Removing Tree of Heaven for Spotted Lanternfly Control
Spotted Lanternflies are considered to be a nuisance pest. For this reason, it is illegal to allow them to knowingly exist on your property. Failure to do so or to hire someone to do it for you can lead to the PA Department of Agriculture (PA-DOA) coming in, taking care of the issue, and charging the homeowner. Furthermore, the PA-DOA also mandates that the Spotted Lanternfly only be controlled through approved methods. And one of the of the best ways that the PA-DOA recommends to control the Spotted Lanternfly is through controlling the Spotted Lanternflies favorite plant, the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima).
As the Spotted Lanternfly continues to be an issue, you will want to do anything that you can to help control it. One of the best ways to do this is by controlling their favorite plant, the invasive Tree of Heaven. But not only is Tree of Heaven Spotted Lanternfly’s favorite plant, but there are some that think that the Tree of Heaven is necessary to the Spotted Lanternfly’s life-cycle. This might make controlling the Tree of Heaven more important than we currently realize. And this is on top of the fact that on its own Tree of Heaven is invasive and not really a desirable tree.
Though the one thing to note is that the PA-DOA, however, does not recommend trying to remove the trees without using herbicide. The reason for this is if you do not the trees will come up from the roots and can become more of an issue than they were in the first place. The one thing that is important to note, however, is that the goal is not always to remove all the trees, but leave some to be trap trees. But we will go into that in a different article click here.
There are several different ways to control the Tree of Heaven that the PA-DOA. Here they are:
Foliar sprays are one of the most common ways to control Tree of Heaven or any plant. The only thing to keep in mind is that more than one application may be needed to get the Tree of Heaven under control. The best time for this sort of application is June-September.
Basal Bark Sprays
Basal Bark sprays are one of the best options for controlling smaller trees. Spray is applied with an oil carrier on the bottom 12-18 inches of the tree. The best time for this sort of application is summer and late winter.
Although this is not a sort of treatment the that is popular with other trees, trees this sort of treatment is necessary with Tree of Heaven to prevent suckers from coming up. Application should be made right after cutting, so it is easily absorbed. The best time for this treatment is June-September.
Hack and Squirt
The Hack and Squirt method is one of the top methods that PA-DOA and Penn State recommends. The reason for this is that it can be quickly done. What one does is “hack” the bark around the trunk at about chest height with the aim to leave a dip that will hold herbicide at the bottom of the hacked area. After this is done, the herbicide is applied to the wound. The best time for this treatment is June-September.
If possible, end with a question. Do you have any tips that you would add? Comment below.
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