Stem Spray Method

Works Best:
For controlling relatively young trees or older ones with few basal stems.

The method has been known for years as the low-volume, basal-stem treatment technique. Research and demonstrations have shown excellent results using minimum amounts of herbicide.

When to Apply:
Anytime during the year, although best results occur during the spring-summer growing season.

1. Prepare Equipment
Almost any type of pump-up hand sprayer can be used, but the most efficient way to apply the stem spray to many trees is with a backpack sprayer. Make sure the sprayer’s nozzle has a small orifice. One such nozzle, called the Conejet™ 5500-X1, is available from Spraying Systems Company. Compared to standard nozzles, this nozzle can reduce the amount of spray applied by 80 percent – making the use of chemicals much more cost-effective.

2. Mix Herbicide with Diesel

A mixture of the herbicide Remedy™ and diesel fuel oil is very effective for this method. Diesel acts as a coating agent to ensure that the herbicide covers the plant and is absorbed well.

Recommended concentration of Remedy to mix with diesel fuel oil.

Huisache type % Remedy™ Control Rating* Amount/Gallon Mixed
*All Sizes of stem 15% H 19 oz.
25% VH 32 oz.

*H=High (56-75% of plants killed) VH=Very High (76-100% of plants killed)

Pour the required amount of herbicide into the mixing container, then add diesel fuel to bring the mixture to the total volume desired. Agitate the mixture vigorously.

Multi-stemmed huisache plants are much more difficult to control than younger trees or undisturbed plants.

3. Spray the Huisache

Stem applications are effective throughout the year, but the best time is during the growing season when temperatures are high.

Be sure to adjust the sprayer nozzle to deliver a narrow, cone-shaped mist. Spray the mixture lightly but evenly on the plant’s stem or trunk from the ground line up to 12 inches. Apply the mixture to all sides of every stem, but don’t wet it so much that it runs off the stem and puddles.

Keep these points in mind:

  • Follow herbicide label directions.
  • The cost of treatment escalates rapidly as the brush becomes more dense or the number of basal stems per plant increases.
  • Multiple-stemmed plants or rough-barked plants are more difficult to control with this method.
  • Do not spray when the basal stems are wet.
  • After mixing the herbicide with diesel, shake or agitate the solution vigorously.
  • This method is less efficient if there is dense grass around basal stems.