Herbicide Damage

Image of herbicide damage

When used correctly, herbicides can be a valuable vegetation management tool. However, improper use or failure to heed all herbicide label instructions and warnings can result in herbicide injury to non-target plants. Symptoms of herbicide damage vary widely with the herbicide and formulation used, time of year the product was applied, and the plant species affected. The most common symptoms of herbicide injury can include chlorosis, dieback, epicormic sprouting, abnormal growth patterns, stunting, wilting, death, and/or the cupping, strapping, curling, or abnormal thickening of foliage. Often, more than one plant species will be affected when herbicides have been used improperly, although some plants can be especially sensitive to certain types of herbicides. Herbicide injury often results when chemicals drift on to non-target plants, are applied to stressed or otherwise unhealthy plants, or when residual chemical in the soil remains present and active for longer than expected. Herbicide injury can often be diagnosed by an expert based on symptoms alone, but positive confirmation can only be achieved through expensive laboratory testing.


Nathan Hoover

Forest Health Forester
(615) 289-7373

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