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Ok I bought this land 17 years ago and had a pond damn built a year later before I ever lived on the land in Idaho. I retired 7 years ago and moved from nevada to Idaho and the willows were already established.

I understand that you don’t want them in the damn plus they use a ton of water. This pond is a farm pond and stays full until July and starts receding. Typically by niw it’s already filling back up but fall and so far winter have yielded little moisture. Typically it will fill up by spring.

I have access to these willows each fall to cut they as they are under water most of the year.

I just cut some of the larger ones and am trying to decide how to move forward. I thought about treating the stumps to get rid of them?

What do you guys suggest? Also I have an island that typically surrounded by water for waterfowl to use. I have started thinning that area as well.

I do have LMB and channel cats in the pond so what ever I treat these willows with I need to protect my fish.


I tried attaching pics from my iPhone but it blocks my file type for some reason?

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RUMBLON,

When we purchased our farm, we had invasive Honey Locust trees, Siberian Elms, and cedars.

The cedars are the only woody species on my farm that dies when you cut it off below the lowest branch. EVERYTHING else requires chemical treatment.

I can get the elms with the recommended Remedy/diesel mixture. To kill the locusts I have to use weapons-grade systemic herbicide that is deadly to fish in very low doses.

My advice is to look up the appropriate service department in your county in Idaho. (It is called the Noxious Weed Dept. in my Kansas county.)

If you find the right people, they should be able to tell you the exact procedure to most easily and safely kill off the willows on your dam. They also sell me the chemical at cost, which is significantly cheaper than internet/big box store prices.

I suspect you would like to avoid using chemical intervention. However, most of the willow species can be planted just by taking a cutting from the branch of a mature tree. I seriously doubt you could grub them out effectively.

Describe your exact conditions to the county expert, including your fish and waterfowl that need to be protected. They should be able to give you a good recommendation.

Good luck on your pond project! Hopefully, you can even get an expert from Pond Boss that has won a battle with willows.

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Cut the trees off, apply Tordon RTU to the cut stumps right after they are cut with a paint brush.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Not sure if it's true but I've been told to cut a tree down and hammer some pennies in it. Real pennies not these newer non copper ones.

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This stuff safe for the fish? And thx

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That's the million dollar question RUM! Here is the label info...

https://www.domyown.com/msds/Tordon_RTU_Label3a.pdf

and a quote from the label (first page under environmental hazards)...

"This pesticide may be toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates. Non-target
plants may be adversely affected if pesticide is allowed to drift from areas
of application. Do not apply directly to water, to areas where surface
water is present or to intertidal areas below the mean high water mark."

BUT, it sure is vague due to it discussing "drift" or overspray and they say "may" be toxic. The safe answer is to NOT use it around a pond, but I would love to hear from someone that can interpret the label with more authority than I.

I have used this stuff for killing of a number of hard to kill trees at my place: Trees that tend to grow back with a vengeance once cut down (Hedge, Locus, Poison Ivy, elm, etc). It is great at its job and is almost always applied to the cut stump with a squirt bottle or brush. I have never heard of anyone spraying it. I have not had the need to use it at my pond, but have used it 70 feet uphill from the pond. I wonder if it is brush applied...does it leach from the plants roots and creep into the pond...It's hard to decipher from the label information.


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The trick to using Tordon RTU is NOT to spray it. Get a small can and a small paint brush. Cut the tree, immediately paint the cut portion of the stump. Don't pour the stuff on, just paint it on the cut area. Kills the tree and I haven't seen any issues using it near a pond, even a pond with trout in it. In that application it was used on a weeping willow tree that was about 18" DBH and the roots from the tree were like FA on that side of the pond IN the water.

"The solution to pollution is dilution." You are only putting enough Tordon out to kill the target tree, not the whole area.


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I did go to order Tardon but read about it being toxic to fish so I passed. Can’t take a chance as the area I cut and treat will soon he completely covered in water.

Any aquatic safe treatment anyone can recommend ?

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I also fight the willows. It's seems to be a loosing battle. I cut them back every year using the pole saw and have tried brushing the stump with roundup but that did not work. The best time i have found to cut them back to the stump is in the winter after the tree leaves thin back. It wont be long from now and the battle continues.


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Originally Posted by esshup
The trick to using Tordon RTU is NOT to spray it. Get a small can and a small paint brush. Cut the tree, immediately paint the cut portion of the stump. Don't pour the stuff on, just paint it on the cut area. Kills the tree and I haven't seen any issues using it near a pond, even a pond with trout in it. In that application it was used on a weeping willow tree that was about 18" DBH and the roots from the tree were like FA on that side of the pond IN the water.

"The solution to pollution is dilution." You are only putting enough Tordon out to kill the target tree, not the whole area.
I use Tordon all the time, and my experiences are like Scott's. Treat the clean cut stump, not the the greenery. The stump cut should be as level as possible, and there's very little waste, so one bottle lasts a long time.If it's applied immediately after the cut, the trunk absorbs it very quickly.


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Time of year matters!

I have cut elms and cottonwoods in the spring and they weep fluid out of the cut stump until the wood seals off by itself.

I do almost all of my tree clearing and treatments in the fall after the first hard frost - when the sap is flowing back downwards into the roots.

Also, you must treat the tree immediately after cutting. Trees are quite efficient at sealing off any "damaged" areas. Get the herbicide on immediately and let the tree draw it into the roots.

My advice, cut and treat one or two trees with Tordon right now. Check your results next spring when the willows go back to full growth. I can't believe your fish would have any risk from that.

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Originally Posted by FishinRod
I do almost all of my tree clearing and treatments in the fall after the first hard frost - when the sap is flowing back downwards into the roots.

This is good advice for killing any sort of woody brush, whether you're using Tordon on stumps, or a glyphosate/2-4-D/diesel cocktail on foliage.
You don't necessarily need to wait on a hard freeze. Once leaf drop starts you know the sap is headed down.

For the folks who are dead-set against chemical treatments, springtime is the right time to do mechanical removal.
Wait for things to get fully leafed out, then cut it off. Wait for it to sprout back, then cut it off again. Do that enough times and the root will starve.

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If you have any concerns about contaminating the water when it rises you might consider cutting the tree off above the full water pool so the treated stump is sticking out of the water and not submerged, thereby lessening the contamination chances, willows are a pain and cutting them without treating will only result in transplanting them, I don't think you will ever starve a willow root, they will shoot up new trees all around the outer perimeters of their root base, so instead of one tree you will create thirty more if they are not treated, personally Ill take my chances with a measured amount of tordon on the stump face above the water line, the chances of that contaminating water are minute. jmo Good Luck!
Another option is to have somebody with an excavator with a thumb pull them out by the roots, they are shallow rooted and pull out easily, Ive done hundreds of them around lagoons and ponds, the biggest problem is that you will leave a little root matter around the perimeters that will sprout but the can be treated with a fish safe herbicide reasonably easy when the are 2 ft tall sprouts.

Last edited by gehajake; 12/09/20 08:00 AM.

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How large are they? Is there a chance of pulling them out via a winch or backhoe?


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