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#551211 08/06/22 06:45 AM
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I have willows, blackberries, Russian olives and other brushy plants that grow on the pond banks. We cut them back and occasionally hit then with Roundup which kills the grass around them. I was given 3 products to use by the pond management company if I wanted to do it myself:

Renovate 3 which is Triclopyr
Aquasweep which has 2,4-D
Aquaneat which is glyphosate based

All will need a surfactant which I think should be non-ionic like "Side-Kick"

Renovate is a lot more expensive and I cant tell whether it is a pre-mix or not. I am pretty sure the Aquasweep is a pre-mix so that would be easiest.

Any recommendations on these products as to effectiveness and safety of amphibians and fish? Very little spray would end up in the water but for what I read here it is the surfactant that can be most harmful. Advice would be appreciated. Thanks



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Mark,

Since you are also asking about surfactants, I assume you are considering foliar treatments?

I have used Remedy Ultra mixed with diesel as a cut stump/stem treatment with great success. It uses Triclopyr as the active ingredient. It is not expensive when used in that fashion.

The Renovate 3 is specifically for plants that are already in the water. As is the Aquasweep.

Are the bulk of your invasive woody plants in the water, or on the banks?

If they are on the banks, then I believe cutting and poisoning will be much more effective. I use a brushcutter (Husqvarna 345FR) on that type of brushy material and have someone follow 10 feet behind me with dyed Remedy Ultra - diesel mix. I make the cuts about 8"-24" off the ground so the stems are exposed above the felled material.

We have a very high kill rate with that technique, and very little of the powerful herbicide makes it from the stems to the ground. However, it is certainly more labor intensive than foliar spraying.

(You must have safety rules when using a brushcutter with an assistant. When cutting even a moderate-sized trunk at a slightly incorrect angle, the brushcutter will kickback to the right and up - much faster than the operator can react.)


If the job is so big that you are forced to resort to foliar spraying, then I believe you do need to utilize one of the pond safe products you listed above. The sheer amount of herbicide required for effective foliar spraying almost guarantees that some portion of your herbicide will end up in the pond.

(I have not had great success with foliar spraying on our two most common invasive woody plants - Honey Locust and Siberian Elm.)

Blackberry and willow are species specifically listed to be treated with Triclopyr products. I don't know how waxy their leaves are, but I have definitely had better success on foliar treatments of species with waxy leaves by adding surfactant to my herbicide.

Crossbow (2,4-D + triclopyr) is one of the recommended foliar treatments for Russian Olive. I use lots of Crossbow on our farm every year to kill poison ivy. I have been very impressed with its selectivity to "woody" plants. I have sprayed areas with poison ivy mixed into our tallgrass prairie grass and forb species, and Crossbow only kills the poison ivy. This might be helpful to you to kill the woody species and leave the grass on the pond banks for erosion control.

Good luck on your project!

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Hey thanks for the detailed reply FishnRod! I am spot spraying young growth as we keep the pond banks trimmed down pretty well. I have a landscaper/lawn guy that weed eats the ponds 2 or 3 times a year. This year I wasn't home and they decided blackberries, Russian Olives and willows were good plants. They did cut all the bullrushes back too which I had explained years ago are desirable. My Spanish must not be that good.

Anyway, the banks are too steep for a cutter and the bushes not so big that I need to saw them hopefully. Very little if any spray should reach the water but I really want to make sure about Cide-Kick surfactant. I have lots of frogs in the grass and weeds where I will be spraying. Thanks!



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Most organisms use their skin to protect them from the environment. Amphibians use their skin as an interface to the environment. That makes them particularly susceptible to a wide variety of chemicals.

I have seen studies of glyphosate (RoundUp) being toxic to frogs and other amphibians. I have also seen studies of SOME surfactants also being toxic to those organisms.

However, your questions are now above my pay-grade! There are several biologists on the forum, and a few chemicals experts. Maybe they will drop into your thread.

If you don't get your questions answered, then you may have to resort to experimental science. You could try treating a very small area of the bank. On most toxic chemicals the "poison is in the dosage". If only tiny amounts of "pond approved" herbicides get in the water, hopefully you will not impact your beneficial organisms.

Another option is to chase out all of the organisms in the area to be treated. You walk through several times, or throw the tennis ball into that patch of weeds until your dog gets tired retrieving. That may exclude all of the amphibians from the treatment area and they will escape the direct effects of the sprayed formulations.

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Your best bet is to read the herbicide label online before you actually buy it. The developers have already done the experimenting both for effectiveness and safety, and the EPA reviewed their results before they approved the product. I know that there is a lot of distrust of corporations and government, but that is where I go first to get my information on pesticides and herbicides. Searching on websites that end in ".edu" is another good source. Folks on this forum know a lot, but checking the herbicide label is a good double check. Even the best of us can be mistaken sometimes.

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