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Controling Cattails
#34366 07/07/04 01:27 PM
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I removed most of the cattails out of my pond but a group of them came back again. What is the best way to manage cattail growth? I don't want any cattails at all. \:\)


Be fishers of fish and fishers of men.
Re: Controling Cattails
#34367 07/07/04 03:47 PM
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Lots of herbicides out there you can mix with a surfactant that will do the job just fine and not hurt your pond or fish. Once the plants turn completely yellow I would remove them to keep them from decomposing in the pond. But be sure they turn completely yellow as this tells you the chemical has reached the tubers.

If you try to just pull them or cut them they will come back. Been there done that.


If pigs could fly bacon would be harder to come by and there would be a lot of damaged trees.






Re: Controling Cattails
#34368 07/07/04 07:56 PM
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One of the aquatic glyphosate formulations would work fine on cattails (Rodeo, Aquamaster, Glypro, Glyphomate 41). All but the last require the addition of a surfactant that is designed for aquatic use. Cattails are most susceptible to glyphosate after they have begun to form the catkin (seed head). Thorough coverage is needed for maximum control. Use the label-recommended mixing rate for the product you select.

Also, there's a new aquatic herbicide call HABITAT that does an incredible job on cattails. However, it is only available in 2.5 gal. jugs and is fairly pricey - mostly used by commercial applicators.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34369 07/08/04 05:07 PM
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I'VE TRIED CHEMICALS ON MY CATTAILS,THEY WORK BUT EVERY YEAR I'VE HAD TO SPEND ALOT OF MONEY,THERE IS A DOG TRAINER THAT USES MY POND TO TRAIN HIS LABS,HE RECOMMENDED CUTTING THEM OFF BELOW THE WATER LINE TO LET THEM ROT IN THE WATER,I TRIED IT ON ONE SIDE OF THE POND AND USED CHEMICALS ON THE OTHERSIDE,GUESSWHAT,THE CUT CATTAILS HAVE NOT RETURNED,THE CATTAILS KILLED WITH CHEMICALS HAVE RETURNED AFTER APPROX.6 MOS.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34370 07/08/04 07:43 PM
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Jerry - you didn't mention which chemical (herbicide) was used. ???

Some herbicides may only brown-out the contacted portion of the plant. Others may be more capable of killing the plants' root systems - provided that the application timing, mix concentration, surfactant and treatment coverage are appropriate.

Basically, if you don't have a lot of cattails to manage, use your cutting-method. Otherwise, an appropriate chemical treatment is usually more labor-effective.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34371 07/08/04 10:08 PM
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Kelly, what herbicides do you recommend that will get to the root system? I have used an application diquate dibromide on all of the cattails last year but a small group of them has come back. Is it common for some cattails to return?

By the way, that is a nice smallmouth you caught. What did you use to catch it and where? I am a smallmouth fisherman myself.


Be fishers of fish and fishers of men.
Re: Controling Cattails
#34372 07/08/04 11:51 PM
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KELLY I USED WEEDTRIME-D,IT WAS EXSPENSIVE,AND IT DID WORK,FOR APPROX.6MOS.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34373 07/09/04 04:01 AM
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Jackson & Jerry

WEEDTRINE D contains diquat dibromide - though much more diluted (and expensive) in comparison to REWARD's higher concentration.

Regardless of its formulation or brand, diquat is a cell wall disrupter and has no systemic (internal plant movement) capabilities. Therefore, on rooted plants, it is incapable of moving into the plant's root system. As a result, "root kill" is often unsuccessful. But, diquat does provide very quick visual results - sometimes overnight.

One of the aquatic glyphosate products (RODEO, AQUAMASTER, GLYPRO) mentioned in other posts would likely provide much more effective root control on cattails and many other rooted plants. Treatments conducted after the catkin has begun to form are usually more effective. Visual symptom may take one to two weeks to appear. Follow the labeled directions.

Your results with diquat are typical and expected. Don't blame the product. Instead, question the source from which you purchased it for not informing you of the details regarding diquat's long-term effects on cattails - or probable lack thereof. WEEDTRINE D and REWARD are, in fact, very useful for many situations - ie. duckweed, waterhyacinth, and many other non-rooted plants. As with any "tool" - use the right one for the project.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34374 07/09/04 07:43 AM
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Thanks for the information. You have been extremly helpful. How much does those types of herbicides run?
You still did not tell me what you used to catch that smallmouth in your picture profile.


Be fishers of fish and fishers of men.
Re: Controling Cattails
#34375 07/09/04 05:05 PM
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Prices may vary considerably on these types of products. It just depends on where you're located, the volume you're buying and the seller's level in the distribution chain.

GLYPHOSATE 41 (41% a.i.) in 1-gal jugs (includes a surfactant) may run around $75 per gal. - and will make about 100 gal. of spray-mix.

RODEO/AQUAMASTER/GLYPRO (53.8%) in 2.5-gal. jugs (no surfactant in these products) may run about the same, or less, price-per-gal. But, 1) these formulations contain 25% more "active" than the GLYPHOSATE 41 - 2) but, they require the additional purchase of an aquatic surfactant ($18-$22/gal.).

As for the smally: I was catching my fish on watermellon tubes or gray 5" Senko worms. Had a blast on the Susky River back in May, but actually caught more and bigger smallies on Champlain last year with Senko worms. If LMB fought as hard as smallies (lb:lb), we'd have to fish our TX lakes with offshore tackle.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34376 07/10/04 09:14 PM
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Another question. How bad is copper sulfate for fish? What better way do you recommend controlling filamentous algae?


Be fishers of fish and fishers of men.
Re: Controling Cattails
#34377 07/10/04 10:36 PM
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Jackson - though I sell copper sulfate, I'm not a big fan of its use by any means - particularly in ponds that support fish. In general, the negatives associated with copper sulfate outweigh its perceived economy. Chelated coppers (CUTRINE, etc), if appropriate, are much preferred over the antiquated copper sulfate formulations.

I'd suggest that you run a search for the term "algae" and/or "filamentous" to find the numerous posts that deal with that subject.

Basically, killing filamentous algae is a quick fix for a symptom of one or more underlying problems. Sometimes it may be warranted. But, don't engage the effort thinking it will be a one-time affair if the actual problem is left unchanged.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34378 08/05/04 02:45 PM
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One of the previous threads on cattails mentioned that, the best time for herbicide application is in the fall, when the plants are transporting nutrients to the roots for the winter.

To me, the hard work comes after they die, when I have to pull them out, or cut them off and take them out of the pond.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34379 08/05/04 03:36 PM
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I have found the most effective way to control cattails was cutting them down and follow up with a spray of rodeo with cide-kickII. This has worked well for me at two ponds in the Indianapolis area. I think after you cut them down and then spray it gets a more concentrated shot to the tubers, no long stems to travel through first.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34380 08/05/04 10:23 PM
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LD - that practice might seem logical, but the reduced surface-area of the plant (post-cutting) lessens the area through which the herbicide may be absorbed and translocated - assuming that a systemic herbicide is deployed (such as glyphosate). If the cattails are standing in water, thorough spray coverage of the entire plant (without prior cutting) as/after catkins are formed will likely offer optimum results.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34381 08/06/04 05:57 AM
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Kellie, you may be correct on that, I'm no expert. I did this on two ponds that I managed and it seems to have worked, it's been 2 years and still not cattails in those areas, although there are more in another area at one pond. I don't manage them anymore, I only picked it up as the builder/developer I worked for didn't like the price he was being quoted to take care of the 4 ponds we owned in our subdivisions. I did a lot of research on the web and talked to a couple other local pond guys for advice before taking it all on. I actually wanted to keep the cattail due to the heavey fil. algae problem with one of the ponds & it was a bird habitat, but one of the homeowners would call complaining almost weekly. Don't they compete for the same nutrients as the algae? I don't have any cattails in my 7 year old pond and this was my only experience in eraddicating them. I didn't intend to mis-inform, only share what worked for me. My thinking was when cutting you open the stalk which I would think would get the chemical into the plants system faster. BTW, I didn't cut them down to the surface, just to about a foot above. Thank you for your information, I always respect the comments of the pros on this great forum.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34382 08/07/04 08:19 AM
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LD - I'm not one to argue with success. Your treatment method may work well, though relatively labor intensive.

A lot depends upon how quickly you apply the herbicide solution to the cut cattails and what concentration-mix was utilized (presumably of glyphosate).

In general, one may use a relatively high dilution-ratio when conducting full-coverage applications to uncut cattails (ex. 1 oz/gal.). Alternately, treatments applied to cut-surfaces need to be done quickly after cutting, and with lower dilution-ratios (higher concentrations - ex 1:1 ~ herbicide:water).

With virtually all systemic herbicides (Rodeo, Aquamaster, etc.), good results usually depend upon the plant's absorption of a sufficient amount of herbicide into its vascular system; whether applied at low concentrations over a large absorptive surface area or high concentrations to a small "cut" surface.

Your post wasn't considered misinformation. It may indeed be a very viable option for those who have moderate levels of infestations and don't want the unsightly appearance presented by a lot of dead cattail debris.

On the other hand, the labor to cut and remove a cattail biomass (ahead of a treatment) might be wasted if the follow-up herbicide treatment was not applied at a sufficient concentration.

BTW: both treatment methods should include a surfactant/wetting agent in the mixture.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34383 08/09/04 06:14 AM
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Kellie, I don't think it any more labor intensive, it actually saves me a trip back to the pond to cut out the dead cattails. I tried spraying prior to cutting and they did die out, but I was left with this ugly brown dead mess of cattails. Thats when I decided to cut them down to within a foot of the water and spray with a Rodeo and Cide-KickII mix, the homeowners didn't complain after that. I can't remember the mix rate, as I left my notes with the job (wish I would hav kept copies), but it was a slightly higher than reccomended. I would cut then spray and move to the next bunch. It was not a severe infestation, but it took a little time to do over about 3 partial days, including cleaning up the cuttings.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34384 08/09/04 06:35 AM
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Something that I've seen posted on this board, but have never witnessed or tried myself, is cutting off cattail stalks below the water's surface - where they'll reportedly die on their own.

My involvement with cattail management usually involves multiple acres (1 - 200+) in various settings; WMAs, hunting clubs, drainage canals, etc. Therefore, cutting and removing such infestations really isn't a viable option.

But, as you pointed out, pre-cutting small-area infestations may be a practical alternative to the ugliness of dead cattails left to rot on their own. I need to broaden my perspective to include such situations.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34385 08/09/04 09:41 AM
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Hi Kelly,

I cut my cattails off below water line and for the most part they just rotted away. The pond is now about 1 ft below normal, so some of the stumps are showing. There are also three or four clumps where they are coming back, but that should be no problem. I left one side of the pond alone as habitat for minnows and small fry.

Two things I should mention:

1. My pond has less than 12" visibility because of suspended clay, so this may help keep the cut plants from coming back.

2. Safety! Somehow, when my dad was cutting with a machety into the water, the blade got reflected and he cut himself pretty bad. Always cut away from you. In the deeper parts, I like to keep the blade under water and cut the plants as close to the bottom as possible.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34386 11/23/04 02:20 PM
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I used a combination of Eagre and Cide Kick II this summer at the time that my cattails were seeding out and it appears that this was effective. I'm looking forward to seeing the results next spring. I've noticed, however, that in our area (Southern Wisconsin) some ponds have cattails and some do not. Assuming that those ponds that do not are not all treated with a herbicide I'm wondering why this is so. Could it be the slope or grade of the pond at the pond edge? I would gladly excavate more slope at the pond edge if this were to create a permanent solution. Anybody have an opinion? Any other more permanent solutions out there?


THOMAS R. NESHEK
Re: Controling Cattails
#34387 11/28/04 07:26 PM
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Tom,

Since Cattails propogate from Rhizomes, as long as the Rhizomes are intact and healthy and the depth of water is about 3ft. or less they will normally come back. The head of the cattails, when exploded and blown by the wind will lead to pollination.

Cutting the heads prevent pollination and will slow propogation. You are limited by your ability to not only eliminate your cattail heads but also those within many miles arounds that are carried by the winds from other ponds and lakes.

Cattails are very invasive, like bamboo. The best way to eliminate them is to dig them out (Rhizomes and all). I did this when I dug out my pond that had silted in. I used the silt/mud to fill in a small ravine on my property. There was not enough moisture to support the rhizomes so they died and added to the organic matter in the soil.

You mention changing the slope of the bank. That really does not have any bearing since the cattails will grow in soil that is moist to about 3ft of water depth.

Use herbacide if you must, but please as an absolute last resort.

Good luck,

J.W.

Re: Controling Cattails
#34388 11/29/04 04:51 PM
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thanks for the reply. My question was a little bit confusing as I don't mean changing the slope of the bank but rather changing the slope of the pond bottom at the shoreline. If I make the slope of the pond bottom from the point of the shoreline out rather severe will this help? I know that if it is too severe I may have some other maintenance problems but maybe I can eliminate most of the pond bottom which is less than three feet deep.


THOMAS R. NESHEK
Re: Controling Cattails
#34389 12/01/04 11:22 PM
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Tom,

I understood your reference to changing the bank from the surface/edge to ~3". That will certainly reduce the horizontal surface area in that zone. I think in the process of digging to change the slope you would get most of the cattails out thus getting very close to your permanent solution.

Any new growth would likely be very minor and could be easily maintained by pulling the growth out.

What kind of bottom do you have? I am not familiar with the soil in your area. If I were to do that in my pond the soil in the high slope area would tend to collapse and even the bottom out again.

Good luck and please do be careful if you are going to excavate. I lost a co-worker in a rollover when he was excavating his pond a few years back.

Cheers,

JW

Re: Controling Cattails
#34390 12/01/04 11:27 PM
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Tom,

Make that surface edge to ~3' not inches. \:\)

JW

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