Weed identification

Asked September 13, 2020, 12:43 PM EDT

Hello, We recently bought a property in Manistee, Mi and the front yard is taken over by this woody weed (see pictures), could you help me identify the species & the right way to eradicate this unwanted plant ? Thanks

Afterthought: could these be Ash tree seedlings planted by squirrels ?

Manistee County Michigan

1 Response

These plants are root sprouts of honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos), a native tree in Michigan. These sprouts usually appear after a larger tree has been cut down (even several years ago) or if it is severely injured or in decline.

There are a couple of options for control. Eventually repeated mowing of the lawn will deplete the root system and the sprouting will stop. This could take several years though. The use of herbicides is also an option. Probably the best herbicide active ingredient would be triclopyr, which you usually see marketed to control poison ivy. Examples of products include BioAdvanced Brush Killer Plus, Ortho Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer, etc. You can apply these as a foliar application or you can apply the concentrated herbicide to the surface of cut stems (less than 5 min after cutting). The cut stem method is likely the most effective. This herbicide active ingredient will not harm the grass in the lawn when used as directed. Always read and follow all labeled directions before using a pesticide.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly at hiller12@msu.edu.