Puncture vine / Goat Head
How to best get rid of this pest? What poison is effective? Can it be controlled by just cutting off the top? Would weed burner be effective? We sprayed a "pre emergent" 2 months ago and that was quite effective on everything else. The plants are taking over our decomposed granite model airplane runway.
Jackson County Oregon
Hi Model Plane Pilots,
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble with puncturevine in your runway. It's a common and troublesome weed in the region which can be transported around easily. Preventing the spread of puncturevine seed is important to controlling this pest.
Depending on the extent of the infestation, it can be easiest to hand-pull or hoe the plants before they set seed. I also expect that flame-weeding should control puncturevine, but will be most effective when the plants are small.
Herbicides containing glyphosate will control puncturevine which is actively growing in the runway, but will not prevent the establishment of new seedlings. Research in eastern Oregon has shown that pre-emergent herbicides Velpar (Hexazinone) and Sahara (Imazapyr+diuron) are effective in controlling puncturevine, but note these products are for use in non-crop agricultural and industrial settings and not for residential landscape, lawn, sidewalk, and driveway use. Be sure to read and follow the label instructions of any herbicide exactly.
More information on puncturevine and its control can be found at the links below: