Prevent Re-sprouts to Reduce Costs by Saving Time, Labor
Vegetation management is a constant challenge for utility site managers. Which weeds are gaining traction? What is the most economical and effective way to control them? Let’s go below the soil surface to help control brush species at their roots for cleaner, safer sites.
In this issue:
- Prevent Vegetation Regrowth to Save Time and Labor
- Tackling Multiflora Rose
- Fierce, Effective Brush Control
- Video: Reliable Brush Control Techniques for Enhanced Site Safety
The vegetation management job is never done. From planning the year’s management program to responding to storm damage, utility managers and applicators are busy enough ensuring uninterrupted power without having to think about brush that reappears. With ever-tightening budgets, it can be tempting to hope for effective control through mechanical means, but that’s wishful thinking for many sites. If you’re not including strategic herbicide applications in your control program, you face the risk of tackling the same brush problems again the next year or even later in the same season.
An integrated vegetation management (IVM) program with appropriate herbicide applications can help you reduce operational costs, since cutting and mowing alone encourage the biological response of regrowth. The only way to ensure utility crews won’t face the same brush and weeds again is to take plants out at the roots.
Archie Dickens, system right of way coordinator and ISA utility arborist for Coast Electric Power Association (CEPA), manages more than 13,000 acres of rights of way near the southern Mississippi coast in Harrison, Hancock and Pearl River counties. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, CEPA had not used herbicides in its management programs since the early 1990s.
Unfortunately, skipping herbicides allowed for vigorous growth. The 2007 hurricane disaster caused vegetation-related issues to become the single leading cause of reported power outages in that region. Taking control of the situation, Dickens and his team began using herbicides in the organization’s IVM program with low rates of Krenite S brush control agent. After four years of including various herbicides in its program, the electric cooperative reported 63 percent fewer outages from vegetation-related issues, including encroachment on distribution lines.
In addition to increased productivity, Dickens helped CEPA reduce overall expenses and public complaints. “At a time when fuel prices continue to escalate along with the rising rates of equipment and labor, we have reduced our cost per mile for rights of way maintenance by almost 10 percent, mostly due to tree removal and selective herbicide applications,” says Dickens. “If you can tackle a weed’s root system, you will have the advantage. In 2007, CEPA received approximately one complaint for every 47 miles sprayed with herbicides. But as we became more aggressive in our spraying technique, rights of way began clearing up and complaints fell to only one for every 174 miles sprayed in 2011.”
A successful IVM program is essential for providing reliable service, and newer herbicides have low use rates that boost productivity. DuPont™ Viewpoint® herbicide features both a low use rate and a dry-blended formulation that can significantly reduce inventory, hauling, tank mixing and waste disposal. Viewpoint® controls a broad range of difficult brush species. And since it is not a federally restricted-use herbicide, utility crews have more flexibility about where and when they apply Viewpoint®.
Incorporating herbicides into an IVM program can save crews time and reduce or eliminate the costs and pressures of repeated treatments to control regrowth. The result is reliable site maintenance and safe rights of way through effective brush control, while reducing costs and public concerns.
Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) is a perennial shrub known to invade rights of way and create dense thickets that disturb and prevent native plant species from thriving. Originally planted as a natural fence or windbreak, its prolific nature and tendency to invade areas quickly classified multiflora rose as a noxious weed.
Multiflora rose can grow to lengths of 13 feet with 5 to 6 feet of upright stem and tips arching toward the ground. Found throughout most of the United States, it is tolerant of various soil types, moisture levels and light conditions. This easy attitude allows multiflora rose to thrive in roadsides, open fields and pastures. It is identified by its arching stalks, white to pink flowers that appear in May or June, and bright red rose hips that develop in summer. These small red fruits stay with the plant throughout the winter and are popular food for birds and wildlife, promoting seed distribution and continuing the spread of this invasive weed.
The toughest brush species don’t stand a chance against Viewpoint® herbicide. Its superior capabilities take brush out at the roots, reducing re-sprouting and saving time and money. While Viewpoint® delivers the most complete broad-spectrum brush control available in a single product.
Viewpoint® is easy to use and provides effective control of ash, boxelder, cottonwood, huisache, mesquite, multifora rose and other hardy brush species. Incorporating Viewpoint® in a vegetation management plan will decrease mechanical control, including bush hogging, mowing and hand-cutting, to help maximize worker safety. And with reduced tank mixes, crews won’t be required to haul pallets of heavy materials to sites. Viewpoint® can be applied with ground or aerial spray equipment. Ground applications can be made using either broadcast or spot treatments.
In areas where a grass understory is desirable, DuPont™ Streamline® herbicide can be used.
Watch the video to learn how effective brush control can help create safer utility sites and rights of way and preserve desirable grasses.
DuPont™ Streamline® and Viewpoint® are not registered for sale or use in all states. See your DuPont retailer or representative for details and availability in your state.
DuPont™ Streamline® and Viewpoint® herbicides are for use in non-crop applications only and do not have grazing tolerances.
The information provided on this website is for reference only. Always refer to the product labels for complete details and directions for use.