The November Kansas Farmer will be arriving in your mailbox this week. But there is already an answer to a question posed in this issue: What is this weed?
Southwest Kansas farmer and rancher Randy Hayzlett has seen the weed increasingly encroach on pasture land, moving upland from the dry bed and banks of the Arkansas River.
The weed, Hayzlett says, is so prolific that it is even crowding out tamarisk. He was unable to determine what the plant was and wanted to know the best method to control it.
First to come up with an identification was Kansas State University range specialist Walt Fick, followed closely by horticulturists at DuPont Crop Protection Services.
They agree the plant is known in Kansas as woolly buckthorn. It is also sometimes called gum bumelia, chittamwood or ironwood. According to horticulture records, Kearny County is outside the reported distribution area of the shrub, but it is planted in the southern plains and occurs in the wild primarily along water courses, Fick said.
How to control it
Fick said recommended control was Remedy at the rate of 1 part chemical and 3 parts diesel fuel, applied as a basal bark treatment during the growing season.
DuPont Crop Protection Services also identified the weed as chittamwood and recommended their product, Velpar L. as a control for it.
Hayzlett said he first noticed the weed growing along the river and was amazed that it was crowding out tamarisk, which has been a troublesome weed in the region for some time.
He said he had not tried spraying his pastures to control it but was concerned about the rate at which it was spreading and realized he would need help from chemistry to get rid of it.
"It spreads by propagation, so every place a branch touches the ground it puts down roots," he said. "And it grows so densely that you can't even walk through it."