Control for Prickly Pear Cactus

Asked March 18, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT

I am a new resident to El Paso county and the State of Colorado and have not had experience controlling Prickly Pear Cactus. I am a native of North Dakota and also lived in Montana and Kansas. My degree is in Agriculture Economics, I farmed/ranched in ND for several years and have been an avid garden/horse breeder for several years but never had to control Cactus.We purchased 20 acres near Calhan and the pasture has a large infestation of Prickly Pear Cactus. What is the best and most cost effective way to eradicate it?Thank you,Ed Hartl

El Paso County Colorado

3 Responses

Hello Ed,

Prickly pear cactus is most often treated with herbicide. In some restricted situations in some places people will do controlled burns to control it, but it would need to be repeated every 5 years or so. Here is a link to a good paper describing prickly pear control and costs, however the article is 15 years old so the costs will need to be adjusted.

I hope this helps. Feel free to email me directly if you have more questions.

Thank you Casey, It has been a several years since I have used Tordon - will it harm the grass if I spray the complete pasture? Thanks,

Hi Ed,

It should not harm your grasses. It is selective for broadleaf forbs and prickly pear. Here is more information on Tordon -