Can Trees Recover From Herbicide Damage?

Do you use herbicides to combat unwanted weeds that would otherwise overtake your yard? Those herbicides harm plant life you love, such as trees. Can trees recover from herbicide damage?

If a sickly tree looks like it’s about to fall, get in touch with our team at Georgia Tree Company for emergency tree removal in Alpharetta. Otherwise, stick around to find out what you can expect from trees poisoned by herbicides. 

can trees recover from herbicide damage

Types of Damaging Herbicides

With so many diverse herbicide options on the market, property owners often wrestle with making informed decisions. Which product effectively fights weeds without killing trees and other non-target plants? Dive into the different kinds of herbicides to discover how they can affect trees. 

Growth Regulators

Growth regulators are hormonal herbicides that inhibit a plant’s growth. When a tree is exposed to herbicides like this, it grows deformed leaves with characteristics such as cupped, twisted, or curled edges. Longer, more direct exposure often kills the leaves in the affected area.

Active ingredients in growth regulators may include:

  • Dicamba
  • Picloram
  • MCPP

These chemicals often result in extensive dieback and can even kill the entire tree. 

Soil Sterilants

As a homeowner, you are unlikely to use a soil sterilant unless it is mixed with other products. Manufacturers reserve them for large-scale industrial purposes. However, a tree near a public roadway easily falls prey to their devastating effects.

Municipalities and large businesses use soil sterilants to prevent plant growth near buildings and infrastructure. The herbicides attack root systems and prevent them from drawing nutrients from the soil. Some common names for soil sterilants include:

  • Lorox
  • Simazine
  • Karmex
  • Hyvar

Contact Herbicides

Although contact varieties don’t typically kill trees in moderate doses, they still have consequences that affect the tree’s health. A tree poisoned by a contact herbicide will display browning leaves that will eventually die off.

Some common ingredients in contact herbicides include:

  • Glyphosate
  • Cacodylic acid
  • Paraquat

Can Trees Recover from Herbicide Damage?

Identifying dangerous herbicides is the first step to protecting your trees. However, it can’t save a tree already poisoned by herbicide products. Can trees recover from herbicide damage?

Depending on the damage’s severity and other environmental factors, it can. If your tree already struggles to survive, it may die quickly. Take the following precautions when using herbicides in the future. 

Read and Research Active Ingredients

Read the information on the label and take note of all active ingredients. Research how they affect the types of trees in your yard. 

Avoid Certain Product Types

If your research presents numerous red flags about an ingredient or product, avoid it altogether. Endangering an old, beloved tree is simply not worth the risk!

Use Caution During Application

Stay away from products that require an inattentive, expansive application method. Choose the ones that target a single plant with a dispenser. 

Request a Free Estimate from Professional Arborists at Georgia Tree Company

Can trees recover from herbicide damage? More importantly, can your tree recover? Our arborists at Georgia Tree Company will help you find out. We also know how to get rid of bark beetles and prevent other tree problems. Call us at 404-990-0010.

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