Herbicide damage to trees

donk4kyv(z6TN)June 21, 2013

The farmer next door uses the no-till method and treats his soy bean and corn fields with herbicide. He has been doing this for many years, but this year, for the first time ever, after he sprayed with herbicide (I assume he was using Roundup), I notice the leaves on many of the trees on my property adjacent to the soy bean field showed severe leaf damage.

I can't see that he did anything different this year from years past, but this is the first time the herbicide has damaged anything in adjacent fields. I'd be curious if anyone else is having this problem. Perhaps they changed the formula in Roundup or whatever herbicide he is using. I haven't had any opportunity to ask the farmer, since he lives elsewhere and leases the fields to raise his crops.

The damage is particularly severe on maple trees, some of which are over 100 ft. from the edge of the fields. Some of the oaks show damage as well. The grass and vegetation on the ground turned brown only out to the edge of the fields he treated, so if this was due to wind-borne mist, it didn't affect the grass and weeds low to the ground.

Don in TN

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Unless he was spraying in a stiff wind, I doubt he was using Roundup because everything it touches would be burned. More likely he was planting corn in the field and used something like Paraquat and 2,4-D. Maples are very sensitive to the 2,4-D. The guy who farms my place uses more Roundup and less (actually none) 2,4-D around here.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 6:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

contact him and ask for his insurance agent..

also contact your county Ag office or extension office... they ought to be able to define such for you ...

your experts should be very local.. rather than the WWWeb ... but do keep us updated ... so we can answer the next time ..


BTW.. i have severe leaf damage ... on a lot of my plants.. caused by a 23 degree freeze right after leaf out ... and a lot of it.. is just now showing itself.. can you affirmatively state.. that it is in no way frost/freeze related.. back in time ...???/? .;. and i recently confirmed this by checking the webpage of a local Upick orchard 4 miles away.. and half their crops are NO pick for this year .... due to the freeze ..

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I can't say for sure. We did have a cold spell late this spring IIRC, but the only leaf damage I see is on the sides of the trees adjacent to the field. I also recall it was windy the day they sprayed the fields, and some of the damage is pretty far away from the edge, but only on that side of the trees. Some new leaves are coming out normal, but the damaged ones are still small and wilted looking.

No big deal if the trees aren't permanently damaged, but in all the years they have been farming the place and using the herbicide/no-till method, this is the first time this has happened.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 12:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kenptn(z6b TN)

I live in TN in an agricultural county and herbicide damage is a very common occurrence. My neighbor's farm borders my land and it seems every spring on the hottest, windiest day he decides to spray his fields with the finest setting on his nozzles. He uses 2,4-D, as do most farmers, because it is CHEAP. After his crop is up, he uses Roundup on his Roundup-Ready crops. I've had damage to my stuff from 2,4-D, but never from Roundup. The trees always recover the following year, but look ugly the year they are damaged. The problem with 2,4-D is that it is EXTREMELY VOLATILE (think gasoline fumes) and it only takes the right conditions to produce damage.

The last time I had damage I called my county agent and had him take a look at the strange curled leaves on my trees. I knew what it was but I played dumb. The agent looked at the damage and took some samples and never said a word. I asked him what he thought the problem was and he said he said it could be many things. I said I hoped it wasn't caused by my neighbor because if it was I would seek a restraining order. It hasn't happened again and my neighbor still waves when I see him LOL.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 2:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That must be the case here. The damage followed his initial spraying in early spring. Since then he has planted his soy beans and he has treated the fields at least once after that. No additional damage appeared to occur with subsequent spraying.

I wonder about the health effects of breathing the mist. Isn't 2-4-D the same stuff they used in Agent Orange it Viet Nam?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 10:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kenptn(z6b TN)

Agent Orange. 2,4,5-T. It was sometimes contaminated with a toxin as deadly as plutonium. Bad stuff.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 6:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sara Malone Zone 9b

When I get overspray of Roundup (which has never happened to my trees but has happened frequently with my tomatoes due to their unfortunate location near a gravel road where staff sprays for weeds) the damage looks just like the 2,4-D damage that I remember from the distant past when I was a pesticide applicator for a short time. I would think, as Dzitmoidonc notes, that Roundup in any amount would just torch the plant, but on the tomatoes at least it manifests itself as small, deformed leaves.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 11:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Herbicides with active ingredients ending in "pyralid", ie. clopyralid, are known for their ability to persist in the environment. Another related item-Imprelis-is now implicated in widespread tree death on properties where it was used.

Some of the herbicides in this category are ruining the compost industry as well. They persist through the heat of the composting process and are then able to go on and kill plants in yards and gardens where this compost is applied. Bad, bad situation.

I've kind of oversimplified here, but look up such herbicides as "Transline" or "Milestone". Or the Imprelis. Those groups calling for the removal of such products from the market are probably right.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2013 at 10:24PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Spring pics
Couple spring pics on a rare mild day: Chinese elm...
Please help me identify this tree???
I have searched everywhere and can NOT find the name...
Terry Whitehead
Tree Planted Too Deep - Too Late To Raise
Hi all, I've been searching for some guidance on this...
Can anyone ID this wood? (firewood)
It burns very slowly. It's perfect for nighttime, and...
Just bought a house. Need help identifying trees!
Hello all, I have no real knowledge of tree types and...
Sponsored Products
Algoma Caribbean Rope Hammock Chair - 4913T
$68.99 | Hayneedle
Meditation Tree Silk Panel
21" x 21" Red Cedar Rural Planter
Rainforest Rocks LED Indoor - Outdoor Floor Fountain
Lamps Plus
Nikau Pendant by David Trubridge Design
$2,530.00 | Lumens
Rust One-Light Tree Trunk with Root Table Lamp
$177.95 | Bellacor
Lemon tree tablecloth
Origin Crafts
Beechwood Table Lamp
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™