Roots, Shoots, Fruits & Flowers: Lost Champion, and Two Nuisance Vines

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Former LA Champion pecan tree. Photo: Keith Hawkins, LSU AgCenter, 2009.

Lost champion

Steve called AHA to ask about finding some services for a cherished pecan tree. This pecan is extraordinary specimen due to its size, and AHA assisted with nominating this tree to be a Louisiana champion pecan tree about 10 years ago. This tree was a state champion until a pecan tree in Caddo Parish succeeded it. This beloved tree fell due to hurricane Laura, so Steve is looking for a skilled propagationist to grow seedlings from sprouts. He is also looking for an operator of a portable bandmill to salvage the lumber for making some special items. If you can help with these referrals, please contact AHA at the phone number or email address below.

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An image ofa greenbrier, also called smilax. Photo: Lisa McCann, Jena, LA

Nuisance vines

Lisa from Jena, LA sent in an image of a vine and wanted to identify it and to know how to treat it.

Lisa has a vine called greenbrier or smilax. Georgia Extension describes this vine, “It is in the Liliaceae family, closely related to Daylilies, Lilies, and Yucca. Except for Sarsaparillavine, all species of Smilax are climbing vines.” This article also reports that birds spread the seed.

Ingredient Concentration of total mix Amount/gallon mixed
Remedy® 25% 1 qt
Diesel 75% 3 qt

Recommended stem spray for greenbrier. Source: Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.


J. F. Cadenhead III, Assistant Professor and Extension Range Specialist with The Texas A&M University System shared these control steps for smilax:

Works Best: On greenbrier that is growing on fencelines or where the basal stems are easy to access for spraying.

When to Apply: During the winter when most of the leaves are gone and the basal stems can be covered more readily with the spray mix.

1.) Prepare the Equipment

  • The herbicide can be applied with a pump-up garden sprayer, backpack sprayer, or sprayer mounted on an ATV (all-terrain vehicle).
  • Make sure that the sprayer has an adjustable cone nozzle with a small orifice such as the Conejet 5500 X-1, available from Spraying Systems Company. The smaller orifice can reduce the volume of spray used by as much as 80 percent over standard nozzles.

2.) Prepare the Herbicide Mix

  • Use Remedy® herbicide in a mixture with diesel fuel oil at a concentration of 25 percent Remedy® and 75 percent diesel. For example, to make 1 gallon of mix: Use 1 quart of Remedy® in 3 quarts of diesel fuel oil.
  • Agitate the mixture vigorously before application. A commercial vegetable oil carrier can be substituted for diesel if desired.

3.) Spray the Greenbrier

  • Adjust the sprayer nozzle to deliver a narrow, cone-shaped mist. Spray the mixture lightly but evenly on every basal stem from the ground level up to about 12 inches high. Spray to coat each stem all the way around, but not to the point that the mixture runs off or puddles.

4) Keep these points in mind:

  • Follow directions on the herbicide label.
  • The cost of treatment escalates rapidly as the density of greenbrier or the number of basal stems increases.
  • Use an adjustable cone nozzle with a small orifice, such as an X-1, to reduce volume and waste.
  • Do not spray when the greenbriar stems are wet.
  • Best results occur during the winter when more basal stems are exposed.
  • After mixing the herbicide with diesel fuel or vegetable oil, shake or agitate the mixture vigorously before application.
  • Controlling greenbriar is not a one-time job, and retreatment may be necessary.

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Asian jasmine is a non-native, invasive species. Photo: Fred Carter.

Asian jasmine

Fred sent in images of another vine and asked, “Can you identify this vine that is in my yard and give advice on a good herbicide to kill it out completely? Thank you.”

Dr. Ron Strahan, a weed specialist with the AgCenter answered Fred’s question, “I was thinking that this was Asian jasmine. If so, a non-selective product called Fertilome Decimate™ (glufosinate) will be highly effective. Garden centers will carry this product. It can be applied under trees and in flower beds. No soil life. Repeat as needed.”

If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337-463-7006 or khawkins@agcenter.lsu.edu. Also, you can be on the “green thumbs” email list by emailing your request to the address above.

“Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label, and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

9/24/2020 7:47:10 PM
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