Managing Houndstongue in Natural Areas

houndstongue-layered.jpg

(Cynoglossum officinale) 

By CELESTINE DUNCAN, TechLine Editor

Houndstongue is a biennial or short-lived perennial plant that was introduced to North America in contaminated cereal grain. It is found throughout the southern Canadian provinces and all but seven states in the U.S.

Houndstongue forms a rosette in its first year of growth and produces a stem, flowers, and seeds during the second growing season. The majority of houndstongue plants die after producing seed; however, some plants regrow for several years.

The rosette leaves resemble a hound’s tongue and emerge from a thick, dark, woody taproot. Flowers are reddish-purple and produced on stalks that can be up to four feet tall (Photo).

Houndstongue seed spreads long distance by barbs, which attach to clothing, shoes, and fur/hair on domestic animals and wildlife (Photo inset). Individual plants produce up to 2000 seeds. Houndstongue contains an alkaloid that is toxic to grazing animals, especially cattle and horses, and is most problematic in contaminated hay.

Management

Houndstongue often grows in a complex with other weeds, such as spotted knapweed and Canada thistle. Growth regulator herbicides, such as Milestone® specialty herbicide (aminopyralid), provide excellent control of knapweed and thistle, but have less activity on weeds such as houndstongue. In contrast, metsulfuron-methyl provides good control of houndstongue, but poor control of knapweed and thistle. Application of Opensight® specialty herbicide, which combines aminopyralid and metsulfuron-methyl in a dry, water-dispersible granule formulation, effectively controls a complex of houndstongue, knapweed, thistle and many other broadleaf weeds with one application.

Apply Opensight at 2.5 ounces of product per acre (oz/A) to houndstongue rosettes in spring, increasing the application rate to 3.3 oz/A at bolting to early-bud growth stage. Add 1 quart of 2,4-D to Opensight at 3.3 oz/A after the bud stage, to reduce flowering and seed production.

Individual houndstongue plants can be controlled by digging or hand pulling. The upper two to three inches of the taproot must be removed to stop the plant from re-growing from the root crown.

Research on biological control of houndstongue is ongoing through efforts at University of Idaho and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) in Switzerland.

CLICK HERE FOR RESEARCH DETAILS.


®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.

Milestone and Opensight are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. When treating areas in and around roadside or utility rights-of-way that are or will be grazed, hayed or planted to forage, important label precautions apply regarding harvesting hay from treated sites, using manure from animals grazing on treated areas or rotating the treated area to sensitive crops. See the product label for details.

State restrictions on the sale and use of Milestone and Opensight apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions.

Boots On the Ground: Managing Invasive Plants in the Nation's Largest County-Owned Park

by celestine duncan, techline editor

by celestine duncan, techline editor

Beaver Creek Park lies in north-central Montana where the prairie meets the Bear Paw Mountains. Within this 10,000-acre natural area are riparian meadows, rolling grasslands, pine forests, aspen and cottonwood groves, rocky cliffs and cascading waterfalls. This interface of prairie and mountains supports a diverse mix of geology, wildlife and vegetation that remains as unique today as it was centuries ago (Sidebar 1).

Fig. 1: Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale) is well established throughout Beaver Creek Park. Photo by C. Duncan

Fig. 1: Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale) is well established throughout Beaver Creek Park.
Photo by C. Duncan

Chad Edgar, Park Superintendent, and Terry Turner, Hill County Weed Coordinator are tasked with protecting and managing natural resources within park boundaries. Although Hill County has exclusively owned and managed the park for recreational use since 1948, resources then were limited and introduced invasive plants quickly spread across the diverse landscape. Weeds like houndstongue, spotted knapweed, Canada thistle, hawkweed, oxeye daisy and burdock currently threaten biological diversity and multiple use within the park (Figure 1).

Turner explains, “The funding we had wasn’t adequate to effectively address weeds in Beaver Creek Park, and we realized that we had to make a change if we wanted to contain and control infestations.” Turner worked with civic leaders, organizations, landowners and the public in Hill County to voice his concern about protecting the park and surrounding lands from invasive plants. In May, 2017, citizens of Hill County approved an additional four-mill weed tax levy. “The levy almost doubles the weed district budget and allows us to dedicate about $50,000 a year to the park,” says Turner.

Managing a park this large with limited resources requires sound vegetation management practices.   Turner and local partners proposed an integrated vegetation management program, which includes prevention, inventory, monitoring, and early detection and treatment of newly invading non-native plants. It also integrates herbicides, livestock grazing, mowing, biological control agents and hand removal to contain and reduce existing infestations. Employees with state and federal agencies, the university, park employees and Hill County, along with local volunteers, are working together to implement various parts of the integrated program.

Additional history on the park is available at: issuu.com/havrenews/docs/beaver_creek_park_2016_100_yr

Additional history on the park is available at: issuu.com/havrenews/docs/beaver_creek_park_2016_100_yr


Inventory and Monitoring

Rangeland management specialist Lou Hagener, along with other members of Hill County Park Board’s Grazing Committee, are working with Montana State University-Northern (MSU), Hill County Weed District, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service to develop and implement long-term monitoring protocols.

Fig. 2: Lou Hagener, Chad Edgar, park staff, Grazing Committee members, and employees with the Natural Resource Conservation Service establish permanent monitoring plots in the park. Photo by Kailee Calnan, NRCS

Fig. 2: Lou Hagener, Chad Edgar, park staff, Grazing Committee members, and employees with the Natural Resource Conservation Service establish permanent monitoring plots in the park.
Photo by Kailee Calnan, NRCS

 “Monitoring in the park has been sporadic since the early 1990’s, so we have limited long-term data,” explains Hagener. New protocols that more accurately measure natural resource health—including water, soil, and vegetation (native and invasive)—are currently being developed. The goal is to engage MSU students in Botany, Water Quality, and Agricultural Technology Departments in long-term monitoring and inventory.  Data they collect will be used to guide management decisions for invasive plants, grazing, recreation and other multiple-use components in the park (Figure 2).

Fig. 3: Orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) is a new invader, located mainly on cabin sites in the park. Photo by Terry Turner

Fig. 3: Orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) is a new invader, located mainly on cabin sites in the park.
Photo by Terry Turner

“We are working toward having a university course that uses GIS and ground methods as part of an on-going weed inventory in the park,” says Hagener. “It is the beginning stages of a very long-term commitment to monitoring and inventory.”

Hill County Weed District recently conducted park-wide inventories of newly introduced weeds, including orange hawkweed, oxeye daisy, Dalmatian toadflax and spotted knapweed (Figure 3). Maps indicate that new invaders currently infest about 325 acres within the park.


Fig. 4: Livestock and recreationists can move weeds such as houndstongue from the park to private lands. Photo by Lou Hagener.

Fig. 4: Livestock and recreationists can move weeds such as houndstongue from the park to private lands.
Photo by Lou Hagener.

Management

Road and trail rights-of-ways, cabin sites, haying and livestock grazing all provide avenues for introduction and spread of invasive plants. “One of the biggest concerns we have is that recreational use, and livestock grazing in fall and early winter, will transport weeds like burdock, houndstongue and knapweed from the park to private lands,” explains Chad Edgar (Figure 4). “That’s why it’s so important to control current infestations and prevent any new weeds from establishing.”

Fig. 5: Terry Turner observes one of several Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) in the park controlled with a basal bark treatment of Garlon® 4 Ultra. Houndstongue (inset) is controlled with Opensight® specialty herbicide in combination with 2,4-D.  Photo by C. Duncan.

Fig. 5: Terry Turner observes one of several Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) in the park controlled with a basal bark treatment of Garlon® 4 Ultra. Houndstongue (inset) is controlled with Opensight® specialty herbicide in combination with 2,4-D. 
Photo by C. Duncan.

With the increased budget, weed district employees are dedicating more time to managing infestations in the park. This includes selective herbicide treatments and coordinating volunteer hand-pulling efforts. “Houndstongue is widespread in the park, so we needed one herbicide treatment that would control it along with thistles, knapweed, daisy and other broadleaf weeds,” says Turner. Opensight® specialty herbicide (1) at 3.3 ounces of product per acre is currently applied alone or in combination with 2,4-D as a spot treatment to control the complex of weeds (Figure 5, 6; Sidebar 2)

Fig. 6: Burdock (Arctium minus) infestation shown in fall, 1976, in Beaver Creek Park (left) compared to the same site today, following effective management (right). Photos by Terry Turner.

Fig. 6: Burdock (Arctium minus) infestation shown in fall, 1976, in Beaver Creek Park (left) compared to the same site today, following effective management (right).
Photos by Terry Turner.

Livestock grazing and mowing (hay) are an integral component of vegetation management in the park, and generate income to support the park’s mission.  The Grazing Board is currently looking at ways to refine livestock grazing, including the use of targeted grazing, to improve land health by suppressing invasive plants, reducing wildfire danger, and facilitating recovery of preferred native species.

Fig. 7: The annual “Burdock Dig” with fifth-graders from Sunnyside School includes more than 180 students and parents each year. Photo by Terry Turner.

Fig. 7: The annual “Burdock Dig” with fifth-graders from Sunnyside School includes more than 180 students and parents each year.
Photo by Terry Turner.

Volunteers are a key component of the management effort. The annual “Burdock Dig” with fifth graders from the Havre School District helps educate students and control infestations of burdock and houndstongue (Figure 7). A spray day is also held each year with local ranchers volunteering their time and Hill County providing the herbicide and equipment needed to treat weeds. “The cooperative spray days and hand-pulling efforts really help stretch our funding and increases the acres of weeds we can manage in the Park,” says Turner.

________________________________________
[1] Opensight® specialty herbicide combines aminopyralid and metsulfuron-methyl in a dry, water dispersible granule formulation.

Details on this research are available at www.cabi.org/projects/project/56272.

Details on this research are available at www.cabi.org/projects/project/56272.


Future

Edgar and Turner agree that future management of invasive plants in the park is much more positive with strong support from county residents. “Maintaining and strengthening our partnerships and increasing resources to control weeds are important for protecting the park and surrounding private land from noxious weed invasion,” says Turner. “Generations of people have spent their entire lives camping, fishing and enjoying the unique beauty of Beaver Creek, and with their help and expertise, we can protect this area that we all care deeply about.”


®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.

Milestone and Opensight are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. When treating areas in and around roadside or utility rights-of-way that are or will be grazed, hayed or planted to forage, important label precautions apply regarding harvesting hay from treated sites, using manure from animals grazing on treated areas or rotating the treated area to sensitive crops. See the product label for details.

State restrictions on the sale and use of Garlon 4 Ultra, Milestone and Opensight apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions.

After the Smoke Clears – Resources for Addressing Post-fire Weed Invasion and Expansion

After the Smoke Clears – Resources for Addressing Post-fire Weed Invasion and Expansion

Catastrophic fire seasons of recent decades prompted a number of agencies and researchers to synthesize and expand upon the knowledge-base related to invasive plant issues following wildfires. The following short list of literature reviews, handbooks, and recently published research provides a starting point for exploring issues and developing management guidelines related to invasive plants following wildfires. 

Read More

Controlling Invasive Plants in Fall and Early Winter

Controlling Invasive Plants in Fall and Early Winter

Fall is an excellent time to control invasive weeds with herbicides. Late summer and fall rains provide land managers with a good opportunity to extend their application season. 

Read More

Managing Tall Buttercup in Pastures and Natural Areas

By Celestine Duncan, TechLine Editor

By Celestine Duncan, TechLine Editor

Tall buttercup is an introduced perennial forb that is widespread throughout much of North America (Figure 1). It is invasive on irrigated and sub-irrigated pastures, meadows, stream banks, roadsides, and ditches. Tall buttercup forms a toxic substance, protoanemonin, when grazed or damaged. Although the plant is typically avoided by grazing animals, livestock poisoning may occur on overgrazed pastures where more desirable forage is lacking.


Fig. 1  Distribution of tall buttercup in the United States (EDDMaps 2017).

Fig. 1  Distribution of tall buttercup in the United States
(EDDMaps 2017).

Identification and Spread

Tall buttercup is an herbaceous plant that grows from a stout rootstock. Basal leaves grow directly from the root crown or rhizome and are deeply divided into three to five palmate lobes (Figure 2). Stems are one to three feet tall, erect and hollow, with smaller leaves on upper portions of the stem. Each root crown has from one to several stems that are branched above. Soft hairs are present on both leaves and stems. Flowers typically have five, but may have up to eight rounded petals that are glossy yellow in color and about one-half inch long. The plant blooms from late May to September, depending on temperature and moisture.

Tall buttercup spreads primarily by seed but can also reproduce by rhizomes. Seeds are typically viable for less than two years when located in the top inch of soil but can survive longer when buried deeper.

FIG. 2   Tall buttercup is about three feet tall with glossy yellow flowers and deeply lobed palmate leaves. Flower photo by Jane Mangold, leaf photo by Dave Brink, Montana State Univ.

FIG. 2   Tall buttercup is about three feet tall with glossy yellow flowers and deeply lobed palmate leaves.
Flower photo by Jane Mangold, leaf photo by Dave Brink, Montana State Univ.

Integrated Management

Integrating various management techniques—prevention along with herbicides, mechanical, manual, biological, and cultural methods—will optimize control of tall buttercup.

Prevention

Preventing seed spread by livestock and farm equipment will help protect non-infested pastures and meadows. Mowers and other equipment used on infested pastures should be cleaned to prevent movement of tall buttercup seed. Livestock grazing infested pastures should be held for at least three days prior to moving to non-infested grazing areas.

FIG. 3   Herbicides were applied with a CO2 backpack sprayer at late-bud to earlybloom growth stage. photo by celestine duncan.

FIG. 3   Herbicides were applied with a CO2 backpack sprayer at late-bud to earlybloom growth stage.
photo by celestine duncan.

Herbicides

Selective herbicides can provide effective control of tall buttercup. Field trials were established on a hay meadow in western Montana to determine the effectiveness of several herbicides for controlling tall buttercup. Treatments included Milestone® specialty herbicide at 5 and 7 fluid ounces per acre (fl oz/A), MCPA at 64 fl oz/A, and metsulfuron-methyl at 1 ounce of product per acre (oz/A). Herbicides were applied at late bud to bloom growth stage in early summer (June 8), and a second application was made in fall (September 16). Herbicides were applied with a CO2 backpack sprayer in 13.5 gallons of water per acre (Figure 3).

Fig. 4 Milestone® specialty herbicide provided greater than 95 percent control of tall buttercup one year after treatment (top) when applied in either early summer or fall, compared to non-treated control (bottom). photos by celestine duncan.

Fig. 4 Milestone® specialty herbicide provided greater than 95 percent control of tall buttercup one year after treatment (top) when applied in either early summer or fall, compared to non-treated control (bottom).
photos by celestine duncan.

Results of the study showed that Milestone at 5 to 7 fluid ounces per acre and MCPA provided greater than 95 percent control when applied in early summer, but only Milestone provided good control when applied in fall (Figures 4 and 5). Other field trials conducted in Montana show similar results with Milestone on tall buttercup (Strevey and Mangold 2015). Continued application of MCPA is discouraged due to reports of possible resistance to this herbicide within tall buttercup populations.

Mechanical and Manual Control

Mowing prior to seed set may reduce tall buttercup seed production; however, in most irrigated and sub-irrigated pastures, the plant will regrow after mowing and set seed later in the season. Proper timing of mowing is critical to promote growth of desirable plants and impact flowering of tall buttercup. Individual tall buttercup plants can be removed by pulling or digging in spring. The entire root system must be removed to control the plant.

Fig. 5   Percent control of tall buttercup one year after treatment with various herbicides applied in early summer and fall.

Fig. 5   Percent control of tall buttercup one year after treatment with various herbicides applied in early summer and fall.


Biological Control

No biological control agents are currently available for tall buttercup. Livestock grazing generally increases tall buttercup density, since livestock avoid the plant. Disturbance caused by livestock will provide open sites that favor establishment of tall buttercup.

Cultural Control

Tall buttercup has low tolerance to dry conditions. Regulating the timing and amount of water applied to an infested site may reduce the competitive ability of tall buttercup. Promoting desirable grasses with supplemental fertilization, as well as managing livestock grazing, may reduce buttercup establishment.

References:

  1. Dow AgroSciences. Internal Field Data on Tall Buttercup. Accessed July 15, 2017.
     
  2. EDDMapS. 2017. Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System. The University of Georgia—Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. Available online at http://www.eddmaps.org; last accessed July 17, 2017.
     
  3. Jacobs, J., M. Graves, and J. Mangold. 2010. Plant Guide: Tall Buttercup (Ranunculus acris L.). USDA—Natural Resources Conservation Service, Montana State Office. Bozeman, Montana 59715. Available online: https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_raac3.pdf
     
  4. Strevey, H., S. Davis, and J. Mangold. 2015. Tall Buttercup: Identification, Biology and Integrated Management. Montana State University. MT201502AG. Available online: https://store.msuextension.org/publications/AgandNaturalResources/MT201502AG.pdf
     
  5. Strevey, H. and J. Mangold. 2015. Testing Integrated Management Strategies for Tall Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) in Irrigated Hayfield Meadows. Invasive Plant Science and Management. Volume 8, Issue 4. pp. 385-392.

®Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow.

Milestone is not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. When treating areas in and around roadside or utility rights-of-way that are or will be grazed, hayed, or planted to forage, important label precautions apply regarding harvesting hay from treated sites, using manure from animals grazing on treated areas or rotating the treated area to sensitive crops. See the product label for details.

State restrictions on the sale and use of Milestone apply. Consult the label before purchase, or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions.

Fall Application of Milestone® to Control Key Invasive Weeds

Fall Application of Milestone® to Control Key Invasive Weeds

Fall is an excellent time to control invasive weeds with Milestone. Late summer and fall rains in many areas of the Central Plains and the West in 2010 will provide land managers with a good opportunity to extend their application season.

Read More

Saltcedar and Russian Olive Management

Saltcedar and Russian Olive Management

Saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima, T. pentandra, T. chinensis, and T. parviflora) and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia L.) are rapid growing, non-native deciduous trees that were introduced into the United States for erosion control (saltcedar), windbreaks (Russian olive) or as ornamental plantings.

Read More

Woody Plant Control in Northern Prairies

Woody Plant Control in Northern Prairies

Encroachment of woody vegetation threatens the biology and ecology of prairie grasslands. Removing invading woody species improves the function of prairie systems and opens the landscape to provide more suitable habitat for birds and other wildlife that need large blocks of grassland for survival.

Read More