Leaf Spray Method

Works Best:
On mesquites that are bushy, have many stems at ground level, and are less than 8 feet tall. This method has also been known as high-volume foliar spraying.

When to Apply:
Begin in spring, when mesquite leaves change color from a light pea green to a uniform dark green, and continue through September. Allow mesquite that has been topkilled by hand cutting, fire, mechanical methods or herbicide treatment to grow for two full growing seasons before using the Brush Busters leaf spray.

1. Prepare Equipment
Small pump-up garden sprayers, backpack sprayers, cattle sprayers, or sprayers mounted on 4-wheel-drive all-terrain vehicle, (ATVs) work well. Garden sprayers, are best for small acreages. Backpack sprayers are usually the most efficient in dense mesquite, while ATV sprayers become more efficient in large acreages or as the distance between plants increases. Make sure your spraygun has an adjustable cone nozzle, such as a Conejet® 5500-X6 or -X8 capable of delivering a coarse spray (large droplets) to the top of an 8-foot tree.

2. Mix Herbicide Spray
You can achieve 76 to 100 percent root kill by spraying with a mixture of the herbicides Reclaim™ and Remdy™. To ensure a thorough coating of the foliage, add either liquid dishwashing detergent or a non-ionic surfactant to the spray mix (see table). It may be helpful to add a dye, such as Hi-Light Blue Dye™, to mark plants that have been sprayed.

Recommended leaf spray for mesquite.

Ingredient Concentration in spray solution Tank Size
3 gal. 14 gal. 25 gal.
Reclaim™ 1/2% 2 oz. 9 oz. 16 oz.
Remedy™ 1/2% 2 oz. 9 oz. 16 oz.
Surfactant 1/4% 1 oz. 5 oz. 8 oz.
Hi-Light Blue Dye™ 1/4-1/2% 1-2 oz. 5-9 oz. 8-16 oz.

*All spray solutions are mixed in water.

3. Spray the Mesquite
Begin spraying in the spring after the soil temperature at 12 to 18 inches deep has reached 75 degrees and after the mesquite foliage has changed from a light pea green color to a uniform dark green color. The spray period will last through September. (In East and South Texas, however, the suggested cutoff date for leaf spraying is July 31.) Wet all the foliage of each mesquite plant until the leaves are almost to the point of dripping.

Keep these points in mind:

  • Follow herbicide label directions.
  • For best results, don’t spray when:
    • rains have stimulated light green new growth in tree tops.
    • mesquite leaves are wet.
    • mesquite foliage shows damage from hail, insects or disease.
    • you are working upwind of desirable trees, shrubs or crops.
  • Your cost of treatment increases rapidly as the density and size of brush increases. Also, controlling mesquite is not a one-time job. You’ll need to go over your land now and then to get rid of unwanted mequite sprouts.