Stem Spray Method

Works Best:
For control of relatively young mesquite trees that have smooth bark and few basal stems, those slim trunks emerging from the ground. The method has been know for years as the low-volume, basal stem treatment technique. What’s new is that research has shown excellent results using much less herbicide making it much more economical.

When to Apply:
Any time 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 spry 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. This nozzle can reduce the quantity of spray applied by 80 percent over standard nozzles – for a much more cost-effective use of chemicals.

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 to ensure good coverage and absorption. The recommended concentration of Remedy™ will vary depending on the size and age of the mesquite.

Recommended concentration of Remedy™ to mix with diesel.

Mesquite Type % Remedy™ Amount/Gallon Mixed
Smooth Bark
  • 1.5 in. diameter or less
  • 15% 19 oz.
  • 1.5-4 in. diameter
  • 25% 1 quart
    Rough Bark 25% 1 quart

    Pour the required quantity of Remedy into mixing container, then bring to total volume desired with diesel fuel oil. Vigorously shake or stir to ensure thorough mixing.

    Rough-bark mesquites (usually) older trees are much more difficult to control than smooth-bark mesquites.

    3. Spray the Mesquite
    Stem applications are effective throughout the year but the best time to spray is during the growing season when temperatures are high.

    Be sure to adjust the sprayer nozzle to deliver a narrow, cone-shaped mist. Holding the nozzle within 1 to 2 inches of the mesquite stem, spray the mixture on the plant’s stem or trunk from the ground line to a height of 12 inches. Apply the mixture to all sides of the trunk, wetting almost to the point of runoff.

    Keep these points in mind:

    • Follow herbicide label directions.
    • Cost of treatment escalates rapidly as density of brush increases or 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 basal stems are wet.
    • After mixing herbicide with diesel, shake or agitate the solution vigorously.
    • Dense grass around basal stems reduces efficiency of this method.