An Evaluation of Four Glyphosate Formulations on Dormant Conifers

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  • 1 The Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA 16802

In 1995, Monsanto Chemical Co. announced that they would replace Roundup herbicide with Roundup Pro for use in the ornamentals and turf markets. Both products contain 4 lb a.i./gal glyphosate, but Roundup Pro contains a more-active surfactant. Though Roundup was labeled as a nonselective herbicide, dormant conifers were found to have varying degrees of resistance to it. Directed sprays that hit the lower two-thirds of many dormant conifers became common practice in the industry. Because the surfactant in Roundup Pro increases the activity of the glyphosate, a series of trials were initiated in 1996 in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Vermont in which four glyphosate formulations were applied to a variety of dormant conifers. Roundup, Roundup Pro, Glyfos, and Accord (with and without surfactant) were applied either over-the-top or as directed sprays to the lower 18 inches of the plants at rates between 0.5 and 3 lb a.i./acre. Plants treated included globe arborvitae; upright yew; Canadian hemlock; Colorado, Norway and white spruce; Douglas fir; eastern white pine; and balsam, Canaan, and Fraser fir. In a preliminary study, injury to the spruces in the form of dwarfed and chlorotic new growth was primarily associated with fresh pruning wounds. Accord plus surfactant and Roundup Pro injured more spruces than Roundup, but injury was slight. No injury was observed in upright yew with any formulation at rates up to 0.75 lb a.i./acre. Injury to arborvitae was greatest with Accord plus surfactant, intermediate with Roundup Pro, and least with Roundup. Results are inconclusive at this time, but the results of additional studies available early in the next growing season.will be presented.

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