Multi-stemmed brush species – Roughleaf Dogwood

A couple of weeks ago, I referenced buckbrush management. A second multi-stemmed species of concern for us in our perennial forage systems is Roughleaf Dogwood.

One of the challenges with a roughleaf dogwood control program is how much later it comes on than buckbrush. Buckbrush gets to its optimum control window earlier than dogwood, which often doesn’t exhibit its flat-topped clusters of white flowers until late May or early June. In native grass pastures with regular burning, fire can keep it from getting started (see some Konza Prairie control differences in this week’s First Friday Forage Focus on our Meadowlark Extension District Facebook page – In cool season forage stands, or unburned warm season prairies, dogwood becomes difficult to remove once established.

Herbicide applications can be effective from the flower bud stage through early seed production. Many common herbicide active ingredients have some activity – but seldom result in what we’d consider great control. In fact, research with single active ingredient products like triclopyr or dicamba or picloram, even in combination with 2,4-D, seldom result in mortalities greater than 25 percent. Even “good” control isn’t great, with high volume treatments of multiple active ingredient products resulting in around 50 percent control. Single applications, even of multiple active ingredient products, likely won’t eliminate roughleaf dogwood in a single year, instead requiring a multi-year effort, possibly in combination with prescribed fire.

Herbicides may damage desirable grasses under the right conditions and all of the herbicides above will do significant damage to desirable legumes and other broadleaf forbs in forage stands. Always read and follow label directions prior to application. For additional information on rates/timings/products, request a copy of (or link to…) the 2024 KSU Chemical Weed Control Guide available through any District Office.

David Hallauer50 Posts

David Hallauer is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the areas of horticulture and crops and soils.


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