In this issue:
- Keep Power Flowing With Fewer Retreatments
- Sugarberry: Hardy Colonizer
- A Valuable Tool to Control Tough and Resistant Broadleaf Weeds
Keep Power Flowing With Fewer Retreatments
Controlling vegetation in utility rights of way to meet Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) guidelines can be an added strain on tight maintenance budgets. One way to maximize crew productivity and stretch budgets is to adopt an integrated vegetation management (IVM) program that includes selective herbicide treatments for effective long-lasting weed and brush control with fewer return visits.
“You have more options when you include a selective herbicide in an IVM program,” says Nelsen Money, president of NRM-VMS, Inc., and past president of the Utility Arborist Association. “If you’re strictly doing manual or mechanical mowing, you probably have to mow at least the belly of a right of way every two or three years, depending on the height of the line and speed of regrowth. However, if you initially mow and follow with spot applications on resprouts a year later, you can typically wait five to eight years before doing further work on that right of way.”
Longer Control, More Environmental Benefits
Another benefit with selective herbicide treatments is establishment of desirable vegetation that improves aesthetics and helps slow growth of unwanted brush species that can interfere with powerlines or maintenance crews. More desirable vegetation also helps create sustainable rights of way for greater environmental benefits.
“By converting a right of way to successional, low-growing grasses and herbaceous plants, establishment of seeds from adjacent trees will be deterred, making it difficult for saplings to survive,” Money notes. “The right vegetation also encourages an animal community to thrive and eat tree seeds. All of these different dynamics help extend treatment cycles.”
Money estimates that a utility working to reclaim an uncontrolled right of way might incur initial mechanical clearing costs of $5,000 to $8,000 per acre, depending on site conditions, varying labor costs, regulatory restrictions and other factors.
When that program is followed the next year by selective herbicide sprout treatment, estimated application costs can drop to $500 to $800 per acre. Subsequent spot treatments on the few weed species that survive may not be needed for five or six years, adding more savings, he says.
Less Product to Handle, Store
“In the past, herbicide treatments were in pounds or gallons per acre,” Money says. “Newer herbicides are usually only ounces per acre.” That rate difference means substantially less product needs to be handled, stored or hauled by crews. And lower rates mean there’s significantly less herbicide being introduced into the environment.
DuPont™ Viewpoint® and Streamline® herbicides offer effective brush control for greater safety along utility rights of way at low use rates. Viewpoint® provides effective control of hard-to-manage brush, including boxelder, hackberry and mesquite. Streamline® controls many brush species, while promoting grass understory.
Sugarberry: Hardy Colonizer
Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) can create safety hazards in rights of way and interfere with power supply if uncontrolled. Reliable sugarberry control can be difficult due to its strong drought tolerance, ability to grow quickly and its fruit – a popular food source for wildlife.
Common to the area ranging south from Oklahoma to North Carolina, sugarberry grows in a variety of soil types, but prefers moist, fertile soils with full sun. Seeds lie dormant over the winter and germinate in early spring. First-year seedlings are slender but tough and can grow about 18 inches. Small stumps sprout readily,
making sugarberry resistant to mechanical control.
DuPont™ Viewpoint® and Streamline® herbicides provide reliable control of sugarberry and a broad range of other brush species to help improve safety of utility and roadside rights of way. Viewpoint® provides simple, broad-spectrum control
for a variety of hard-to-manage brush species and broadleaf weeds, while
Streamline® controls a large number of brush species and is selective to many grass species that are desirable along rights of way.
A Valuable Tool to Control Tough and Resistant Broadleaf Weeds
Unsightly vegetation in utility, industrial and other sites is not only an eyesore, but can also damage structures and equipment, create fire hazards, and pose safety issues for crews. Land managers in charge of these locations can count on DuPont™ Perspective® herbicide for dependable, efficient bareground weed control. Perspective® delivers broad-spectrum broadleaf weed control, giving managers the flexibility to choose the best program for each situation. In combination with your choice of grass herbicide tank-mix partners, Perspective® can provide an excellent bareground program.
Perspective® provides effective control of field bindweed and herbicide-resistant marestail, Russian thistle, kochia, prickly lettuce, and other invasive and perennial broadleaf species. And Perspective® helps increase crew productivity by limiting weed escapes for fewer return trips. Low use rates and a convenient dry formulation mean Perspective® is easy to store, transport, mix and apply for added efficiency.