New formulation offers wider range of use for Ecoplug Max

Jane Carleyin Chemicals & Fertilisers

Removal of stumps and tree clearance is now easier and more efficient in a wider range of situations with a new formulation for Monsanto's Ecoplug Max.

Ecoplug Max is a patented tree stump control application method, originally developed in Sweden and designed to deliver more efficient forestry clearance.

Ecoplug Max was launched in the UK five years ago has been successfully deployed to clear trees under power and telephone lines, on utility and MOD properties, railways, bridges, golf courses, highways, heritage sites and graveyards.

The unique plug acts as a delivery device for glyphosate into the tree or stump. Each plug contains 283mg of granular glyphosate which is released inside the tree stump ensuring all the active ingredient is carefully targeted where it is needed.

Glyphosate is translocated through the stump and down to the roots preventing new growth sprouting and leaving the stump to gradually rot away.

Ecoplug Max benefits:

  • Kills the entire root system of the treated stump
  • High efficacy - normally between 95-100% on treated stump
  • 100% selective keeping the use of herbicide to a minimum and removing the risk of collateral damage that may occur with traditional foliar and liquid application methods
  • Can be used in any weather and at any time of the year
  • Extends the interval between clearings compared with cutting alone

Ecoplug Max application supports the requirements of the Sustainable Use Directive to minimise the use of pesticides and the Water Framework Directive to prevent contamination of waterways with pesticides.

The unique design reduces the risk of chemical spillage, and the application method reduces the risk of chemicals getting into water or potential overdosing. Ecoplug Max contains glyphosate which degrades into natural compounds.

With its new formulation, identified by MAPP 17581, Ecoplug Max is authorised by the Chemicals Regulation Division, (CRD), 'for use in all situations, (stump).'

This new formulation can be used on tree stumps in forests or amenity vegetation; on land immediately adjacent to aquatic areas as well as stumps within the aquatic zones of rivers or lakes described by CRD as Open and Enclosed Waters.

Following trials by the Forestry Commission, the new formulation also carries an Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use (EAMU) in standing trees, Ecoplug Max may now also be used where felling is not possible, by inserting plugs from the side of standing trees and leaving them in situ.

This method is particularly useful for thinning, removal of invasive species, halo thinning and sanitation felling (for control of diseases), and felling where traditional logging methods are impractical or uneconomic.

Plugs are used in a similar method to stump control applications, but should be inserted from the side of the tree, evenly spaced around the trunk just above ground level.

Monsanto Technical Specialist Manda Sansom comments: "The new formulation and EAMU opens up Ecoplug Max to a wider range of applications, giving land managers the opportunity to benefit from glyphosate's efficiency in clearing trees in a convenient, clean and operator-friendly system."

Ecoplug Max is available from the Pitchcare shop