This info and these techniques are used often and are invaluable. They were developed to reduce the herbicide amount that we put out and for their effectiveness. I’m asked about this often enough, it’s time I put it here for easy reference.
Herbicides are purchased from 4-Control. None can be purchased locally so we support a small, family-owned business in Menominee. They are very helpful and quick to get product shipped.
This is the spray bottle we find more effective and easy to use. These allow us more control of the amount we spray out AND they have lasted longer than the expensive ones.
Element 4® (trichlopyr is the chemical) is what we use for broadleaf control. It does NOT affect grasses. We use it mostly with bark oil rather than mixing it with water. We do this because we can do a foliar treatment with less herbicide and don’t have to be concerned with having the right mixture or having a number of mixtures with us when we’re in the prairies.
We purchase the bark oil blue short fills (2 gall of bark oil in a 2.5 gal container). This allows us to mix the Element 4 into that jug. Less waste. Just remember to label the jug after you mix it! The mixture ratio is 64oz Element 4 to 2 gal bark oil.
Intensity® is used for grass-specific control. It does NOT affect forbs (or other broadleaf plants). This is mixed with water at a rate of 2oz to 1 gal of water.
In order to know where we’ve sprayed, we purchase Sensipro RPM blue. This prevents us from missing places or putting out more herbicides by spraying over where we sprayed. Well worth the money. We eyeball the amount we use — about 2 Tbsp per 2 gal of mix.
We have different terminology for our techniques.
“Cut and treat” means we literally cut the stems at ground level and spray the cut end.
“Spritz” is when we use the spray bottle and spritz the leaves. This is how we foliar spray with Element 4 in bark oil. One does not need to use a lot of this when it’s mixed this way vs when it’s mixed in water. Foliar spraying with water means you must coat each leaf. A spritz can be done on 1-4 leaves (depending on the size of the plant) or can be spritzed at the base of small woody plants rather than cut & treat.