Leafy spurge, blue paint and mapping

By Bill Kleiman

Did you miss our GRN posts? Spring fire season was busy and I took a break from posting, and then the habit stuck the last month. I am looking to post your ideas. Send me a pitch.

This is invasive leafy spurge, Euphorbia virgata, but I learned it as E. escula. At Nachusa we have had just three patches of this weed, but our county roadsides and many pastures are infested with it. I seem to have vanquished two of our patches, but this last one persists, this year I found this one cluster and a few scattered plants nearby. In the past I likely missed some plants and so they flowered. I may have not made a visit to the site one year. Bad habit. I know I sometimes used the herbicide in my pack for convenience, rather than the correct herbicide for leafy spurge, which seems to be 1.5% amazapic.

Why is one plant blue? I sometimes apply tree marking paint to plants I treat to help me remember that I treated that individual plant. Later in the season I can return and see the blue, remember that I treated that plant, and see what the effect was. I marked about half a dozen plants that morning. I find this marking to be satisfying because it increases my confidence in the effect of my treatments.

In my truck I usually have tree marking paint. I like blue as it is easy to spot. This is Aervoe brand, but Nelson makes the same. Places that sell such are Ben Meadows, Gemplers, Forestry Suppliers and others. Tree marking paints are simple formulations without various chemicals you would have in a paint from the hardware store. Tree marking paints are color in a can with some solvents. They even spray at temps below freezing. Generally, the can will spray all the way to empty. When done spraying tip the can upside down and squirt a bit out.

On a tree a dot of blue will fade after about two years. Paint is better than flag tape because it does not blow off after the first windy day. We do use a lot of flag tape too.

This is a screen capture from the ESRI Field Maps app. Field Maps replaces Arc Collector. The blue dot was me sitting on my tailgate sipping coffee and enjoying the morning. The green polygon is the leafy spurge general occurrence. Within that polygon was the spurge in the photo above. This app lets me and other staff and volunteers enter weed occurrences which is awesome. We can see each others data.

This is the Field Maps drop down menu associated with the spurge polygon. This is good data to have and it took me about two minutes to enter it on my phone app.

Field maps: This is the second half of the drop down menu. It is fun to come back to a weed patch, and then look up the history of that occurrence while I stand next to it. Learning is fun. Fun is what keeps me a happy weed warrior.

About Grassland Restoration Network blog

Bill Kleiman publishes this blog. Bill's daytime job is manager of Nachusa Grasslands. We are looking for guest authors on various topics of grassland habitat restoration. Contact me with your ideas or drafts.
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1 Response to Leafy spurge, blue paint and mapping

  1. Marc says:

    Bill, so glad you’re back. Missed your posts. Do you think that the paint might have some effect on the efficacy of the herbicide?

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