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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Evaluation of herbicides to aid in the establishment of rivercane (Arundinaria gigantea)
Year: 2010
Author(s): Sandlin, T., Russell, D., Neal, D., Baldwin, B.
Source Title:
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 32
Original Publication:  
Abstract: Rivercane (Arundinaria gigantea) is a bamboo native to North America that serves many environmental and cultural purposes. Rivercane exhibits an extensive rhizome network that provides soil stabilization and sediment filtration for streams and riverbanks. The southeastern United States was once supported vast canebrakes. During the last 70 years, these stands have been reduced to 2% of their original land area. Restoration efforts using transplants and seedling establishment are hampered by a number of problematic weeds and non-native species. These weeds compete for water and light, negatively affecting rivercane performance. Pre-emergence herbicides are effective in controlling small-seeded broadleaf and grassy weeds in 4- to 6-month-old rivercane transplants. Dicamba, MCCP, and 2,4-D can be effective postemergence herbicides to control broadleaf weeds and shrubs, such as privet (Ligustrum), wild rose (Rosa), and briar (Rubus), without negative effects on rivercane transplants. However, sedges (Cyperus), johnsongrass (Sorghum), dallisgrass and bahiagrass (Paspalum), crabgrass (Digitaria), foxtail (Setaria), and bermudagrass (Cynodon) are the most problematic weed species when establishing rivercane in the Southeast. Herbicides are currently labeled for control of these grasses, but little is known of their effect on rivercane. Field studies were conducted to determine the effects of eight herbicides (fluazifop; halosulfuron; sethoxydim; imazaquin; nicosulfuron + metsulfuron; imazapic; trifloxysulfuron; and nicosulfuron) on rivercane. Five rivercane transplants composed a plot. Nine plots (eight herbicides + control) were replicated four times in a randomized complete block design. Herbicides were applied at rates labeled for their respective primary crop. After herbicide application, injury to rivercane plants was monitored for 28 days. Individual rivercane plants were rated every seven days on a 1-5 scale (1 severe injury, and 5 no observed injury). All herbicides tested controlled target weeds. Control plots (1.8 rating) indicated droughty conditions impacted rivercane appearance. After 28 days, fluazifop at a half rate (6 oz/acre; 2.15 rating) resulted in less injury to rivercane than nicosulfuron (1 oz/acre; 1.55 rating), imazapic (8 oz/acre; 1.45 rating), or trifloxysulfuron (0.1 oz/acre; 1.25 rating). Ideally, transplanting with no weed competition would be best, but a graminicide, such as fluazifop at the half rate, can better aid in establishing rivercane by reducing competition for resources. No herbicides are currently labeled for use in rivercane.
Publisher: Proceedings of the Seventh Eastern Native Grass Symposium. Knoxville, TN, October 5-8, 2010
Editor(s): C. Harper