Sunday, August 10, 2008

Landscape - Phragmites Control

Landscape maintenance personnel may have to deal with Phragmites in properties near marshes or water bodies, expecially along the coast and bays. The following is some information on Phragmites and its control.

•Phragmites spreads by rhizomes only (no viable seed) but encroaches onto the landscape from wetland sites.
•One cultural control is to improve drainage where possible (remember you cannot legally drain wetlands). Drying out a site is very effective.
•If Phragmites is encroaching into turf area, maintain regular mowing.
•In problem areas, apply glyhposate in the late summer/early fall. The Rodeo formulation is labeled if the site is considered aquatic.
•Use at least 3-4 qt/A or 3-4oz/gallon use rate. Activity will be slow to develop.
•Landscape barriers used for tree roots and ornamental bamboo containment show potential to contain phragmites.

The State of Delaware has a cost share program for Phragmites control where it has infested large areas (over 5 acres). The following is information on this program:

What is the Delaware Phragmites Control Cost-Share Program?

The Delaware cost-sharing phragmites spraying program being offered by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife is intended to improve wildlife habitat in wetlands that have been degraded by the pest plant phragmites.The Division’s research has shown that effective phragmites control is possible in many areas with consecutive late summer (August through mid-October) applications of glyphosate-based aquatic herbicides. The DE Division of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently decided to partner to utilize the federal Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) money. This partnership will enable the financial assistance to be increased so that state and federal money will cover 87.5% of the cost, with the landowner contributing the remaining 12.5% (about $5 per acre treated). The Division will be responsible for purchasing the herbicide, determining the herbicide application timing and rates, coordinating the aerial spraying and providing technical assistance.

How do I qualify?
  • Must have a minimum of 5 acres of phragmites and a maximum of 200 acres to be spray treated with herbicide.
  • Must agree to have the property treated for three years.
  • Drainage-ditches are Not eligible.
  • Must inform the Division of property boundaries and agree that the Division and its agents are not held liable for any damage that might accidentally occur on their property due to spraying.

Assistance is on a first come first serve basis and a mid-summer application deadline

How do I Apply?

The State portion of the application is available by clicking here. The federal portion of the application can be obtained at the appropriate County USDA Service Center based on where the property is located.

Thank you for interest in this Program any questions please contact: Bill Jones 284-4795.

Information on Phragmites control is from Dr. Steve Hart, Ornamental and Turf Weed Specialist, Rutgers University. Information on the cost share program in DE is from the DNREC website

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