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Controlling eleagnus

By Matthew Arnsberger
Posted Monday, December 21, 2009

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Pittsboro, NC - Two kinds of eleagnus are a problem in the Southeast - Eleagnus pungens ( Silverberry, is an evergreen, thorny eleagnus) and Eleagnus umbellata (Autumn Olive, is a deciduous, less thorny eleagnus). They are quite prevalent in the woods this time of the year when many native plants have dropped their leaves.

Herbicides are an effective means of controlling eleagnus and cause less site disturbance than uprooting the plants, which means less probability of other invasive plants colonizing disturbed soil areas. Glyphosate (Round-Up) can be used as a foliar application if leaves are present and temperatures are above 50 degrees F. Do not use glyphosate near creeks, streams or other bodies of water, the surfactants contained in the mixture are toxic to aquatic animals.

Warm winter days are a good time to apply a foliar herbicide as it will not effect adjacent deciduous plants - the targeted invasive plant should have leaves however.

There are oil-based basal bark treatments that are very effective for use in the winter time. These chemical treatments are restricted-use and should only be applied by licensed pesticide applicators.

Multi-stemed, woody invasives (privet, eleagnus, multiflora rose, wisteria) can also be controlled by cutting the stems down near ground level and applying a 25% concentration of glyphosate to the fresh cut stubs. However, this is best done in the fall - October, November when the sap is falling and will aid the chemical translocating into the root system. There is less chance of chemical drift with this cut and paint technique.

A non-chemical approach is to physically uproot the plants if they are not too big. A large weed-wench is an excellent tool for this purpose. see Be sure to cover the disturbed site area with leaves to reduce the likelihood of new invasive exotic pest plants growing there.

Matthew Arnsberger offer invasive exotic pest plant control in the Chapel Hill and North Chatham area.

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Controlling eleagnus

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