We just finished a video on how to control Canada thistle using the Green Shoots foam herbicide system (link). The video shows how our small foam herbicide dispenser creates a thick foam herbicide that sticks well to leaves and green stems. In the video we use the small foam herbicide dispenser and physically wipe small amounts of foam to the leaves and green stem.
We are using glyphosate herbicide with the wiping technique. The label that accompanies the herbicide you use should explain more about herbicide wiping. Many labels recommend a
33% to 100% solution for use with wiping. However, you can use a less concentrated herbicide solution than that. We are using a 10% concentration in this video.
Background on Canada Thistle – Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is an invasive thistle in North America and is identified as a noxious weed in many states. It is an exotic or non-native species brought to North America from Europe (not Canada!) possibly as early as the 1600s. Since that time, Canada thistle has invaded prairies and grasslands, especially in the Midwest, Great Plains, and southern Canada. It out-competes desirable, native species like grasses and wildflowers. In this way, Canada thistle degrades wildlife habitat and reduces ecological diversity.
Canada thistle has rhizomes (underground stems) that grow laterally and up to a depth of about 3.5 feet. New shoots develop from the rhizome and thus a stand of Canada thistle might orginate from one rhizome.
Other common names include: Californian thistle, Canadian thistle, creeping thistle, field thistle, corn thistle, perennial thistle, field thistle. For more information on Canada Thistle, visit the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Library (link).
With wipe applications, a device is used to “physically wipe” an herbicide onto a plant. Johnson et al. 2012 (link). Because these applications are precise and controlled and generally made only to a portion of the plant, the herbicide concentration in the spray solution typically used is higher than with other foliar applications. Green et al. 2003 (link). For example, for AquaMaster (an herbicide containing glyphosate), the label recommends solutions having from 18% active ingredient to 54% active ingredient for wiper applicators.
The herbicide wiping method can be used very effectively with the foam herbicide dispenser from Green Shoots (link). The photos above show an application of foam herbicide I made with the Green Shoots Foam Herbicide Dispenser to a weed tree (maple seedling) located in a planting bed.
The herbicide solution used in this case had approximately 20% active ingredient (i.e., a low concentration for the typical wiper applications). Moreover, I applied very small amounts of herbicide foam to the leaves. Nonetheless, it appears the woody weed completely died. We will keep testing less concentrated solutions in order to minimize herbicide usage as much as possible.
Wiping with an herbicide foam has real advantages. The wiped foam herbicide is much less prone to drip. Traditional herbicide wipers work with sponges or canvas which can become saturated and drip. Moreover, clumps of herbicide foam stick better to plant surfaces than large herbicide droplets from a standard wiper system. Finally, with foam herbicide wiping, there are no sponges or canvas cloths that may become contaminated with dirt and dust or that need to be cleaned afterwards.
We will keep testing wipe application techniques on various plants and will post blog updates and videos.