LALCIDE CHONDRO, A Novel Control of Buckthorn on the Landscape
In 2015 Lallemand Plant Care began exploring the use of LALCIDE CHONDRO, a biological herbicide, for the control of common/European (Rhamnus cathartica) and glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus). Both of these species are invasive shrub/small trees in North America. They can occupy a variety of landscapes with glossy buckthorn typically found in wetland areas and common buckthorn with a wider range including places like roadsides, riverbanks, mature forests and farm fields (Poole 2014). Buckthorn can significantly alter natural landscapes by out competing native plants and forming dense monospecific thickets over large areas which subsequently can reduce biodiversity and alter wildlife habitat. From an agricultural perspective, common buckthorn is also a host for oat crown rust and soybean aphid, both of which can cause a decline in crop yields (Anderson 2012).
Once buckthorn is established on a landscape it can be incredibly difficult to manage or eradicate for reasons such as its ability to produce prolific stump sprouts post harvest and high volume of seed production. The seed is readily dispersed by wildlife, generally remains viable in soil for many years, and has a high germination rate (Anderson 2012).
Management methods for invasive buckthorn can include a variety of strategies including mechanical control (cutting, mowing, girdling) alone or in combination with chemical products. At a young stage, buckthorn seedlings can also be pulled from the ground (Lindgren 2006).
From 2016 to 2019, Lallemand Plant Care implemented and completed 4 research trials to explore the use of LALCIDE CHONDRO as an additional tool to aid in buckthorn management. The work took place in both Ontario and Quebec, to test LALCIDE CHONDRO against invasive buckthorn in both cut stump and girdling operations. The efficacious results of these research trials led to the existing Canadian label being amended in the fall of 2020 to include use against both common and glossy buckthorn in addition to the already labelled species: alders (red, thin leaf, and Sitka), trembling aspen, red oak, ironwood, white birch, sugar maple, and choke cherry.
The product itself has the active ingredient of Chondrostereum purpureum, a naturally occurring wood decay fungi which can readily be found in Canadian forest ecosystems. The formulation is a paste, and is registered to prevent resprouting and regrowth from cut or girdled stems. It does this by two modes of action, first by colonizing the stump itself and secondly by releasing an enzyme which causes silver leaf disease in post harvest sprouts which contributes to overall stem mortality. It requires a one time application per stem, and is applied directly to a freshly cut stump top or to a girdling wound.
Timing is an important factor when it comes to product application in order to target the buckthorn when it is fully leafed out and reserves in the roots are exhausted. This window is late spring to early summer, typically mid June to early July depending on climatic conditions.
LALCIDE CHONDRO is a biological solution which can be another tool in the toolbox for invasive buckthorn control for managers who may be limited with chemical herbicide use both from a public and/or regulatory perspective. It also provides a more environmentally sensitive option as it is a naturally occurring microorganism. The risk to non target species is very minimal as Chondrostereum purpureum requires a fresh wound for colonization, is a paste (not airborne in application), and is applied directly to the target stem requiring control.
Research trials conducted by Lallemand Plant Care compared LALCIDE CHONDRO applied to cut stump and girdle stem operations to those that were cut/girdled with no product applied. The results were incredibly visual as seen in the figure below of one trial location showing results 24 months post harvest and application.
In one of our research trials in Quebec, which was a cut stump operation, the site was visited at various times post harvest to assess efficacy with a final assessment also at the 24 month timeline. At this time mortality of cut and treated stems was 100% compared to 29% in the control plots. At a girdling trial in Ontario, final efficacy collected at 24 months post harvest revealed 93% mortality of stems girdled with LALCIDE CHONDRO compared to 33% in the control plots. Due to the biological nature of the product, it takes time for efficacy to be fully expressed as the fungus needs time to colonize the stump. It is expected to have shoots present post harvest and application in many cases (as seen in photos below) however, as the Chondrostereum purpureum colonizes the stump decline in those shoots is observed, followed by subsequent mortality.
To learn more about these research trials and associated results, as well as how LALCIDE CHONDRO could play a role in your buckthorn management strategy please feel free to check out our website at bioforest.ca or contact one of technical specialists for more information through email@example.com.
Canadian Institute of Forestry Presentation
We’ve launched a new product that can help you tackle invasive buckthorn. It’s gained so much attention that we’ve done a presentation at the Canadian Institute of Forestry twice!
While 2020 saw humans social distancing, sheltering in place, and working remotely, Lymantria dispar dispar (LDD) were having a banner year across southern Ontario and the Upper Midwest United States. Large numbers of LDD larvae created nuisances in these areas, and many are expecting LDD infestations again this year. Here are five things to know about LDD as we get into 2021:
- LDD larvae prefer to feed on oaks, but will also defoliate birch, apple, willow, basswood, and poplar. Less preferred are beech, cherry, maples and even spruce when food is less plentiful.
- Moths lay eggs in fuzzy brown masses on a variety of surfaces in mid- to late-summer. Egg masses are easy to see during the fall and winter when they can be removed to prevent hatching in spring. Once removed, they must be submerged in a soap or bleach solution for a week to kill the dormant larvae.
- New and old egg masses can be identified by their appearance. New egg masses are typically darker brown with a smooth surface. They feel firm to the touch. Old egg masses are typically lighter brown and have a dotted or ragged appearance. They feel soft to the touch.
- TreeAzin® Systemic Insecticide is available for protecting individual trees from defoliation, but it has a very specific application timeframe in order to be effective. Treatments must occur when larvae are in their early stages of development, usually from mid-May to early June, depending on location.
- Aerial spray treatments protect tree stands from defoliation in the year they are applied, but they do not have a long-lasting effect on LDD populations. LDD populations are influenced by several factors like disease and weather patterns and may continue to be high in the year following spraying.
BioForest’s Urban Forest Health department performs a range of LDD services, including egg mass surveys, defoliation surveys, aerial spray timing and assessments, and more. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
YouTube Channel: Troubleshooting Videos
Feeling a bit rusty operating your EcoJect System after the long winter months have come to an end? Can’t remember how to measure and dose multi-stem trees? Experiencing a loading gun leak? Swing by our YouTube channel and search through our troubleshooting videos to help refresh your memory!
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When to start your pest treatments this year
Trying to find the perfect window to treat for LDD or emerald ash borer? View our insect development forecast and treatment timing maps (BioSIM) for your area. Maps are updated weekly from April to July.
The Importance of Clean Canisters
Keeping canisters clean is important to the proper operation of the EcoJect System. Click here to download the PDF for the how-to do proper maintenance.