Re: RE: NANFA-L-- Floodplain Restoration
Wed, 11 May 2005 09:44:13 -0500

Todd, appreciate the info regarding TNC and invasive plant control.
FYI, however, organic gardening is not "all that rot." Many of us
practice it, while recognizing the appropriate use of tools we eschew
at home in other contexts. Organic gardening is about keeping gardens
that do not depend on synthetic pesticides (and increasingly do not
depend on even botanicals like rotenone) and inorganic nutrient
sources. This approach makes sense for protection of waterways, non-
target animal and plant species, air quality ..... . The list goes on.
I have a penchant for preferring to keep my money rather than sending
it to Dupont and Monsanto. I also have a penchant for preferring
clear, unpolluted streams like I discovered in the Ozarks years ago,
rather than those that appear like a cesspool in their pools because of
rampant algal growth due to fertilizer runoff.

I have assisted TNC in use of glyphospate (what Roundup is, and readily
available as the generic product without paying Monsanto's prices) on
several of their properties. In the lower Midwest, we have a great
problem with cerise Lespideza, an Asian species of what in it's native
iterations (other species) is a valuable range plant in mixed
prairies. But the Korean species, introduced by the old Soil
Conservation Service as a "pasture improvement" plant, crowds out
everything, especially in dry summers. Hence, glyphosphate, applied
judiciously to the individual plants, a labor intensive practice.
Hence, the development of proper seasonal burns -- for this plant late
summer rather than the usual spring burns, which just encourage it.
TNC and other conservation organizations use chemical controls, but
judiciously. Home gardeners and homeowners tend to buy the largest
size package available for "economy," read the label, decide it's too
much trouble to mix up the dosage recommended. Besides, what does "one
ounce per gallon" mean to most anyway? "Gosh, that's not very much --
better triple that to make sure!" Next day -- "Oh, gosh, those
dandelions aren't dead yet -- better hit 'em again." All this for the
sake of Bermuda grass or fescue, or further south St. Augustine grass
that require the equivalent of 80 inches of rainfall per summer to stay
green hence giant municipal reservoirs that turn delightful and natural
rivers into flat water expanses that support only a handful of species
where tens once swam.

Organic gardening has a lot to say for itself, despite all the
stupidity involved in books that talk about the "spirituality" of a
pepper that "enjoys" its dose of fish emulsion.

BTW, you might be interested in new information concerning the effect
of glyphosphate on aquatic vertebrates, especially amphibians. Not so
benign when used in recommended dosages. And it is being widely used
in control of purple loosestrife, a wetland invasive that is crowding
out native wetland and aquatic species throughout the West. I'll try
to dig that out and get it to you. Actually, I think it was mentioned
on this list, but I'll find it.


David L. McNeely, Ph.D., Professor of Biology
Langston University; P.O. Box 1500
Langston, OK 73050; email:
telephone: (405) 466-6025; fax: 405) 466-3307
home page

"Where are we going?" "I don't know, are we there yet?"

----- Original Message -----
From: "Crail, Todd" <tcrail-in-UTNet.UToledo.Edu>
Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 9:01 pm
Subject: RE: NANFA-L-- Floodplain Restoration

> Hopefully they'll follow the TNC guide on managing invasives, lop
> the plants, and then treat them with what we call the "magic
> wand", a low dose, spot treatement of herbicide using a pvc
> apparatus with a sponge tip that delivers the herbicide exactly
> where you want it, while minimizing spread where you don't want
> it. We use it to control glossy buckthorn in our wetlands. I've
> seen people use it for other woody invasives, like common
> buckthorn and autumn olive. And it only takes Roundup to get the
> job done, which for human and other critter purposes, is pretty
> benign.
> Here's a document that has the instructions for building the
> apparatus, in case you think this would be of interest:
> It's always funny to see people get goofy when they come to their
> first volunteer day, having been organic gardeners and all that
> rot, only to find out the long term stewards have a penchant for
> screaming "Die buckthorn scum!" as they swing their merry blue-
> tipped sticks about the wet prairies. Even herbicide has its
> place in reversing our activities... It's just bad when people
> spread it liberally and without any thought, or just to solve an
> immediate problem without recognizing any consequences :)
> Todd
> The Madness (tm)
> ________________________________
> From: on behalf of James Smith
> I don't know if they will be using herbicides on the knotweed, I just
> know it's nearly impossible to get rid of without them. Basically you
> have to cut the plants down every 2-3 weeks for 5-10 years. The roots
> take that long to starve. They're also heat tollerant and extensive
> (ranging up to 30 feet), so ground covers don't work and even fire
> doesn't accomplish much more than cutting it down. I do know that we
> are going to cut it down and pile it up and the fire department is
> going to burn it on site to keep the tops from rerooting.
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