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Author Topic: Best time to apply herbicide on beech  (Read 571 times)

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Offline peakbagger

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Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« on: January 16, 2020, 09:10:40 AM »
My lot in Northern NH was nailed by the ice storm of 98 long before I bought it. It was reportedly mostly sugar maple, some red with some large clean (little or no blight) mast beeches in spots prior to the storm. The owner at the time did a salvage cut and in some places it regenerated in maple but in others its "stuck" with beeches growing out of the old roots. The new beech trees that grew back to dominate patches show heavy blight and are mostly crooked. The soils are supposedly good for the area and the lot faces south. An adjacent tract on a large town forest had similar damage and they did a large clear cut and defined it as "wildlife" opening and keep it open with brush hogging. There is some evidence of random past timber stand improvement on this lot.  In some spots on the lot they girdled or cut the smaller mostly blighted beeches to encourage other trees like maple that were already growing. In many cases despite girdling some beeches are still growing after many years. Even where they are dead there are plenty of beech sprouts popping up. Its a steep sloped lot in spots. Unless I want to do some major road rebuilding the worst of it is inaccessible for harvest so the wood is going to end up on the ground. There is also a limited deed restriction on "clearcuts" over five acres. 

I have read many discussions over what to do with woods that are "stuck" with beech and it looks like cutting the beeches leaving other tree types that are sparsely mixed in with the predominately beech some room to grow and then carefully painting herbicide on the beech stumps immediately after the cut is the best option. The question is, Is  there anytime of the year that is best or worst to do the cut and paint the stumps?. I want to minimize the volume of herbicide and the potential for runoff. The other concern is if the herbicide that is getting down in the beech roots to kill them have the potential to get into the roots of the maples I am trying to encourage?. 

 

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2020, 09:37:04 AM »
Peakbagger, the task you speak of is called "cut-stump" or cut/treat.  It consists of-just as you suspect-the daubing of appropriate herbicide solution onto cut stems of unwanted woody vegetation.  So, the way sap flow works, the best time of year to be doing this is fall through roughly the first half of winter.  As a practical matter, you have all the time prior to heavy upward sap flow in spring-when buds are breaking, etc.  Do not do this work in the spring.

All that said, we tend to have success at almost all times of year other than spring.

Use appropriate material.  I have never treated beech so have not looked at any label to see if that is controlled by a given chemical.  Glyphosate works for many species if mixed at a high rate but I would reach for triclopyr, i.e. Garlon, or any of the many generic equivalents.  Triclopyr seems to get them all.  And yes, when done correctly, only tiny amounts of chemical are used per plant treated.

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2020, 05:52:39 PM »
I know the dreaded glyphsosate has been used here with success in central NY, i assume as a foliage spray
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Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2020, 07:53:29 AM »
Yes, glyphosate will easily control the vast bulk of woody species when applied as foliar spray.  But that is not what peakbagger is after here.  He is seeking info on cut/treat, aka cut-stump application.  I would strongly suggest triclopyr be the chemical agent reached for.  This is tough work.  You don't want to do it twice.

Use triclopyr, aka Garlon, Tahoe, etc....etc.....triclopyr!

Use glyphosate for your mop-up via foliar spray in the spring following cut/treat.  There are always stems that were missed or which manage to re-sprout somehow.  You will need to do this followup work, or all of the cut/treat will be for naught.

One word of caution to any other reading here-maples:  You will not control maples, and this includes box elder-with glyphosate, when used as cut-stump application.  It won't work.  You absolutely need another chemical if you are attempting control of any maple type via cut/treat.  Use triclopyr!

Glyphosate will absolutely work on maples and just about everything else, when applied as foliar spray.

Offline peakbagger

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2020, 08:03:02 AM »
I have bottle of triclopyr. I definitely want to minimize the amount of herbicide used and if looks like painting the cut stumps is the way to go.

Offline wisconsitom

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2020, 09:40:22 AM »
You might benefit from a bit of blue dye in your spray tank.  When just starting out, a guy thinks he knows which stems he treated and which have not yet been done.  But right around one hour into it, all hope is lost!  If the treated stems are blue, it really helps!

The same supply houses that sell commercial herbicides and the like will also have dye packs available.  A little goes a (very) long way.  Wear your oldest clothes!

Offline WDH

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2020, 08:24:07 PM »
You only need to treat the cambial ring, not the whole stump surface.  If you do the whole stump surface, you are just wasting chemical. 
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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2020, 11:28:37 AM »
A neat trick I see used is to cut many stems in a given area, then take a narrow paint roller attached to a broom handle, wet the roller with herbicide, and roll onto stems.  Lots faster than cutting, treating...cutting...treating....

Do a bunch in a thirty or fifty-foot radius or whatever suits you, then reach for that roller, spray or dribble material onto it, and paint away.  It helps to cut all stems at roughly same height.

This for situations where many small stems.


Offline peakbagger

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2020, 03:10:11 PM »
You might benefit from a bit of blue dye in your spray tank.  When just starting out, a guy thinks he knows which stems he treated and which have not yet been done.  But right around one hour into it, all hope is lost!  If the treated stems are blue, it really helps!

The same supply houses that sell commercial herbicides and the like will also have dye packs available.  A little goes a (very) long way.  Wear your oldest clothes!
While roaming my lot today I was wondering about dye. Makes a lot of sense.
I also was observing many big (6 to 12" dia ) beeches that were properly girdled several years ago that are still alive. Out of curiosity would be it be worth girdling and then painting the cuts with herbicide? If as a prior poster pointed out its only the cambium that needs painting this in theory would get down in the roots. 

Offline WDH

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2020, 07:43:39 PM »
Hack and squirt is also an option if you do not want to cut the stems off at the stump. 
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Offline cutterboy

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2020, 06:27:22 PM »
Beech makes good firewood. Cut those 6-12"dia trees down, treat the stumps and cut up the stems for firewood.

Online thecfarm

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2020, 07:47:46 PM »
Yes on the firewood, not splitting by hand. I split that stuff in 4 foot lengths to get onto a trailer. No big deal to have some 2 feet across and a hole in the center that I could shove my arm up into.
I was cutting the notch into one of them and a river of water started to come out of the tree. I thought my saw had sprung a leak at first. :D  Than I realized the saw does not have not much fluid in it. 
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Offline peakbagger

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2020, 08:38:32 PM »
Beech makes good firewood. Cut those 6-12"dia trees down, treat the stumps and cut up the stems for firewood.
Sadly the worst of the beech is the farthest away from the landing. Due to the steep topo the only roads I can use zig zag across the slope. Its about a 5000 foot run over to the worst patch. The elevation difference is about 530 feet from the bottom to the top. 
It was logged before around 2000 and there are some old roads in place but one of the main roads is quite steep. I see evidence where they had to revise their roads as one of them was even too steep for a skidder and made a heck of an eroded out ditch. Unless I had access to a snow cat and did it in winter its not practical to salvage the wood out back. I expect I have several lifetimes worth of beech within reach of my equipment, I just want to see how well I can bring back what was at one point a really nice patch of woods. 
I do have a Unimog Special Emplacement Excavator (SEE) that got stuck due to lack of traction on one spot. I picked up some Pewag military chains for the tires that are one step away from skidder chains, I need to cut them down to match my tires and plan to try to get past the bad spot this summer. I hope to do some drainage work to dry things up which will give me even more access to even more beech.

Offline Legacy

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2020, 04:03:58 PM »
On triclopyr vs. glyphosate:

Beech is very susceptible to glyphosate as long as you treat it summer-midwinter as previously mentioned. A 50% mix in water with some dye works well, even in windshield washer fluid if it is around freezing, for the hack-n-squirt or cut-stump methods. There are good articles with illustrations of hack-n-squirt just a Google away. Just make sure you apply within an hour of cutting so the cambium is still wet.
Two benefits to glyphosate: far and away the cheapest option, and it is directly less toxic/hazardous than most formulations of triclopyr (not as burn-out-your-eyes-y)

Triclopyr Ester works great in the winter with a mix in bark oil, you can buy a ready to use (RTU) formulation to treat quite an area. This works on older cuts as the oil penetrates the bark, it can even be applied primarily on the surface of the bark but this can be quite expensive with the amount of fluid it takes.

Areas where the sprouts are short enough that you can get at the leaves easily and without taking a shower, the glyphosate works wonders at a very low concentration. I've read a study done with the University of Maine saying if you get the rate right, it can kill the beech and leave sugar maple seedlings mostly un-harmed. Hoping to try this at some point.

Use the mixing rates and precautions on the pesticide label and either should work for you.
Grow a nice tree

Offline 1countryboy

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Re: Best time to apply herbicide on beech
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2020, 11:19:27 PM »
We did 100's of acres of TSI (timber stand improvement).  Never cut the weed trees.   We frilled complete circle around and tree over 4 inches and sprayed that frill with 25 to 1 mix of diesel fuel and 2-4-5t at that time.   Very effective and slow kill.  We did the grape vines by uncovering the roots and the same spray.   Everything was done according to specs thru the USDA/ and local forester.   

Many of those acres were timbered later according to selective cutting (oak and walnut).   Some of the beech were very large and on severe slopes that we had to hang on to frill around them.   All that wood was available if you needed firewood a yr or so later.
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