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#522451 06/13/20 05:47 AM
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What is the best chemical to kill cattails?

john kelsey #522455 06/13/20 06:16 AM
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We avoid any chemicals and removed limited growth by pulling the plants out by hand. It was a lot of (wet) work, but it dit the best job for 2+ years. Some plants have returned, but those are good cover for the waterfowl that inevitably arrive. I wonder if removing the seed pods will limit the growth? We also were told that if you cut off the plants below the waterline, they will not proliferate, but that theory is untested. My two cents.

john kelsey #522456 06/13/20 06:26 AM
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john kelsey #523464 07/10/20 09:17 AM
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Hi JK--

I know you specifically asked about a chemical to kill the cattails. If, however, you might consider a non-chemical method AND you or a friend are willing to do some tubing or kayaking, the cattails can be killed mechanically.

My wife's step grandfather shared this method with me when cattails choked the entire bank of our pond into 5' water depth. He said simply cut the cattails about 6" below water surface. Then after a couple weeks, any new growth should be cut again. I would estimate I had a 90% kill rate after the first cutting of the cattails in our pond in the early '90's using this method. If memory serves, I think I only went into the water twice and the cattails were dead. It takes a couple years for microbes and nature to decompose the subsurface material. In the meantime the dying cattails can provide some cover for smaller fish. I remember carting wheel barrow loads of cut 'tails to a brush pile for burning as part of the process. Keep in mind if you apply chemical and don't remove the dead cattails, that organic material is left in your pond to decompose. The mechanical method of cutting and removing removes the material from the pond completely. Just thoughts on an alternative, non-chemical, method to kill the cattails.

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john kelsey #523477 07/10/20 02:31 PM
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I spot treated some with Glyphosate. Gone in two weeks......

Jambi #523720 07/18/20 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Jambi
I spot treated some with Glyphosate. Gone in two weeks......

That's exactly what the Rodeo that was recommended 2 posts above is. You have to use a Glyphosate that is rated for ponds/water to treat the cattails in the pond.


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ChasnSac #523732 07/19/20 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by ChasnSac
We avoid any chemicals and removed limited growth by pulling the plants out by hand. It was a lot of (wet) work, but it dit the best job for 2+ years. Some plants have returned, but those are good cover for the waterfowl that inevitably arrive. I wonder if removing the seed pods will limit the growth? We also were told that if you cut off the plants below the waterline, they will not proliferate, but that theory is untested. My two cents.

The cattail spreads by 2 means, seeds and tubers with tubers being the most aggressive and hard to kill once the rhizome starts to store carbohydrates it becomes "smart" in that it senses some chemicals and can close off enough to stop the chemical from being delivered in the day growth/night draw period. This is where surfactant really shines as it allows flow through the veins the plant can't keep out.


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