2009 - Volume #33, Issue #2, Page #33[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Simple Way To Kill Invasive TreesIn the spring, when Ray Clay walks his quarter section of land near Reydon, Oklahoma, he's usually on a mission to kill the invasive cedar trees that suck up valuable moisture in his pasture.
But instead of a saw or other mechanical device, he simply drops Power Pellets near any trees or brush he wants to kill.
He started using the pellets in 2002 and it has become a yearly task.
"I first saw Power Pellets in a magazine and bought a bucket. I've been using them ever since," says Clay. "If you get enough moisture, you'll see the effect in 6 to 8 weeks."
Rain breaks down the antacid-size tablet and the active ingredient Hexazinone into the ground about 12 in., where it's drawn into the roots, says Bill Sander, president of Pro-Serve, Inc., manufacturer. The company provides precise instructions for each species of tree. For example, a 4-in. dia. cedar takes about six tablets dropped halfway between the trunk and canopy edge.
Clay has adapted the method for his situation. "Our problem is that we've had dry years so the cedar roots are going farther out to get water," Clay explains. He places the pellets up to 4 ft. away from the tree's drip line in order to be on top of the roots.
Though the pellets remain effective up to six months, they should be applied in the spring when rainfall is most likely. Clay usually drops the pellets in April, the most likely time of year for rain in his region.
Power Pellets are recommended for mesquite, cedar, huisache, yucca, tallow and multiflora rose, but they also kill other hardwood and softwood species.
"They work on just about anything you want to put it on," Clay says. "It'll even get cottonwoods."
Follow the recommended doses, he suggests, and if part of a bigger tree remains green, treat it again the following year. Clay also spray paints trees he has treated so he doesn't double treat them. With annual treatments he's eliminating the biggest cedars and staying ahead of smaller ones that start.
At $350 per 5 1/2-lb. bucket (3,900 pellets), it's more affordable than hiring someone to run a skidsteer and cutter for $50 to $60 per hour, Clay says. He can also walk and drop the pellets on slopes and in wooded areas where skidsteers can't go.
He says he's never seen any ill effects on his cattle, wildlife or birds and has been pleased with the results.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Pro-Serve, Inc., P.O. Box 161059, Memphis, Tenn. 38109 (877 776-7375; www.pro-serveinc.com).
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