Vegitation Killers

Asked August 10, 2018, 12:14 PM EDT

Having been a gardener for over 30 years I just learned earlier this growing season that vegitation killers are not the same as Roundup which contains glyphosate. After a little over 10 years of occasionally applying vegitation killer around my Japanese Tree Lilac to kill grass & weeds under the mulched tree, the otherwise well loved tree has given up & will be removed soon. After learning to judiciously use Roundup instead, I've also been watering that part of the lawn & tree & other shrubs (a very small space at my East Side of St. Paul home) in order to dilute the effects of the vegitation killer. Hoping to plant another small tree, I am wondering if you know how long a gardener must wait to get rid of the effects of the vegitation killer in that area of my garden. Thank you. Jeanne Gehrman 1963 Nortonia Av (Google the address for a view if you're curious St. Paul MN 55119 651-731-9618

Ramsey County Minnesota

3 Responses

Hi Jeanne--
Do you know the name brand of what you'd been using? And/or what chemicals it's made with? That will help me do some research for you.


It's "Vegitation Killer" concentrate" by Spectracide. purchased at Menard's. The label also says "No plant growth for up to 1 year" which may have answered our question.

Reading the label it says ingredients are:

1. glyphosate (ok, now it gets confusing again) isopropylamine (try reading that w/a flashlight in one hand & a magnifying glass in the other) salt .500%

2. imazapyr, isopropylamine salt 0.089%

3. other ingredients 94.881%

Thanks again, oh wise Master.



In my research, the Imazapyr is the troublesome stuff. It's designed to kill "woody" things. There are different formulations all under the RoundUp brand (and other brands!) that usually contain glysophate and often other things to handle other problems or make things die sooner, for instance.

The important thing is to always thoroughly read the label of what you're buying and make sure it is suitable for what you want. I've had good luck looking things up on the internet as a way to be able to read the tiny print on those labels. Here's a link to the Spectracide Vegetation Killer label, for instance:

As you mentioned, it says "up to 1 year" so I'd wait at least that long before planting anything.

If you're interested, I also found this article that talks about the various things that are now mixed with glysophate and why. It was pretty interesting:

The biggest thing to always remember is that the label is your friend--it's required to list all the pertinent things. And even if you buy something, read the label again each time to make sure you're applying it right--misuse of stuff can be just as bad.

I'm sorry about your tree!