Cross Bow herbicide drift onto our property and damaging plants & edibles.

Asked July 30, 2013, 8:14 PM EDT

Hello there~ I am just so sad to find out our neighbors across the fence had applied crossbow herbicide to kill ivy and it has damaged our plants, trees and edibles on our property. I need to know how to mitigate the damage at this point, how long it will last in the edibles, how long we should expect to see damage, how to test if it was way too much of an application & now "in" our soil for a long time? Thanks for any help! I can send photos if needed.

Washington County Oregon

1 Response

Crossbow is a mix of triclopyr and 2,4-D. It is absorbed through leaves and, in some cases, bark. It is generally not taken up by roots in the soil. Since there is no label allowing the consumption of vegetables or fruit contaminated with Crossbow, you shouldn't eat it if it was exposed during this growing season. It should not be a problem for next year (assuming your neighbors are a little more careful). The damage to woody plants or herbaceous perennials is a little more problematic. The degree of exposure, the timing of the exposure, and the inherent susceptibility of a particular plant will determine the long term impact on that plant. Often they grow out of it if the exposure was modest. Other times, the damage is more severe and could result in the death of the plant. I wouldn't remove a plant this year due to the exposure unless it already looks dead. Rather, wait and see how it leafs out next spring in the case of deciduous trees/shrubs and perennials. If you have any questions or want some more specific advice to give your neighbors, you can contact me at

OSU Extension Service/Columbia County
503 397-3462
Chip Bubl, OSU Extension Agent