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A Strategy for Sustainable Management of Invasive Plants as a Model for Private Landowners.

The goal of the 2007 NGRREC internship project was to help the McCully Heritage Project begin to understand the extent of the invasive plant species on the property and to learn the most effective way to deal with them, and to subsequently share this information with fellow landowners.

In Calhoun County, the main plants that are of concern for landowners are Bush Honeysuckle, Autumn Olive, Tree-of-Heaven and Multi-flora rose. This proved to be true on the McCully property. Garlic Mustard and Reed Canary Grass are also a concern, but were not the focus of this project.

The Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) has basic guidelines that have proven effective in Illinois for all of the plants of concern in the state. These guidelines, along with advice from the IDNR and other land managers formed the basis for our control measures in this project. The INHS guidelines can be found at their Vegetation Management Guideline.

Unfortunately, the main avenue of controlling these plants is through chemical herbicides, although to a limited extent, manual control can be used as well. A goal of this project was to consider how to most effectively and responsibly use chemicals to control the invasive plants, but to limit the use of chemicals to only what was necessary. Through his research our intern (Kye Miller) came up with the following general recommendations for landowners:

[1] Do not attempt to apply herbicides two hours or less prior to rain.

[2] Do not contaminate local water sources or drainages with herbicides, isopropylamine salt of glyphosate (Rodeo, Pronto, etc.) is the only herbicide which is recommended for use near water sources; though do not apply directly to water.

[3] If the plant is small enough to pull or dig out with little effort, perform this method in an attempt to limit herbicide use.

[4] Read and follow MSDS and product labels of herbicides.

[5] Control the most problematic areas first and leave lightly infested areas for later control.

[6] Undiluted herbicide applications rarely need to be applied to be effective, diluting the herbicide will not only prolong the use of the herbicide and save money but will also be less harmful to the environment.

[7] Tordon RTU contains picloram, which is extremely persistent in the environment, unlike other herbicides which have shorter lengths of activity such as glyphosate. Picloram can leach through limestone and contaminate water sources. The herbicide is actually banned in Sweden and Belize and not registered for use throughout the majority of Europe and Africa. 2,4-d is also persistent in the environment and is banned from Sweden, Denmark, Kuwait, and Norway; and is severely restricted in Belize. Tordon was only used during this project since it was already owned by the MHP, so it was basically applied as a means to properly dispose of it.

[8] To apply herbicides in many places, a pesticide applicator’s license is needed. However the law does not apply to private property, therefore one was not sought for this project. Although one is not needed for application of chemicals on private property, getting one is recommended to further educate the subject concerning the use of these chemicals.

[9] Using paper bags as opposed to plastic bags is suggested since plastic bags have a tendency to puncture easy. Puncturing the bags would defeat the purpose of the eradication exercise.

GIS 2007 To view a copy of the poster summarizing Miller’s project, click here. (This is a pdf file. )

 

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