July 27, 2023
No one ever thinks it will happen to them. Recently, we had a beautiful Plant Select Garden in Washington County Fairgrounds. But one day, someone who worked for the county came along spraying a nearby area and turned the garden into a brown landscape. Come to find out 2, 4 D was used for broadleaved weeds around the garden. The garden sits at the entrance of the fairgrounds which has a gravel parking lot in front and a gravel entrance road. You can imagine that both the parking lot and gravel entrance road needed to be sprayed for weeds.
Fortunately, those that accidentally did it came forward and took responsibility. They cleaned out the garden and helped us replant it. This was a positive experience for everyone. Remember the label is the law. Following the directions is abiding by the law. All broadleaved weeds are dicots and harmful to 2,4 D. All the flowering plants in the garden are dicots. Herbicides have labels and instructions to keep everyone safe. But if they are not followed, we all pay. The label is the law on all these herbicides and pesticides and chemicals.
Drift is the movement of pesticides from the target field onto nearby sensitive plants according to Ohio State University. Drift is the spray droplets moving downward during an application unless a gust of wind comes along to move the herbicide particles to another location. Herbicides such as 2,4 D and Dicamba volatilize which means it turns into gas with higher temperatures. According to Ohio State University, the applicator is legally responsible for checking both current and predicted weather conditions.
What are the symptoms of 2, 4 D damage? Keep in mind these symptoms can vary between species of plants.
1) Cupped leaves.
2) Chlorotic leaves on the tissue or the veins.
3) Narrowed or develop parallel venation.
4) Stunted growth.
6) Delayed or uneven flowering/fruit set.
7) Twisted growth on stems or petioles.
8) Adventitious root development.
9) Reduced Yield.
Keep in mind that once a tree shows a chemical toxicity, it takes more than just a season to overcome. And what if it happens the next season? The tree continues to suffer and the chemicals stay within the plant. All the while the chemical interferes with plant growth. If we want our trees and plants to stay healthy, we need to be cognizant of our use of chemicals.