By Bill Kleiman
I find it pleasant when driving the preserve and I spy one autumn olive out in the prairie and I have my little sprayer in the truck. I don’t need to remember to return to take care of the problem. Get the job done easy.
Below are two sprayers we use for basal bark oil herbicide, so mineral oil with about 20% broadleaf herbicide of Garlon 4. They hold about 1.5 quarts. On the left is the “Stihl SG11” and on the right is the “4 Control” .
Although the directions for these state to empty and wash them with warm soapy water after each use, I fill them with slippery basal bark solution and have one of them sitting in a bucket in the bed of my truck year round, cleaning it once a year for good luck.
Below is the “4 Control” sprayer. Good point is that this one is 2 or 3 years old and still functioning. The adjustable brass tip some people like. I would rather not adjust the tip. I always get very close to the woody stem so that fan or stream does about the same thing. That brass tip I don’t think comes on the original sprayer, the retailer cuts off what was likely a plastic tip and screws this brass one on. But that modification adds a weak connection and can get damaged. On this one you can see the brass tip is a bit whacked. You have to protect that tip of it will bust off. We have done this twice. Not me, but others here. The tips are expensive.
The spray mechanism will eventually get gummed up and the sprayer will be stuck open. Today I sprayed my boots as I did not notice it was stuck open. Mind you, I don’t clean this daily so hard to blame the maker.
When you clean it out you unscrew that black plastic nut behind the brass tip. Inside is a little tan rubber part you better not let wash down the sink or you will buy the $5 plus shipping nozzle end. I once lost five of them at once. This sprayer is about $40.
The Stihl SG11 costs about $25. I have been trying this one for about half a year and it still works. Amazing! The tip is not adjustable which I don’t mind. And the tip and its mount look stout. It has an orange pressure release on the side for storage. The other does not. Overall, I like this one better.
I see “4 Control” is selling a Birchmeier brand of these sprayers at $42. I bet that is well made.