Ecoplugs go to work on sensitive site

Jane Carleyin Chemicals & Fertilisers

Monsanto's Ecoplug Max is helping a specialist contractor manage a tricky tree project on a sensitive wildlife site.

LanGuard Ltd finds that Ecoplug Max is increasingly meeting specifications for a clean, safe way to deal with unwanted tree growth.

Development Director Alisdair Mason explains: "Ecoplug Max is not only a very effective way of treating cut stumps to prevent regrowth, but also gives clients the reassurance that the specified trees have been treated, as they can see the plugs in place."

Ecoplug Max delivers glyphosate directly into the tree stump, killing its root system and preventing re-growth using a patented method which minimises the risk of herbicide exposure for the operator and environmental contamination through spillage or run-off.

Each plug contains 300mg of granular glyphosate which is released inside the stump ensuring that all of the active ingredient is carefully targeted where it is needed. The glyphosate is translocated through the stump and down to the roots preventing new growth sprouting and leaving the stump to gradually rot away.

Plugs are simply placed into holes drilled into the stump using the Ecoplug drill bit, and hammered in forcing out the sides of the plug and releasing the glyphosate into the phloem.

A recent contract at a site close to the Batheaston bypass for Skanska UK Area 2 Highways required trees to be cleared from land designated to take storm water from the bypass.

"The site is on a river bend and is being established as a wildlife reserve," Mr Mason comments. "Vegetation needs to be managed to give access for large maintenance machinery to an oxbow lake, but the site had not been actively managed for a number of years."

LanGuard cut access routes through the woody growth, pollarding some trees and clearing others.

"It's a sensitive site, so strict stewardship procedures need to be observed. By using Ecoplugs we can be certain that only the stumps to be treated receive an application of glyphosate, and with the plugs in place, the client can be confident that regrowth will not occur and that access will be maintained."

Mr Mason adds that Ecoplug Max is also highly practical and easy for operators to transport and use, especially on sites with difficult access where it may not be convenient to transport large volumes of chemical and water for spraying or to use mechanical stump destruction.

"It also extends the treatment window for a cut stump, which is useful if a lack of daylight prevents application on the same day, or even for other contracts where clients ask for trees that they have previously cut to be treated."

He concludes that the operation on the Bath Eastern Bypass was completed successfully with some 300 Ecoplugs being inserted, and the client having the peace of mind that its work on the site can progress unhindered by stump regrowth.

Ecoplug Max is available from the Pitchcare Shop


Top: Ecoplugs inserted in the tree stumps deliver targeted glyphosate to prevent regrowth.

Bottom: The wildlife reserve next to the Batheaston bypass needed tree clearance to give access for maintenance machinery.