When to Treat Mesquite?

May is HERE! It’s time to start making plans for any Honey Mesquite leaf-spray applications planned for this Summer.  Making the application during the right time is CRUCIAL for good control.  I’ll be updating this post regularly with information collected or shared from across South Texas, so be sure to check back in!  For step-by-step instructions on doing the leaf-spray method, check out Brush Buster’s: How to Beat Mesquite.

What characteristics are we looking for to define the “perfect” spray time?

  1. Enough leaf material to take in the herbicide and move it to the bud zone underground.  This means a plant at least 3′ tall with plenty of leaf canopy.  Have smaller trees or seedlings?  Why not try a stem-spray application instead (15-25% triclopyr in 75-85% diesel sprayed 12″ high on the stem all the way around).
  2. Spray when the leaves look healthy, not damaged by insects or drought.
  3. Soil temperature 12″ deep needs to be 75 degrees or higher. (see below for reports)
  4. Leaves need to be a uniform dark green color.  Note the leaf color right now – more of a limey green.  Wait until you see the uniform dark green to spray!
  5. Watch out for these small rains we might be receiving (hopefully receiving 🙂  If it spurs new leaf growth on the tips, wait until the new leaf turns a dark green as well.
  6. Typically, the best time to spray is 45-90 days after budding, or leaf emergence is first noticed
  7. If mesquites start to sprout beans, wait until the bean is fully elongated before spraying.
  8. Spray when there are either no flowers present OR when the flowers are yellow.  Don’t spray when the flowers are white.

What to Spray:

Individual Plants: 1% Sendero, 1/4% Surfactant, 1/4-1/2% blue dye in water (you could substitute Remedy-Triclopyr at 0.5% and Reclaim-Clopyralid at 0.5% for the Sendero)

Broadcast Sprays: 1.75 pts/acre of Sendero, 1/4% Surfactant in water (you could still use the triclopyr/clopyralid mix)

Stem Sprays: 25% Remedy (triclopyr) and 75% diesel

Cut Stump: 15% Remedy (triclopyr) and 85% diesel

 

2014 Reports from the field:

At the end of April, mesquite trees near Hebbronville had already experienced some insect damage.  Keep an eye out because waiting too long to spray could result in poor control if the damage gets worse!

May 3rd – Goliad – Soil Temp 67 degrees at 12″ (needs to be 75 before spraying)

May 10th – George West – Soil Temp 78 degrees (sandy loam soils)

May 14th – Victoria – Soil Temp 69 degrees (Loamy bottomland; after 2″ rain)

May 16th – Victoria Co – Soil Temp 68 degrees (Blackland soils)

May 16th – Victoria Co – Soil Temp 70 degrees (Loamy prairie)

May 16th – Hebbronville – Soil Temp 70-73 degrees

May 19th – Sinton – Soil Temp 74 degrees (Clay soils)

May 20th – Victoria Co – Soil Temp 73 degrees (Clay pan prairie)

May 21st – Sinton – Soil Temp 76 degrees (Clay soils)

May 22nd – Hebbronville – Soil Temp 77-79 degrees

May 23rd – Calhoun County – Soil Temp 76 degrees (Salty Prairie)

May 29th – Goliad County – Soil Temp 76 degrees (Clayey bottomland) – better spray before the new growth from recent rains come on!  If they do – wait until all leaves turn dark green again before spraying.

June 3rd- Refugio County- Soil Temp 78 degrees (Loamy Sand)

June 5th- Goliad County- Soil Temp 79 degrees (Clay pan Prairie)

 

*Thanks to Stephen Deiss (GLCI) and Erasmo Montemayor (NRCS) for reporting soil temps

Please comment on what the mesquites are doing in your part of the world!  I’ll add it to our report list so all can benefit…

There is a “Texas Range Webinar” on Mesquite Control led by Dr. Bob Lyons…watch for free  at http://naturalresourcewebinars.tamu.edu/

 

 

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