Controlling leafy spurge and Canada thistle by competitive species


David Biesboer, Bettina Darveaux, Willard Koukkari

June 1994

Report no. Mn/DOT 1994-32



A study was performed to assess the use of perennial native grasses in the control of leafy spurge and Canada thistle and also to evaluate the effects of herbicides applied during the fall to leafy spurge crown buds. As part of an integrated vegetation management program, grass treatments containing the native prairie grass little bluestem established well and were effective at reducing the cover of leafy spurge. Paramount to the success of using native grass species is getting adequate grass establishment which necessitates the careful selection of grass species adapted to the specific site conditions. A fall application of the herbicide picloram at 0.5 and 1.0 lb ai/acre was very effective at controlling leafy spurge and may be mediated via the direct absorption of picloram by the elongated crown buds at this time. The report contains an extensive literature review of the biology and weed control efforts of both leafy spurge and Canada thistle.

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