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Does anyone have experience controlling ailanthus (tree of heaven)?

What has worked well, and what not?
 

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We have a huge problem with them on my club grounds which is enrolled in CREP. We went to the Penn State extension office for help. They gave us the name of an herbicide that will kill it but you must cut it off and put the herbicide on the stumps. I am sorry, I can't recall the name of the herbicide bit if you go to your farm extension office they can tell you what to use. It is an ongoing process if you have Ailanthus trees where the seeds can blow onto your property. We are much better off than we were before we started our eradication program. Our problem is the source of the problem is the trees producing the seeds are on a neighboring property. If the source of the trees is on your ground cut them down. Be careful handling the wood, wear gloves because the sap can soak into your skin and give you a heart attack!
 

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Years ago when we first started seeing them around here we called them those sumac trees that get really big. Should be called tree from -- double hockey sticks. They are hardy and stubborn. WW has the right idea. Good luck.
 

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I was poking around on the web, and it appears it is the tree that both kills and heals. The tree contains both compounds toxic to humans and is also used in its native China in both folk remedies and pharma grade medicines.
 

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Our place was loaded with them.....and we continue the battle 5 years later, but we have made significant headway in killing them off on our property.

If they are large parent trees, you can stump cut and treat....or hack and squirt. If the tree once dead will not damage anything in the area when it falls down, hack and squirt is a fairly easy technique. I use chainsaw, machete, or hatchet for the hacking part and straight 41% gly (Round Up) for the squirting part.

If the tree could damage something if it comes down the wrong way, I stump cut with the chainsaw, blow the wood chips off the stump, and immediately treat with a generous amount of straight 41% gly.

If the trees are too tall to effectively spray the leaves with a backpack sprayer (or if any overspray might kill something desired), I cut them off with a machete and treat the stump with the straight 41% gly.

If the trees are small enough, I spray the leaves generously with a backpack sprayer using 3oz of 41% gly per gallon of water.

If I do not have spray handy at the time, I will also pull small trees (0-3ft tall) out of the ground manually if the soil has some moisture to it. I do have some concerns that a part of the root could be left in the ground to grow again, so I prefer to spray if possible....however, if spray is not handy, I will not miss an opportunity to pull out a few ailanthus manually...so I roll the dice and try to let something more desirable grow in that spot.

As WW said, get the parent trees killed first to prevent more seed from being dispersed. If the parent trees are on the neighbor, I would approach them about killing the trees to avoid more seed. It might not work, but it's worth a shot to save you a lot of time down the road.
 

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Knock on Wood I have never had to deal with it. It must be some nasty stuff because every post that OAWC makes about being at camp, he always mentions whacking and spraying the stuff. His blood probably has 41% gly in it by now. LOL.
 

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Knock on Wood I have never had to deal with it. It must be some nasty stuff because every post that OAWC makes about being at camp, he always mentions whacking and spraying the stuff. His blood probably has 41% gly in it by now. LOL.
Consider yourself lucky C! I start to twitch when I am driving down the road and see more than a half dozen ailanthus trees...and my blood pressure rises.

The ailanthus trees are prolific reproducers....so if the areas are getting sun, they can spread quickly. However, they can be managed to an acceptable level on your property and kept from going to seed.

We can now see the light at the end of our ailanthus tree tunnel, but there were times that it felt like an insurmountable task. Stay the course...it can be done. I actually spend some “killing time” now focused on thistles, so that alone shows we have made strides on the ailanthus!

If the infestation is bad like ours, late winter is great time to attack it - given that you can pick out ailanthus with no leaves. You don’t sweat as much, and it’s much easier to get around the woods at that time.

Number one priority though has to be those parent trees.
 

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https://extension.psu.edu/tree-of-heaven

Control
Due to its extensive root system and resprouting ability, tree-of-heaven is difficult to control. Treatment timing and following up the second year are critical to success. Mechanical methods, such as cutting or mowing, are ineffective, as the tree responds by producing large numbers of stump sprouts and root suckers. When cutting tree-of-heaven is necessary to remove potentially hazardous trees, it is best to treat with an herbicide first, allow 30 days for it to take effect, and then cut.

Hand pulling young seedlings is effective when the soil is moist and the entire root system is removed. Small root fragments are capable of generating new shoots. Seedlings can be easily confused with root suckers, which are nearly impossible to pull by hand.

To control tree-of-heaven, target the roots with systemic herbicides applied in mid- to late summer (July to September) when the tree is moving carbohydrates to the roots. Herbicide applications made outside this late growing season window will only injure aboveground growth. Following treatment, repeated site monitoring for signs of regrowth is critical to prevent reinfestation.

Herbicides applied to foliage, bark, or frill cuts on the stem are effective at controlling tree-of-heaven. Cut stump herbicide applications encourage root suckering and should not be utilized. Apply all treatments no earlier than July 1 up until the tree begins to show fall colors. There are many effective herbicides available for use on tree-of-heaven, including dicamba, glyphosate, imazapyr, metsulfuron methyl, and triclopyr. For most treatments we recommend using herbicides containing the active ingredients glyphosate or triclopyr.

Foliar herbicide sprays are used where tree height and distribution allow effective coverage without unacceptable contact with nearby desirable plants. Treatments are applied in mid- to late growing season with equipment ranging from high-volume truck-mounted sprayers to low-volume backpack sprayers.

For dense or extensive infestations, treat initially with a foliar application to eliminate the small, low growth. Then follow up with a bark or frill application on the remaining larger stems. The initial foliar application will control most of the stems, while the follow-up stem treatment controls missed stems or those too tall for adequate coverage.

Basal bark applications provide a target-specific method for treating tree-of-heaven that in general is less than 6 inches in diameter. Using a low-volume backpack sprayer, a concentrated mixture of herbicide containing the ester formulation of triclopyr in oil is applied from the ground line to a height of 12 to 18 inches, completely around the stem. To maximize translocation to the roots, apply herbicides from mid- to late summer.

Frill herbicide applications, called hack-and-squirt, are highly selective with a concentrated herbicide solution applied directly into the stem. For effective hack-and-squirt applications, apply the herbicide solution to spaced cuts around the circumference of the stem. Leaving uncut living tissue between the frill cuts allows the herbicide to move to the roots. Again, make applications in mid- to late summer.

Well-established tree-of-heaven stands are only eliminated through repeated efforts and monitoring. Initial treatments often only reduce the root systems, making follow-up measures necessary. Persistence is the key to success.
 

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I am overrun with the stuff. The ONE good note though, the deer absolutely love the ailanthus shoots and leaves. They will return day after day, until the shoots and leaves are all browsed off of downed trees.


I did the hack and squirt with Gly, and you have to do it when the sap is daown to the root, not running up the tree. If you so it when the sap runs up, the tree may die from the hack or girdle up, but will send out bunches of shoots from below, due to the Gly not working down to the root system.


The only tree I've found that deer love to browse more, is Sassafras, when I cut them for winter browse.
 

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I am overrun with the stuff. The ONE good note though, the deer absolutely love the ailanthus shoots and leaves. They will return day after day, until the shoots and leaves are all browsed off of downed trees.


I did the hack and squirt with Gly, and you have to do it when the sap is daown to the root, not running up the tree. If you so it when the sap runs up, the tree may die from the hack or girdle up, but will send out bunches of shoots from below, due to the Gly not working down to the root system.


The only tree I've found that deer love to browse more, is Sassafras, when I cut them for winter browse.
Yep. I have stands on big mature sumac, Ailanthus, whatever they are.....deer will browse the snot out of 'em, and we have them in such abundance that trying to remove them would be a fool's errand for us.

Although.... we're in the area the Spotted Lantern Fly is in. They chow down on these trees. We're at the extreme northwest edge of where the flies were spotted last year. I saw maybe 3 or 4 in bow season total. I'm sure that won't go down over time, so who knows what the future brings for the trees and the bugs, for that matter.
 

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We have so many the deer cannot keep up with them....and I hate to see them choke out more desirable and native species.


I will battle them as long as I am upright and able! Ha
 

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Tordon is an herbicide that can be sprayed on stumps to kill and prevent regeneration
 

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Is that specific to Ailanthus or to all trees/plants that regenerate? I've got some vines....not sure what they're called--- those decorative things that grow like a foot a day, sprout up everywhere, and have those scarlet trumpet-shaped flowers.......I can't get rid of the flippin' things, and they're miserable to try to manage. That's not where I hunt, the prior owner of my home planted them. Now I can't get rid of 'em!
 

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I would assume it works on most woody plants. It's a Dupont product so you could check it out. I know it is what Penn dot makes contractors use on roadside stumps after trees are cleared in a daylighting operation
 

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Is that specific to Ailanthus or to all trees/plants that regenerate? I've got some vines....not sure what they're called--- those decorative things that grow like a foot a day, sprout up everywhere, and have those scarlet trumpet-shaped flowers.......I can't get rid of the flippin' things, and they're miserable to try to manage. That's not where I hunt, the prior owner of my home planted them. Now I can't get rid of 'em!
Try Crossbow or now AKA Crossroad. The active ingredient is triclopyr.
 

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Tdd, sounds like Trumpet vine. That stuff can get out of control.
 

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Try Crossbow or now AKA Crossroad. The active ingredient is triclopyr.
Crossroad is the generic equivalent of Crossbow. It is at Rural King for about $45 per gallon. It also comes in 2.5 gallon. You don't use very much per gallon either. I have been using it at camp to spray the briars and multiflora rose along the logging roads to keep them from overgrowing. It seems like you don't have to spray as much on the leaves like you do with gly to kill the plant. A couple of days and you can see the plants wilting. So far I like it.
 
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