrass seed in these areas along with shade-tolerant wildflower seeds next spring, but my main goal is to prevent a weed infestation and worry more about natives later. Is this a sound plan? I don't expect any natives to return on their own since the land is part of a subdivided farm field.

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Pat & Bill Brown

Garlon4 Breakdown and Replanting

This from our DOW rep:

"These herbicides break down in many different ways – by light
exposure, saturated soils, microbial activity in soil and soil temperatures.
When the soil is frozen, there is little to no soil activity therefore the
herbicide is breaking down slower in those cold temperatures than it would in the summer when the soil temps are higher."

And DOW's advice to farmers but possibly somewhat relevant to weed busters:

"I would wait no shorter than 65 days to come back and plant a broadleaf crop. Before planting a broadleaf crop, I would highly recommend a soil bioassay test to be done."

(these are graphic files not .pdfs. I don't think houzz accepts .pdfs)

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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

Gnomeabram, I don't know much about orchard grass, but my concern would be whether or not the grass would overtake and outcompete the wildflowers after some time. It's very interesting, and I want to read more on the subject. I would suggest you get more info on it too. Many restored prairies get overwhelmed with grasses because there are no browsers to keep the grasses in check these days.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

I haven't done this, but should give it a shot - find a seed mix of trilliums, etc., flowers and plants that grow in the shade under trees, and scatter them sparsely. Eventually, they should fill in.


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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Thanks for the replies. I forgot to mention that, unfortunately, the area in question is surrounded on two sides by adjoining properties which are full of buckthorn right up to the property line. My fear is that if I don't immediately blanket this area with something like a grass it's just going to be consumed by buckthorn seedlings in a couple years. I do have plans for seeding trilliums and the like in other areas, but fear woodland plants would be doomed to fail in this kind of setting.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

The damned stuff seems to come up everywhere. As I was going through the tall prairie plantings on my own property this summer thinning out the goldenrod, sure enough, there were 4 buckthorns. I have no idea where they came from, but they didn't care that they were growing in very thick, tall stuff. I've got them staked out now for the glyphosate foam blob experiment.

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terrineff

To bill_g: Currently running my own glyphosate foam blob experiment on small section RCG. Snapped some stems and applied onto sheath tip, others along leaf blades or at nodes. Foamer did not perform fully up to my expectation but if this works, much superior to the collateral damage from spraying. But unfortunately, much more time consuming.

Re: neighbors. I've pretty much eliminated burdock from our property but found sea of it under tree canopy of adjoining property to the south. In June sprayed his garlic mustard along the sidewalk and burdock down the slope. Checked yesterday, GM gone but second round of burdock. Sprayed again plus ragweed zone the county owns abutting our lot (i.e., Hwy 61 boulevard) but does not maintain. :(

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terrineff

To gnomeabram: Likely you're familiar with Prairie Nursery (where we procured our no-mow fescue seed). They sell "24 seed mixes inspired by native plant communities, using a balance of flowers & grasses". Website also indicates custom mixes available.

http://www.prairienursery.com/store/seed-mixes/page/1?_url=seed-mixes/&_page=2

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Thanks terrineff, I had been looking at my options for restoration, and with those prices I'll probably end up doing this in phases. My current thinking is to plant a 10-15 ft strip of mowed fescue at all of the property lines and save the natives for the interior areas. I noticed another property in the neighborhood doing this and it looks nice and seems to be keeping neighboring invasives from creeping back in. Still a lot of cleanup to do this fall before I can plant anything. This pic shows one of the property lines I'm dealing with.


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Jay 6a Chicago(5b/6a)

You could look for an untouched, natural woodland edge, that has a large variety of nice natives, and grasses, or sedges, or rushes. Then try to copy it .

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terrineff

Wow, does that look clean! So as not to search the blog, mind if I ask how long you've been tackling BT removal with concurrent invasive weed control?

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

I've been dabbling in it on and off since 2008. Eventually I concluded that approach wasn't working, and that a once nice property was becoming an overgrown wasteland. I got an echo brush cutter last year and clear cut everything. I've done two 20+ gallon sprayings of glyphosate/24d in spring with a third (hopefully last) coming in September.

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terrineff

Came to my attention I'd forgotten small section of desirable wildflowers near watershed district's drainage pipe. Apparently seeded by county after clearing out BT to provide maintenance access. (Post-bloom bergamot and milkweed.)


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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

gnomeabram , which blades have you found to work the best on your Echo? I've tried a few, and lately have been using the kind with chainsaw teeth.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Bill, I've had really good luck with the Renegade 80-tooth carbide tipped blades sold on Amazon. Two of them got me through the entire winter. Just watch out, the teeth tend to fly off if you hit rocks, barbed wire, etc. I've never tried the chainsaw teeth versions. I use the stock blade for cutting stumps flush to the ground when i'm making trails for the mower...the original has many miles on it and still going strong.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

gnomeabram, I've been liking the chainsaw tooth version. They obviously leave a bigger kerf so less binding. One problem, they only seem to come in 9" and 7". My Echo is 8". The 7" is probably the better choice, because of the grab of those big teeth. I've been gingerly using the 9", because of some of the larger diameter buckthorn to have to cut through. I have used the Renegade, and liked them. I bought a combo pack with an 80 tooth and a 32 tooth. The 32 worked better on the larger BT, and the 80 was great on the smaller ones.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

I was dealing mostly with saplings under a half inch, so binding wasn't really an issue. The renegade is like a hot knife through butter. Anything I thought would require more than 2 or 3 swipes I passed over and came back later with my chainsaw. I like to deal with the larger stump separately anyways to be sure they get a good drink of glyphosate.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

You are right. A hot knife through butter is a good description. My only trouble with the brush cutter was that it was too much fun, and working alone, I cut down too many at a time to be able to find all the stumps to feed that glyphosate to them. Found them the next year, though. :(


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terrineff

Day two of spouse cutting/ lopping swath of female BT hiding in plain sight along east perimeter. What we thought a fortuitous green screen between house and Hwy 61 will be decimated. Retreat stump project for October.

Read RCG is so aggressive it can choke out cattails. Surveyed our pond; sure enough that has happened along fully sun-exposed shore. Anyone had experience hiring professionals to eradicate aquatic RCG? [BTW, no feedback re: retaining yellow nutsedge as broadleaf deterrent so Sedgehammer wins the day.]

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

terrineff, That Reed Canary Grass is overwhelming but can be controlled. if you can remove all the RCG duff in the fall, or spring, then it is easy to see the new growth come up in April, before anything else comes out of hibernation. That's the time to nail it with Glyphosate(Roundup). I found that it needs to be done for a few years but can be eradicated that way.

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A B(Zone 4)

Since the topic of buckthorn happily diverted to other ecological agrarian issues in this thread, this past summer. I decided to drop a couple of prairie photos to help myself feel better about myself and my buckthorn plight. Not that I own a camera, nor would claim to be a photographer but I do own a new fangled camera phone that I use for amusement. I eagerly await attacking the buckthorn mid-October with a chemical mixture and backpack pump sprayer after not having touched buckthorn for a year. (Oh to be deprived!) Believe it or not, October is just around the corner. Getting mentally prepared is vitally important, akin to going into battle against a bitter enemy. Amazingly, leaves on the trees are starting to turn already for reasons unbeknownst to me? Perhaps the shortening days are going to my head? Nevertheless, we need an official buckthorn battle cry and here is one to ponder...."I SEE THE LIGHT BEYOND THE BUCKTHORN!"..........Thanks for the release. Alas, I feel much better.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

That is beautiful. I'm hoping the sunny parts of my yard look like that in a couple years, I'm planting nearly all the same wildflowers and grasses!

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A B(Zone 4)

Thanks! Ours is in its 5th season. Don't get discouraged in the first couple of years. If you spot treat the thistle, pull invasives and burn each spring it will come. Well worth every bit of the work. Seeing the pollinators and creatures in their habitat is awesome. Soon though my attention will turn to the woods and the buckthorn.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

A B, and anyone else, what is a safe way to burn? Some of mine is in desperate need, and I'm afraid of setting off the entire neighborhood.


Like you, I took a little break from the buckthorn. Well, it rained just about every time I went to my property. Tomorrow, I'll spend some time walking around with the lopper and Buckthorn Blaster. The last few weeks, I found about a dozen ten-footers full of seeds, that I missed when they were smaller. There must be a bunch of them that grew like weeds. Under the MOABs (mother of all buckthorns) there are some solid seedbank sprouts to spray, as well. It was good to have a little break and work on the thistle and the parsnips. Those have been massively cut back now.

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A B(Zone 4)

Bill, I would check into if you have any non-profit organizations in your area dedicated to maintaining native prairies. There is one in my area who helps prairie owners burn their prairies in the spring. My prairie is about 2 acres and they can do it with a small crew plus me. They bring the equipment, water bladders, fire snuffers, drip torches, etc. I usually have all the fire breaks mown, then the weather has to be good. They bring a weather monitor to check wind speed and humidity. We usually burn into a light breeze and of course set a back burn. Usually only takes about 20 minutes. It does get hot but has never gotten away from us. I also have a hydrant on my property and a lot of garden hose. I call my neighbors and local fire dept. before hand so everyone knows what is going on. What I am told in establishing a prairie, a burn every year for the first 5 years and a burn once every 5 years thereafter. Sometimes only a partial burn is necessary.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

A B, thanks. There does seem to be an organization favoring native prairie, the Andover Pollinator Awareness Project. I've written an email to them, and am awaiting a response. Hopefully, they can point me in the right direction. For my property in Wisconsin, which has a lot more that needs burning, I'll try the DNR. Maybe they can steer me to some help there.

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klunker

AB, love to hear about some of the things you've noticed with the annual burning. Have any issues with small trees? or is it mainly to keep noxious weeds at bay? Which weeds does burning keep at bay?

I planted about 5/8 of an acre last fall and this summer its been weed central. I've mowed it 3 times this summer. I am not a impatient guy, I've planted thousands of trees, but to say this prairie planting looks dismal is an understatement.


I've got about 2 acres to plant this fall and i'm hoping for better results.

also how did you prep you area for planting? Herbicide? tilling?


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A B(Zone 4)

Klunker, fire does seem to keep the noxious weeds at bay. After a burn in April, the earth is blacken down to almost the soil. I think this gives the native plants a jump start because the warmth from the sun is absorbed by the black ash. Also, the biomass from the previous growing season is burned off to open up the plants to more sun light. It seems the root systems of the native prairie plants are much deeper than noxious weeds, so are more adapted to survive a burn. It is plausible that the ash adds nutrients to the soil to become more beneficial to the natives. Some of the native seed cracks open from the heat of the burn to encourage sprout and I also wonder if the noxious seed bank is destroyed in the burn? I have noticed that thistle still pops after a burn, but it is very easy to see and spot treat with herbicide. The prairie is easy to walk as the plants are just starting to surface. It is my understanding the burn also inhibits the woody plants and will burn off saplings, wild grape vines and others. To prep, we made sure no chemicals were sprayed on our land two years prior to planting the prairie and we did a dormant seeding in winter just before the first snow. We broadcast seeded and dragged it into what was left of the previous season corn field. The first year the prairie looked dismal but turned the corner in it's second season with a mass of Black eyed Susan. Every year brings something new and there is always an issue to rear it's head. "They" say it gets easier after the 5th season, but I am somewhat skeptical. Hope that answers some of your questions.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

One time, Ron Bowman, the founder of Prairie Restoration was a speaker at an engineering function that I attended. He explained that the native prairie grasses that we have evolved with regular fires. A few of those fires were naturally started, but most were set because bison collected when the fresh green plants came up after a burn, making them easier to hunt. The trouble with setting a fire like that was that there was no way to put it out, so they would be moved along with the wind and burn for days. He said that a typical area would burn every few years.

Did I read right, that thistle roots go down 16 feet? Maybe it is easy for them to survive a fire that way. I'm having pretty good luck with the thistle with a couple of blobs of foamed glyphosate on them.

One of the field techs from Prairie Restoration suggested to me once to establish the grasses first for a few years, and then put out the flowers. I just glyphosated about a half acre of canary grass yesterday, and will probably try to reestablish with grasses first. When I have put out seed mixes, it was hard for me to tell what was weeds and what was not initially. Maybe, with grasses first, it won't be as tough, and 2,4-D might be helpful initially. Has anyone else had any experience that way?

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terrineff

To klunker: What exactly did you plant?

To Bill_G: Initial weed control attempt I sprayed 2,4-D test area on Hwy 61 slope. Thank goodness limited area as didn't know to dilute its 63.7% concentration (love that obfuscated labeling). Denuded everything but over time the fescue migrated and now dense, only requires spot spraying for Oxeyes.

RCG horse of another color. Treated clumps where willing to accept collateral damage via sprayer, ongoing process treating individual RCG using foam dispenser (thanks for recommendation). My application technique has improved but it's a time-consuming (and on 45' slope, back-breaking) process. Afraid I don't see any other alternative where fescue already established.

To A B: Wish I could provide backstory on section of our property some entity cleared of BT and obviously broadcast-seeded wildflower mix (see 8/13/17 photo). Outside minor clearing to be done at water's edge area remains virtually BT and weed free. Discovered gorgeous blue-purple flowers last week, first time they've appeared, so there is hope for prairie reclamation over time.

On side note, Tom and I walked the neighborhoods surrounding Shady Oak Lake. Disappointed to see fields of untreated Creeping Charlie and groves of female BT. And an unknowing couple (executed teardown /rebuild) nurturing 3' ragweed as specimen plant in center of their lawn. Very next day young person walking by declared our yard "Awful!" to her companions. Well, I no longer take it personally. Actually progress has been heartening in light of what we 'inherited'. Persevere. Coping mantra? "Rome was not built in a day".

P.S. Fun to post while spouse out chainsawing female BT....

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Went up to the lake this weekend with full intentions of taking the backpack sprayer out loaded with 2,4-D, to spot spray the zillions of buckthorn seedlings. Sure enough, I brought everything I needed except the 2,4-D. I grabbed a bottle of glyphosate by mistake. That is why I hit the reed canary grass the way I did. There were also some spots full of next years' parsnip bolts, so nailed them while I was at it. Then, took the loppers and sponge tip applicator out and found a few dozen buckthorn stragglers. All the big ones in the area i walked are dead, so it is maintenance mode there now. The larger areas in the back of the property are going to be a lot of work with maintenance. While I bought a gallon of triclopyr, maybe it won't be necessary this year. We'll see.

While I was out with the lopper, I tried hand pulling some of the buckthorn sprouts. Some came out good, others were pretty wiry and I could not get them out of the ground. A tool like a long handled geared lopper but with an oversized pliers head would make pulling the seedlings much easier. I wonder if there is something like that available.

The pin cherries are pretty easy to spot now, as are the plumbs. Maybe they will do better with the buckthorn out of their way. The biggest concentration of 1" type buckthorn that I had previously missed was tight around a beautiful 16" diameter black cherry. I'm glad that I missed the buckthorns there earlier, otherwise I might have lost that cherry to triclopyr.

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klunker

terreniff,

I used this

https://www.prairiemoon.com/grand-diversity-mixed-height-prairie-seed-mix.html

seed mix from prairie moon, had a good showing of black-eyed susan, hard to find anything other than weeds. planted it in the late fall. in fact before we finished the snow was flying covering the already broadcasted seeds.


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klunker

AB, thanks for the reply, no chemicals used for 2 years? I can't imagine a corn field with no herbicides and no weeds.


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A B(Zone 4)

Sorry, just going by the best of my recollection. Prep was over 5 years ago so it is a bit of a blur. Instead of writing "no chemicals", I should have wrought, "no pre-emergents, and only non-residuals". Sorry I can't recall specifics but I do recall having the conversation. (No, I'm not a politician:) Anyway, whatever the farmer used or didn't use, we had positive results. Something to think about if you are transitioning from a corn field to a prairie.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

This weekend I experimented with making a small buckthorn puller for the little ones. It worked great on the first one, but the wooden handle broke on the second buckthorn. I replaced it with a fiberglass sledgehammer handle, and now waiting for the epoxy to harden to give it another go.

Other than that, the lawn terrorist, Charlie Bin Creepin, has all but taken over the back yard. I tried a mix of Trimec and Triclopyr to see how it does. Probably have to hit it one more time in a couple of weeks, and will know next spring if it worked.

Next weekend, will head up to the lake. Buckthorn should be pretty visible.

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Pat & Bill Brown

bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3

Will the weedwand you mention above work with triclopyr?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Pat & Bill Brown, the manufacturer is pretty responsive. That would be a good question to ask him. He would probably want to know if you are using the water or oil based triclopyr, and if it is oil based, what kind of oil you will be mixing it with.

Otherwise, they aren't all that expensive to try with. If you are using oil based mix, maybe dump any excess into a jar when you are done and save for next time, rather than trust the valve.

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terrineff

Glad to see new additions to BT thread. Last week when temp 70' sprayed saplings near perimeters of the yard and slope areas where BT females no longer present. With other fall yard work to accomplish, did not work my way into the ~20-25' wetland buffer zone formerly dense with BT brush and mature trees until Thursday. So disappointed to find great deal of resprouting at base of otherwise decaying 1" to 2" specimens cut to height of 2'-3' and treated with 18% glyphosate. From my notes seems it's now too cold for foliar treatment. Everyone, do I now need to wait until spring growth to treat? In your experience what % 2,4-D / Triclopyr 4 / glyphosate has proven lowest threshold which ensures eradication?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Driving through the neighborhood today, I can see clearly all of the buckthorn that my neighbors have. The neighbor with the biggest woods had a bunch last year, but I went through it with my triclopyr backpack, and I see almost none this year.

The "Grandpa's Weeder" modifications seemed to work to pull smaller buckthorn, so I ordered up some strong aluminum pieces to try making one from scratch. For anyone's information who might be interested, I bolted some small aluminum plates to a Grandpa's Weeder between the tines, and screwed a piece of 2x4 to the tail piece. Then, I removed the weak wooden handle, and epoxied a fiberglass sledge hammer handle in its place. Pulls the small ones, 1/4 to 3/8" diameter. Wow, do those things develop a set of roots!

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)


I'm going for my 4th treatment at the Arboretum for this month. Still to do is a large stand of 2" small trees. Will use the chain saw and 2-4-d. Shouldn't take too much time to do.

I'm still using foliar spray on small ones that have such a small diameter stem.

terrineff, it appears that the original cutting at 2 to 3' must have been excessive hence the re-sprouting. I would think there's still time to do foliar spray using five to 10% 2-4-d.

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terrineff

To dandy_line: Thanks. With all our precipitation of late, find hand pulling saplings relatively quick work on slopes. Increased % glyphosate for recent cut & treats but believe adjunct herbicide essential going forward. Do you recommend 2,4-D over Triclopyr? Diluted to what % concentration if sole agent vs. in combination?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

To terrineff: Regarding cut and treat, I use glyphosate ag strength straight up, except for a little blue marker dye. Cut them near the ground, dab heavily around the cambium. They do not come back. For foliar spraying, the Wisconsin DNR guys I have talked with recommend triclopyr, and I followed their recommendations, and tried triclopyr alone, and also mixed with 2,4-D (Crossbow brand). It definitely works. Be aware that it kills woody plants such as nice hardwood trees and other natives sprouts that might have already shed their leaves, so if you use triclopyr this way, be careful. I'm going back to Dandy_line's recommendation for stronger 2,4-D for foliar use because it will not kill the hardwoods or the upcoming, currently leafless, natives. Will still use triclopyr/diesel for basal bark applications if I need to, but next year will try a little lower concentration to save money.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

It is going to be a cold and damp weekend in Wisconsin, but I'm going to try camping anyway, and try to take advantage of the buckthorn visibility with the other leaves down. If it is wet, I'll probably take out the backpack sprayer with triclopyr for the trunks, rather than spray 2,4-D. If it is dry, 2,4-D will get the nod. Then again, I might not feel like camping in the cold. Then again, there has been a whooping crane spotted in the area, and I'd sure like to get some photos, so it might be worth the long shiver in the sleeping bag. Maybe only 300 whooping cranes in the world. Decisions, decisions, decisions!

On another note, my bottle of Speedzone came in, and I sprayed 5 gallons of mix on the creeping charlie in the back yard. I hope it does something.

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terrineff

Progress in Minnetonka! Tom spent total of 14 hours last weekend and this chainsawing -- dropping branches and felling female trees -- then lopping brush. Views of our pond incredible vs. 2014. Many lessons learned. Uncertain if Facebook video clip posted by Tom generally accessible but here goes:

https://www.facebook.com/tom.stockert/videos/10207859622366725/

His accompanying comment: "Year four of brush removal...only four or five more years and we'll have it under control. Would not have been able to stand here last year let alone see the house."

Mixed 10% 2,4-D per dandy_line's advice to attack stump resprouts today. Thanks for all the wisdom mined from this blog, gang.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Terineff: Can't see the video without logging on to Facebook. Maybe you can try posting out on youtube? I for one would really like to see your progress.

Sharon and I spent about 16 hours attacking the stuff at the Arb this fall with very good results. They are very sensitive about one area that has their prized Showy Lady Slippers and this is the time of year that we can only be safely doing Buckthorn removal in that place. I used my chainsaw to remove a number of large-sized trees, and we only did open stump spraying. I'm anticipating seeing the results in future years.

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Pat & Bill Brown

Am cutting and stump treating an impenetrable buckthorn patch about 200x40’ of moderate sized trees probably averaging 2” in
diameter and 15’ tall, ranging small to 6". I’m left with one BIG pile of brush and would love advice on how to best dispose of it. Prairie Resto said they would cut, treat,
gather, and burn in this area if they were to do it but I didn't hire them. It’s a lot of debris to
move and I’m not sure what I’d gain by moving it. Can it be burned where it is?
Can I burn it myself? What do you advise for most efficient disposal?

See short video I made for you: https://youtu.be/2Ac_gOeBMdI

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Can you just lop it and leave it? I know it is a big tangled mess, but that can be reduced quite a bit with a lopper. It seems to rot pretty quickly.

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Pat & Bill Brown

It may be worth lopping it to condense it some. I'd still like to burn it though and be rid of it.

This is the second time I've gone through my yard on a buckthorn cleanse. First time was about 10 years ago. I too thought that the buckthorn might have decayed but I'm finding a lot of carcasses out there. Not gone, unfortunately, just covered.

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A B(Zone 4)

I have some spots where I pile it and know I can burn it safely. Usually don't make my burn piles much larger than a compact car. Also like the idea of leaving some nicely stacked brush piles for habitat for critters, usually in inconspicuous areas. Toyed with the idea of burning on a frozen pond, but not sure how the ash would affect the aquatic life? Just throwing that one out there.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I saw the video and am impressed with the amount of effort you put in. You have some large piles thereto get rid of. I see a bit of swamp grass there which will catch on fire if you're not careful, Once there is snow cover there won't be much of a problem with it getting out of control. The piles the way they are now will not burn well-they need to have larger concentrated mass in order to sustain the fire, so you may need to organize them into individual piles ,or else into one long continuous row.

I did a burn like that of a long row by waiting until the wind was just right so that it would feed the burn. Bur one must be careful not to set the woods on fire!

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terrineff

Wish I more tech-savvy -- tried to post pre-/post- property photos but unable to upload. Question: unwilling to accept bramble mess for multi-year process? Tom dedicated great deal of time and moreover effort to chipper/shredder work for two years. He now believes natural process of decay supersedes effort of cleanup. Though legally we could burn, not worth risk of spread/ unintended consequences. This fall he's concentrated on lopping downed wood as suggested by Bill_G. Coincidentally, while reordering BT Blaster spent time pursuing the website; their contention garlic mustard significantly more drastic threat than BT disturbing, no?

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Pat & Bill Brown

Yes terrineff, prospect of garlic mustard being more difficult to remove is disturbing. I'm fairly new to that battle. Am planning to burn alot of large buckthorn piles this winter. Local fire warden claims little risk with snow covered ground. Nor permit needed no matter the size if there are 3" or more of snow. fyi

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Pat & Bill Brown

Should One Cover Brush with Plastic?

This brings a question to mind. My fire warden and one or two others suggested covering the brush piles with a tarp to facilitate drying and eventual burning but I'd rather not if it wasn't necessary. Prepping these piles takes effort, the plastic sheeting is costing me $ hundreds, and we all know the planet doesn't need more of it. Does anyone have the experience to know whether I actually need to cover mature buckthorn cut in the late fall and early winter to be able to burn pile of it by the end of February?

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Pat & Bill Brown

To bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

I just bought one of these Green Weeder and wondered whether it might help you with all your basil bark treatments. It seems like it should be a step up from a rag. Haven't used it yet but will keep you posted. Has anyone else used one?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Pat&Bill-it seems counter-intuitive to me that plastic would enable drying. Keeping the brush open to the air makes more sense.

I think that three months of drying is too short a time. However, if you time it just right where you have a brisk wind coming from the right direction, and snow cover to prevent serious wildfire, then it should burn down just right. The snow cover is essential because the pile will smolder for more than a few days after.

If you have some additional material to add to the pile, that would help also. At least at the start of the burn.

I always watch the future weather cast so that the wind direction and speed is just right. Then light it off and watch it burn.

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Pat & Bill Brown

dandy_line(3B (Northern, Mn))

To be clear, the plastic is just on top, the sides remain open. Many people around here, as well as myself, cover their fire wood stacks in this manner as well especially if they don't have a sunny spot for them. So, the idea is not completely foreign to me.

I take it you don't cover your brush piles then. How long do you dry them? Any particular time of year? What kind of wind speeds do you look for?

Forecasting wind direction is a bit tricky for me since many of my piles sit in a topographical depression but I will watch to see what I can do.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I would let mine dry a year or so. But it all depends on how much of an eyesore one can put up with. Brush piles have their benefits to the bird life too. Wind speeds ~10 mph. Like I said, it's tricky trying to avoid burning down the neighborhood. Late Spring when very dry is dangerous.

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terrineff

Chuckled reminiscing about our attempt to burn first year BT logs in newly purchased fire pit. Bust. Fortunately learned with current work encircling the pond to cut trees to ensure drop into marshy cattails rather than on land.

Re: garlic mustard. With the extended warm autumn discovered GM explosions in sunny to dappled areas heretofore untreated. Yes, glyphosate sprayed extensively during early November. Hopefully killed off that round of sprouts -- only 12+ years more seeds lie dormant.....

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Pat & Bill Brown

Sounds like we need a thread for garlic mustard.

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A B(Zone 4)

I've been watching for garlic mustard in my 6 acre woods. Haven't see any yet, but another member of the mustard family raised it's ugly head last summer. I thought I had several nice new patches of Phlox throughout the woods, but this fall something didn't look right as the seed pods looked like garlic mustard and the leaves were elongated and green well into late fall. Turns out what I thought was Phlox is actually Dame's Rocket. Now I have another invasive on my list. I will attack by pulling when it blossoms, remove the plant material from the woods and dispose in the landfill. I'm concerned that there was a healthy seed bank left by last year's crop. Dame's Rocket is pretty to look at but from what I have read, is a nasty invasive in the mustard family that should not be left unattended.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

I only burn in late summer. I find that any brush I cut through the end of May is ready to burn by the end of August. If there is grass growing around a brush pile I mow a 3 foot wide path around it all summer. As long as there hasn't been a drought, I can burn the brush pile in place without any worries, but still water it with a hose while burning to keep it from getting too hot.

It's easier to control the fire if the brush is placed in long narrow piles (10 ft wide at most) instead of a large circle. You light one end and let it it progress to the other end. I learned this the hard way last summer. I had a nice 20 ft diameter circular pile that I later threw a fallen cottonwood into. It went from a few embers to uncontrollable inferno with 30 ft high flames in about five minutes.

There's a guy a in my neighborhood who burns green brush year round, but he uses a ton of gasoline to do it.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@A B, I have Dame's Rocket too. Pulled some last fall, sprayed a little more, Also concerned about the seed bank.

Regarding burning green brush, gnomeabram, while I haven't done it in my woods in Wisconsin, I have at home. The key is having a hot base fire of dry wood, and throw it on a little at a time. I've done that with freshly dropped elm trees, knocked them down and completely burned them in a weekend. You can feed continuously, and it will take all you throw in, but don't smother it with a bunch all at once. With buckthorn, as twisty as it is, maybe best to use the lopper to reduce it down to single branches rather than a big, airy, tangled mess.


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Pat & Bill Brown

gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B) - Am I correct to assume that neither you or your neighbor cover the tops of your piles to keep the rain off?

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terrineff

First I've heard of Dame's Rocket. To my knowledge have not spotted any here-- yet. Two informative articles, the first dating back to 2011 Michigan article "Public Enemy #2" [Note advice to beware wildflower seed mixes: Fuller said he often finds Dame’s Rocket seeds in the species mix of wildflowers offered for sale across the state. “Those ‘prairies in a can’ are wildflowers from somewhere, but not from the Midwest.”] and the second "Plants Gone Rogue" dated 2016.

http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2011/06/public_enemy_no_2_invasive_dam.html

http://www.appliedeco.com/dames-rocket/

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

To Pat & Bill Brown: I just saw your message, for some reason I did not receive notifications on the last couple posts. Anyway, I never cover brush piles and have never seen anyone else around here do so. From my experience anything that is piled up by the end of May is ready to burn by the beginning of August with a week of dry weather.

I seeded my "prairie" in late December with the seeds the need stratification. I broadcast the grass seeds in the beginning of March hoping that frost seeding will work. I put "prairie" in quotes since I also planted 100 pounds of tall fescue. My goal is simply to avoid it becoming a weedy mess (don't have the $$$ for a true prairie establishment), if prairie plants actually grow over time that will be a plus. Will post photos if/when things germinate. So far conditions have been ideal for frost seeding, but germination is still a few weeks away.

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Pat & Bill Brown

Hi gnomeabram, Haven't been on this thread in awhile either. Seems to have gone quiet perhaps for the season. I've been fairly busy through some of the winter though. Check out my buckthorn piles:

There are 17 of them.

I mostly cut and stacked these in December. I forget who or where I heard it but someone advised me to cover them. Perhaps, so they'd dry quicker and be easier to burn later in winter before snow melt. Well, it didn't work. These piles still aren't burning well and need more nursing than they're worth. I'll probably just let them go until there is a few inches of next year's snow on the ground. They should burn then I figure. The advantage of burning in the snow is that if there is 3" or more on the ground, you don't need a burn permit. Otherwise, technically I would for these size piles. If I know it would take another season to cure, I would definitely have skipped the cost and hassle of the plastic sheeting.

It recently occurred to me that what I had previously been thinking about as a woods is actually a degraded savanna. A number of open grown oaks became a woods when they filled in with boxelder and buckthorn. So, recently I've been considering restoring the savanna and have temporarily moved on to felling boxelders and dead oak branches. There are a lot more piles yet to come.

Haven't really looked at replanting yet. What kind of $$$ were you looking at for the "true prairie establishment" you mention above? You've got me concerned.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Those piles are pretty small compared to the ones I make. We are in a semi-rural area, and generally don't have to be worried about burn permits (technically it's required here too, but I've never gotten one). I would think covering the piles would only trap moisture in. Getting the moisture to escape from inside the green wood takes the most time, and for the most part doesn't happen during the winter. If you wait until next winter to burn it probably would be advantageous to cover the dried wood before it snows next fall so that you can burn them with snow on the ground.

As for cost of prairie restoration, seed mixes cost upwards of $1200 per acre, plus the cost to prepare the soil. That's not something I'm in the position to do right now, but I've had luck in the past just sprinkling seed sparingly on the ground in the fall and winter and having wildflowers and grass fill in over time. The freeze-thaw cycle of early spring helps to work the seed into the ground supposedly. I'm hoping for a repeat of that, but on a much larger scale (1.5-2 acres worth vs a few hundred square feet in the past). I spent about $400 on wildflower and grass seed so far.

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Pat & Bill Brown

$1,200/acre, ouch!

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Regarding the brush piles, when I have burned buckthorn, it has been in smaller piles, and it required me to lop it into smaller pieces, otherwise too much space around the fuel. A good pair of bypass loppers makes short work of it. I use the Fiskars geared loppers.

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

I had a 50' long pile of well dried downed wood and pine boughs a few years ago. I started at the down wind end and worked my way up by dowsing it with kerosene/fuel oil in spots. If i had started on the up wind end, it would have created a conflagration that would have brought out the fire dept.

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Pat & Bill Brown

bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3) I agree about there being too much space between the wood, at least in its current flammability status. I have used loppers on the top and I've jumped up and down on all of them. Someone advised running a chainsaw through the piles but I've been hesitant to try that. If you were to lop more thoroughly, would you do it as is or would you pull the piles apart, lop and rebuild? Frankly, I'm hoping if I leave it alone and come back next fall when the wood is drier that it won't be a problem. Your thoughts?

dandy_line(3B (Northern, Mn)) Based upon your report, it doesn't seem spacing was problem at time of burning. What did you do, if anything, to compact your piles?

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terrineff

To gnomeabram: With as miserable a 'spring' upper Midwest experiencing, would tall fescue seeding work if disseminated once forecast devoid of snowfall?

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Pat & Bill Brown, I haven't burned a lot of buckthorn, but when I have, it was my opinion that the fuel density wasn't high enough to support combustion. Those darned branches are so tangled up. I lopped and lopped, until it was greatly reduced. Then, I scooped it up and threw it in the fire pit. I'd probably rebuild the pile next to where you have it now. Use your best scouting skills to build it in a way that it will burn. Kindling on the bottom, plenty of good dry trunk wood for fuel for the main fire, and you may wind up standing by it throwing smaller twigs on top as you lop them. It has been my experience that with a decent fire with enough fuel, it will take the twigs and slash as fast as you can lop them and throw them in a good open flame.

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terrineff

Tom's considering strategic BT bramble lightening rod placement. :)

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

terrineff: I sure hope so! We've had a lot of days above freezing and nights below freezing since I broadcast the seed on March 2nd, which has resulted in a lot of frost heave at the surface. We got a few inches of snow the day after I broadcast, but only about a half an inch of precip the rest of the month. I'm contemplating putting down another 50 pounds of tall fescue or perennial rye once ideal germination conditions appear imminent. The ground is completely bare so seed/soil contact isn't an issue.

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terrineff

What brand tall fescue did you purchase? Upon researching seems would be excellent option for our naturalscape slopes.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Based on price only, I bought DLF K31 from Tractor Supply: https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/dlf-kentucky-31-tall-fescue-50-lb?rfk=1


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Pat & Bill Brown

Hey bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3), I purchased those Fiskars ratchet loppers you recommended but the anvil variety for breaking down brush to burn. Am quite happy I did. Worth the $50 and more to me. Thanks much for the useful tip!!

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louis de paris

Avoid using glyphosate and related products:

for french reader, glyphosate has a deep impact on your health and your pet's health: http://www.infosglyphosate.com/category/risques-sanitaires/

but hopefully there are alternative ways to get rid off weeds:

for pros: https://youtu.be/Cn5S9TiDcBI

and https://positivr.fr/desherbant-eau-chaude-alternative-glyphosate/

for private gardenners:

http://www.infosglyphosate.com/les-desherbeurs-thermiques-une-alternative-ecologique-au-glyphosate/

God bless you





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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Hey, Pat & Bill Brown... you had mentioned trying the "Green Weeder" https://www.smuckermfg.net/green-weeder-product-page  Did you have any luck with that? Does anybody know of something similar, only with two pads that press together? I've got so many seedlings that are probably too thin to get wet by brushing a single pad against them, but if I could grab between two pads, I could make some pretty good tracks. Tried pulling seedlings today, and they kicked my butt.

Edit: Might have found exactly what I was looking for. https://www.mipn.org/clampertool/


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Pat & Bill Brown

Hey bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3), Yes, I like the green-weeder. You have a lot of control over flow rate with the wand. For little ones, I'd have it just short of dripping and I think it'd work though I hadn't really used on that size much. Used more on 1/4 to 1/2" diameter stubs as a basal bark rub. I want them gone, so I cut them first with a brush cutter and had someone followed me with the green weeder attached to a backpack sprayer. I have analyzed closely but looks like we had a pretty good kill rate. Lots of black stubs everywhere.

The reason I had mentioned this to you is that it seems similar to what you were doing with the wand and rags and triclopyr/diesel fuel mix but it offers more control. If it works for your small ones, I suspect it would be quicker than the clampertool you linked to. Though I appreciate knowing about this tool as well and bookmarked it. Let me know how you like it as you use it.

If you buy the green weeder and use it with an oil mixture, you'll have to massage and pamper that sponge awhile when first using it to get it to behave properly. It didn't really work for us until the second day.

By the way, now that I've cut down all my plants, I've been advised by various pros to mow, approximately now through sometime in June for strongest impact. Next herbicide application will be in the fall.

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terrineff

To Bill_G: Relieved to see thread resumed. It's been challenging spring. Appears very little of my fall foliar spraying effective -- significant resprout of BT cut & treated first year using sub-optimal glyphosate concentration. Seeds themselves have not proved much of an issue. Instead two nemesis sallied to forefront: garlic mustard in areas excavated for highway widening prior to lot purchase and worse, Canary Reed Grass.

Quite interested in purchasing Clamper Tool to deal with massive headache of CRG invading no-mow fescue. To date clump spraying or labor-intensive dabbing individual blades with glyphosate effective but this spring CRG erupted with a vengeance en masse in several new areas. Without ability to realistically spot-treat only solution I see is kill it off along with no-mow fescue on south side of the house, then start over next year. Any advice from the group sincerely appreciated.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Just got back from my property, terrineff, looking it over to gauge the amount of work for this spring and summer. A significant crop of baby buckthorn seedlings. There are a few yearlings that I missed last year, as well, and probably some bigger ones that I haven't seen.

Regarding the clamper tool, I heard from the author of the article, and the clamper tool is a DIY thing. He says it is pretty easy - remove the suction cups, and replace with 2-1/2" PVC pipe caps that have been cut shorter. Uae a square sponge and stuff in pipe caps. I ordered the 40" size grips rather than the shorter ones that they had, thinking it gives me a little more reach radius. It has not arrived yet.

My plan right now is to mix a smaller load of triclopyr/diesel in the backpack, use on any larger buckthorns that I find, and use it also to replenish the sponges to use the clamper on all the little sprouts.

Regarding the reed canary grass... last fall, after most everything went dormant, the canary grass was still pretty green. I put glyphosate in the backpack and just broadcast sprayed. While I was discouraged last year, this spring, the stuff that I sprayed did not come back. I need to make a pass now to catch all the stuff I missed, then rake it or burn it, and get it ready to replant with a short prairie mix.


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terrineff

Bill_G: Amending post based Clamper contact person reply. Told not commercially available; let us know your experience once arrives. Worst of CRG appeared where battled sedge for two years, filled cartons and cartons dead Sedgehammer-treated material which allowed CRG to explode. (Apparently nearly all fescue seeded mid-November under steep slope mat washed away.)

Also must update "...seeds not much of an issue" comment. Ventured into wetland buffer zone not visible from house to treat resprout = greeted by major sapling explosion. At this time of year what do you recommend as effective glyphosate concentration? If fescue area, Triclopyr and/ or 2,4-D at what %?

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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Terrineff-For saplings, I used 2-4-d at 5 to 10%. I suggest you have a mask on when doing it, and in low wind conditions. Hit the new leaf growth. May is the best time to do this as the natives know better than to stick their heads out of the ground until June or later.

For Canary Reed Grass, I had the luxury of being able to burn off the old growth in Spring and then when the new growth come up, about 6 to 12", slam it with Glyphosate, about 10% solution or so. The native grasses were not up yet so there was no residual damage using this method.

Since burning is not an option for you, then mowing should work, either in Fall or else early Spring. It should take a few years or so to totally erraticate, I think.

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

Thought I would post an update on my post-buckthorn recovery efforts (prior updates can be found earlier in this thread). On March 2nd I broadcast 85 pounds of K-31 tall fescue, and a few pounds of prairie grasses on the entire area, based on the concept of "frost seeding". The weather worked very much to my advantage over the next month and a half, with several snowfalls as well as many days above freezing and nights below freezing. This really worked the seed into the ground with no additional effort on my part. My only concern with the late start to spring was the possibility of a lot of the seed being eaten by mice, turkeys, etc. I decided to spread the remaining K-31 (15 pounds) as well as 50 pounds of perennial rye on May 1st as there was a long-duration rain event in the forecast followed by warmer weather. By May 10th there was a green cast to the entire area. It really started to take off during the hot weather of the past week and a half. I'm very happy with the results so far, the only downside being an explosion of garlic mustard, which I wasn't expecting (but probably should have). My plan is to let it go this summer and mow it when it blooms next spring. I also have some prairie flower seed mixed in and hope some of it emerges over time. Here are some before and after pictures.




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dandy_line (Z3b N Cent Mn)

Awesome!

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Pat & Bill Brown

Congrats!

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terrineff

To gnomeabram: Ah, garlic mustard, seems bumper crop this year. Do you plan to spot spray? I've been applying 2,4-D using Hudson battery-powered Insta-Spray. Were I inventive, believe designing foam or other material 'sleeve' to slip over the curved tip end of identical model used for glyphosate application would allow direct contact with CRG blades and minimize collateral herbicide damage. Anyone have a clever suggestion?

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gnomeabram(SE Wisconsin 5B)

I'm hoping not to spray anything this summer unless an area becomes totally consumed by weeds. My goal is to wage a war of attrition on the the GM by mowing it before it can re seed, I think that's the only realistic way to avoid collateral damage.

On a positive note, I've seen very little of the buckthorn seedlings re sprout. The 30 gallons or so of triclopyr/24d I sprayed last summer seems to have really been effective. Hopefully the grass can become established before the seed bank wakes up.

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Pat & Bill Brown

"War of Attrition" is my strategy with garlic mustard as well. Only am using a brush cutter at the moment for greater specificity.

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terrineff

Packed four wine shippers w/ Canadian goldenrod & GM pulled by hand on slopes where county planted a few wildflower clumps & viburnums post-highway widening. With size of our property, hand-pulling not viable plan. Yes, county's annual 'plant and pray' fescue seed drop in highway boulevard is no plan. First Creeping Charlie showed up in that vicinity = sprayer in service. Neighbor asked if I'd come in contact with supposedly present poison ivy. Internet PI photos don't appear something I've encountered; are others finding it prevalent? On positive note, first year our pond encircled by lovely lily water colonies. Wonder if clearing out all that buckthorn pollution altered (i.e., improved) the aquatic ecosystem.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

Well, I finished modifying the 40" EZ Reacher to go after buckthorn saplings. With a scissors, I cut a couple of aerosol can caps down to about a half inch thick. I drilled a hole in the center, and bolted the little cups on in place of the EZ Reacher's little suction cups. Really simple to do. I cut a sponge into two circles, a little larger diameter than the cups, stuffed them into the cups and wired them place with a straightened out paper clip. The idea is to saturate the sponges with triclopyr/oil and wipe the trunks of the saplings. They could also be soaked with glyphosate or 2,4-D and used to wipe the leaves. Maybe I'll try both. It will get a test this weekend. I'll post an update on how it works.

The thing is really light to carry, and seems like it ought to work well. I'll probably also carry the Fiskars lopper and a sponge tipped applicator with full strength glyphosate and a little blue dye.

If anyone wants to try this, I'd suggest Gorilla taping the two halves of the handle together first. It seems to want to pop apart pretty easily.

On another note, my neighbor just posted a picture of several large wagon loads of wild parsnip that she pulled, with plenty more to go. She said that it grew in much, much thicker than last year. If my property is loaded, too, it is a higher priority than buckthorn saplings. Damn!

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@ terrineff, if you have not seen poison ivy, once you see it for the first time, you will recognize it forever after. The shape of the leaves remind me of Boxelder leaves, but they are darker green and look like they have a coat of wax on them. Sometimes online, they show it growing in vines. I've never, ever, seen that in MN. Usually they are just a foot or so tall, and grow along the edges. It is pretty easy to get rid of with 2,4-D and dish soap or some kind of surfactant to wet the leaves. Whatever you do, DO NOT burn it!

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terrineff

To bill_g_wisconsin: See EZ-Reacher for sale online, having difficulty picturing how you intend to utilize. Need to carry herbicide to continuously dip sponges? Perhaps could attach photo of your device. Bought cosmetic sponges for my 'innovation' attempt -- affix atop Insta-Spray tip to hopefully absorb herbicide when power activated, then dab wet sponge onto CRG blades. Will let you know if works.

My issues besides CRG? Yellow nutsedge explosion, Black Medic infestation on sunny north slope where fescue is challenged, and the usual suspects though GM relatively under control. Winning the battle in limited areas such as NE slope beyond seeded yard.

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

@ terrineff, going to have to figure out about the juice on the sponges. From what the person in Michigan said, you don't have to apply it too often, as it is really efficient with its use. I'm visualizing starting out carrying a quart and see how far it goes. Initially intending to pour it on each sponge as necessary. Not sure if I'll have a chance this weekend - the report from neighbors is that I will be really busy with the parsnips, which have an urgency to them because they are in full bloom which means seeds soon if I don't whack them now. Also, playing music at the Pipe Dream Center there Saturday night, and it is always embarrassing going in there with blue dye all over. LOL

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bill_g_wisconsin(Zone 3)

No update this week on the EZ Reacher mods. I didn't get to try it out..

The wild parsnips were a higher priority as some of the flowers were already turning to seed. Pulled about 1000 of them, bagged the flowers, cut the roots off, and cut the stems up. Avoiding the sun for a week or so. Gloves were soaked. I hope it was perspiration, not parsnip juice! My neighbor next door pulled about 3 trailer loads at their place, and the neighbor across the road has nothing growing in their ditch besides parsnips. Arrghh!

If anyone ever tells you that 2,4-D takes them out when sprayed in the late fall, don't believe them. I sprayed the snot out of them last fall, and the fairly small area that I sprayed had by far the most bolted plants this year, maybe 500 of them. So, 2,4-D is a fail. The noxious weed specialist in a northern MN county that has an awful problem told me that the herbicide "Escort" has been about 95% effective for them, when sprayed after this years' bolts turn brown.

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terrineff

To bill_g_wisconsin: Whew-- thought I'd found wild parsnip patch but fortunately not it. I see Escort is branded formulation methylsulfuron-methyl. Ordered MSM granules last year for goldenrod but found 2,4-D and even foot-stomping at base effective so never reconstituted. Let us know how well MSM works on WP.

Experiencing issues with GreenShoots dispenser. Pump action gone on the one used 2017, a new one never 'foamed' from start. Did you experience degradation of ability to dispense foam and/or plunger sticking in depressed position? Think use of Alligare surfactant rather than their Blue Foaming Agent contributed to eventual pump failure?