Management of Eastern redcedar with herbicides
The most common control methods used against Eastern redcedar are typically prescribed fire and cutting below the lowest branches. Fire works well on trees less than three feet tall where fuel loads are adequate to burn a significant portion of the tree. On larger trees, cutting below the lowest branches is effective since eastern redcedar doesn’t resprout like hedge or locust. While not used as often, herbicides also can be an option in specific situations.
When herbicides are used for foliar application, products containing picloram are the most commonly used, with Escort XP having a label as well. All are relatively low usage rate products, but work best on small trees, require high spray volumes, thorough spray coverage and may require a non- ionic surfactant for best results. They can be effective, but high spray volumes may be cost prohibitive and control decreases rapidly as trees height increases.
Soil applied options are available as well and include products like Tordon, Velpar L and Pronone Power Pellets. Products are typically applied on the upslope side of plant during April and May or September and October with exact delivery hand-gun applicator. Rainfall is needed for activation and surrounding vegetation can be damaged.
Eastern redcedar management is an important part of grazing land management. Herbicides are often less economical than other methods, but may be a good option in specific situations. Many labeled products are restricted use pesticides with very specific application instructions to reduce vegetation damage. Always read and follow label directions.
For information, request a copy of the 2022 KSU Chemical Weed Control Office available from District Offices or online at https://bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/SRP1169.pdf.
Dormant Seeding of Turfgrass
Seeding of cool-season turfgrasses (tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass) is recommended in September to allow adequate establishment going in to winter. When we miss that window, however, dormant seeding could be an option in December through February when it’s too cold for seed to germinate.
Good seed-soil contact is vital and can be achieved using multiple methods. One is seeding after a light snowfall that allows you to see the bare spots to seed, but is enough so when snow melts it puts seed into soil contact where it will germinate in the spring.
If soil is moist, you can simply apply to the soil surface, with freeze/thaw cycles opening small pockets on the soil surface that capture and hold seed. As soil dries, the pockets collapse and cover the seed. If soils are drier — and unfrozen — you also can use core aerating, verticutting or hand raking followed by a broadcast application of seed immediately after.
Seeding done by any of the above methods will germinate as early as possible in the spring, and that means herbicide restrictions may come in to play. Most preemergence herbicides require turf be well established prior to application. Before applying herbicides following seeding, always read and follow label directions.