Leaf Spray Method

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

When to Apply:
Begin in April or May after tallowtree leaves mature, and continue through September or until leaves begin to turn yellow to red.

1. Prepare Equipment
Small pump-up garden sprayers, backpack sprayers, cattle sprayers, or sprayers mounted on 4-wheel all-terrain vehicles (ATV) work well. Garden sprayers are best for small acreages; backpack sprayers are usually most efficient in denser stands; ATV sprayers are best for large acreages or when there is more distance between plants. Make sure your sprayer has an adjustable nozzle that can deliver a coarse spray (large droplets) to the top of an 8-foot-tall tree. Conejet™ 5500 X-6 or X-8 adjustable cone nozzles work well.

2. Mix Herbicide Spray
You can kill 76 to 100 percent of roots by spraying with Grazon P+D™, a restricted use pesticide. To buy and use the product you will need a Texas certified applicator’s license.

To prepare the spray mix, add Grazon P+D™ at a concentration of 1 percent to water (see mixing table below). To make sure the spray solution will stick to the tallowtree foliage, add either liquid dishwashing detergent or a surfactant to the spray mix (see table below). It may be helpful to add a dye, such as blue Hi-Light™ spray-marking dye, to mark the plants that have been sprayed.

Recommended leaf spray mixture using a surfactant or liquid dishwashing detergent.

Ingredient Concentration in spray solution Tank Size
3 gal. 14 gal. 25 gal.
Grazon P+D™ 1% 4 oz. 18 oz. 1 qt.
Surfactant 1/4% 1 oz. 4-6 oz. 8 oz.
Hi-Light Blue Dye™ 1/4-1/2% 1-2 oz. 4-9 oz. 8-16 oz.

*All spray solutions are mixed in water.

3. Spray the Tallowtree
The best time to spray is July through September, as long as the leaves have not begun to turn yellow. For effective control, each plant must be thoroughly sprayed, almost to the point of dripping. Be sure to wet the terminal ends of all branches.

Keep these points in mind:

  • Follow herbicide label directions.
  • For best results, don’t spray when:
    • rains have stimulated new growth in tree tops.
    • leaves are wet.
    • foliage shows damage from hail, insects or disease
    • you are working upwind of desirable trees, shrubs or crops
  • The cost of treatment rises rapidly as the brush becomes taller and more dense. Also, controlling tallowtree is not a one-time job. You’ll need to go over your land regularly to locate and treat unwanted tallowtree seedlings and plants that are missed or only partially damaged by the initial spray treatment.