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How to Control Osage-Orange (Hedge)

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From: Larry Baer
City:
Peoria, IL
I have about 30 acres that used to be cattle pasture..... - 30 years ago. It has about 800 hedge trees on it from saplings to monsterous trees. I want to khow what the best way to kill a few of these would be. Right now I'm using them for fence posts but they grow back which is good for more fence posts but I would rather have hardwoods than them. Thanks

 
Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
jhayek@illinois.edu
Larry,

So, you want to know how to effectively control Osage-orange (a.k.a., hedge).

My recommendation: during the fall or winter with a chainsaw, make a fresh stump cut or girdle on your chosen trees and then apply either Garlon 3A (triclopyr) or Pathway/Tordon (picloram) to the fresh cut. Note that these two herbicides are amine-based (water), rather than ester-based (oil). Apparently, amine-based herbicides are much more effective than ester-based herbicides in treating Osage-orange. This of course is not the case with all trees.

Pathway is ready to use (RTU), meaning no mixing is required and also comes with a blue marker dye. Garlon 3A should be applied as a 50-50 solution with water. Apply the herbicide with a spray bottle. These herbicides are effective during the dormant season.

This recommendation should get you on your way!

 
From: Larry Baer
City:
Peoria, IL
The above advice worked great. I found if I cut the trees 3 to 4 feet up from the ground they die better. Then after they are dead I cut them up and pilled everything around the stumps for one year to dry the wood out then burned it. These stumps burn down into the ground if they are dry enough and nothing will be left of them. It doesn't even look like there was a tree there but you might have to fill in a hole and plant some grass seed if it is in a pasture. Most of the places around the stumps I just raked out to flat ground and put grass seed on. Digging out stumps with a skid steer or tractor does not work because they sprout back from the roots with a vengeance. This is a long term job that can take two years to fully get rid of one big tree but it works well leaving not trace or sprouts coming back. If you cut close to the ground 90% of all of the trees treated will sprout back especially if you cut off level with the ground. The closer you are to the ground the more chance you will get new thorny sprouts and in a year or two it can be a giant nasty thorny bush that won't go away even if you stack a huge pile of wood on it and burn it. Then you will have to wait a few years for it to get bigger so you can cut the multiple stumps off 3-4 feet up from the ground and treat it the right way and burn it.

 
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