Thursday, August 5, 2010

Herbicide gets to the root of the problem!

November 9, 2008 - Bear Canyon Bridge

August 3, 2010 - Bear Canyon Bridge

When do you apply herbicide to Sabino’s Giant Reed (Arundo donax)? All the local experts told us: “Look at the plant, not the calendar. Whenever the plant is green, the herbicide will work.” Following that sage local advice paid off during the 2009 growing season. We made spring and summer applications with a wetlands-approved herbicide that killed the re-growing Arundo canes and rhizomes (roots).

First photo taken Nov. 9, 2008 shows part of a colossal Giant Reed thicket that was destroying a locally famous native buttonbush stand. Second photo, taken Aug. 3, 2010, same stand after spring and summer herbicide treatments. Third photo is same spot Aug. 3, 2010 from a reverse angle showing buttonbush expanding and a reduced set of re-sprouted Arundo that needs to be treated again.

Arundo is an extremely fast-growing destroyer of native plants. Re-sprouts in Sabino will need to be treated aggressively and continuously during the entire growing season for the next several years to bring the infestation under control.

--Photos and text from Mark Hengesbaugh

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