This page is a general brush control guide. Using the products and methods suggested you can get control of any invasive brush species. The brush weed category pages give additional information on the different species and specific treatment instructions and options. Follow these guides and use the recommended products and we guarantee 100% control of all invasive brush.
The term "Brush" is used to describe woody vegetation that tends to grow often in large bunches and interfere in areas where they are not wanted. Woody brush and shrubs take valuable water from desired plants, reduce grass production and can result in soil erosion. For homeowners and agricultural managers, thick stands of undesirable brush interfere with the look of a landscape and can reduce the productivity of grazing lands.
Many different brush types grow naturally around landscapes or they could be introduced via seeds from other areas or were planted on the property intentionally. Brush tends to grow in conditions that favor it. For example, if the soil is arid, brush tends to grow more there. Also, other factors like rainfall and the physical characteristics of a region will determine whether brush will thrive there or not.
On agricultural lands, excessive brush can be an obstacle that sucks up resources. On residential areas, if brush is left to their own devices, they can grow out of control and mess with the aesthetics and may lead to notices being sent by local organizations ordering you to trim down or totally remove the shrub because its in violation.
Herbicides have shown to effectively manage brush on rangelands and other landscapes. By following our DIY brush removal guide we will show you how to properly remove brush quickly and at an affordable price.
Start by identifying the brush species and evaluate the need for control. You may already be familiar with the brush type you have on your landscape. However, if you do not know, identification can be quite easy. The type of brush that grows on your landscape depends on what region of the country you are in, the climate and conditions, and what species are prevalent in the area.
Some of the more common invasive brush include Kudzu, Japanese Honeysuckle, English Ivy, Purple Loosestrife and others.
If you are not sure of what type of brush you have, we recommend speaking to a local professional to identify your brush type. A professional can point you in the direction of what products work best to treat the specific brush.
Once you have identified the brush you are dealing with, you can then proceed with an inspection. Inspecting for brush should not be too hard because when you have unwanted brush on your property, you can't miss it.
Where to Inspect
Inspect the brush to determine size as well as check the surrounding areas to see if it is feasible to conduct chemical control. It will also help to determine which type of chemical control will work best for you (Cut-stump treatment, basal spray, foliar application, soil application etc.)
What to Look For
Any woody-stemmed vegetation that has bark. A big part of the inspection process for brush is to determine the classification of the site you wish to treat. Most application sites are classified as either cropland or non-cropland.
Cropland refers to any land on which a crop is raised for the purpose of harvest or grazing. Cropland includes pastures and rangelands.
Non-cropland is any land that is not used for agriculture purposes. Non-cropland areas include residential lawns, fence rows, storage areas, industrial sites, around farm buildings, utilities, drainage ditch banks and right-of-ways such as pipelines, communications lines, electrical power lines, highways, and railroads.
Product use should always be conducted according to what the label states. Using your findings from the inspection you can then move forward with a treatment approach.
Once you have identified and inspected the target brush, you can then conduct chemical herbicide treatments to address the brush. Prior to using any chemicals, make sure you are equipped with the necessary PPE (gloves, goggles, mask).
Our top recommendations to treat a broad spectrum of brush is Triclopyr 4 and 2,4-D Amine. These herbicides have an established history of good results. Triclopyr 4 is our go-to for brush control because of its broad label which makes it effective on a variety of woody, stemy plant vegetation, tree, and bark.
Step 1 - Mix Selected Herbicide
Before using Triclopyr 4, you will need to calculate the square footage of the area to be treated by measuring and multiplying the area length times the width (length x width = square footage). For woody vegetation (bushes, shrubs, thicket, poison ivy/oak, etc.) we recommend 2 to 6 oz. of Triclopyr in a gallon of water per 1000 sq. ft.
For Triclopyr 4, sites that may be grazed, including rights-of-way, pasture, fence rows, and rangeland, cannot have more than 2 lbs. of product per acre per year. For foresty use sites, you cannot apply more than 2 lbs. of product per acre per year.
For 2,4-D Amine, the mix rate breaks down to 0.72 to 1.1 fl. oz. per 1,000 sq. ft. when conducting small applications with a handheld sprayer. The exact amount will vary depending upon the target pest. So for example, if you have measured 3,000 sq. ft. of area to be treated, you will need to mix 6 to 12 oz. of Triclopyr 4 in 3 gallons of water. Woody plants cannot exceed 8.25 pints of product per acre per year nor more than 1 applications per year. For brush control, use 2 to 3 quarts of product per acre in 30 to 100 gallons of water. For specific brush, refer to the labels application rates.
Fill your sprayer with half the required amount of water, add the appropriate measured amount of product based on your calculations and then fill with the remaining half of water. Close the sprayer lid and shake well to agitate the solution and you will be ready to spray.
Step 2 - Choose Your Application Method
There are multiple ways you can treat brush for control. Usually what you choose depends on the size of the brush.
- Foliage application; sprays applied to stem and actively growing foliage
- Bark spray; sprays prepared by mixing chemicals in kerosene, diesel oil or bark penetrants and applied directly to the tree bark
- Cut stump; chemical applied to freshly cut stump surface to reduce resprouts
- Hack-n-Squirt; chemical applied with corresponding ax-cuts around the base of the brush plant;
- Soil application; sprays, granules or pellets applied to soil surface or injected into the subsoil.
- Each method has its benefits and drawbacks. For instance, cut stump and bark applications are easy but labor-intensive when there is a lot of brush.
Smaller sized brush it'd be most wise to spray foliar while larger vegetation you may want to cut stump and treat the stump. With brush, you generally do foliar application and spray to the point of runoff. Using an adjuvant such as MSO seed oil or Alligare 90 Wetting Agent (at a rate of 0.33 fl. oz. per finished gallon of solution) can help the product stick better to the foliage.
Step 3 - Apply Product To Brush
Spray at the highest recommended concentration as indicated on the label of the product you use. This concentration may vary by species but is generally 1 to 2 percent when using a hand-held sprayer. Apply the herbicide when brush are in full leaf for the greatest coverage. Cover all the leaf area thoroughly. Symptoms of damage should be visible within seven to 14 days.
When applying herbicide to the base, cut the brush base down to as close to the soil as possible to prevent resprouting and coat the surface of the stump with the proper herbicide, such as Tordon.
Step 4 - Follow-up
You may have to reapply in 7 to 14 day intervals 2 or more times to achieve complete control of the brush. The reason for this is to account for weather and chemical breakdown. Follow specific product applications found on labels.
To keep brush off your property you will need to monitor your turf and plants regularly and eliminate conducive conditions. Here are some preventative measures to take to ward off brush and keep it from coming back:
- Since brush develops normally along fence lines, we recommend using a soil sterilant as a preventative measure or a pre-emergent product like Barricade.
- Dig out trunks and roots that remain and fill the holes the remain with dirt.
- Trim down your plants and trees in the area to minimize soil erosion by keeping roots intact. Regular thinning and pruning should be done while monitoring plants that may grow back.
What is Brush?
- There is a large variety of different woody brush that can invade a landscape. Correctly identify the brush so then you can learn which herbicides are labeled for its removal.
How to Get Rid of or Manage Brush
- Our top broad-spectrum recommendations for brush control are Triclopyr 4 and 2,4-D Amine Selective Weed Killer
- Choose what application method would be best for you depending on the size of the brush and what amount of labor effort you are willing to put in.
Preventing Brush Reestablishment
- Regular pruning and thinning of plants, cleaning up yard debris and digging out trunks and roots of unwanted brush are good cultural methods of brush control.
- You can also apply pre-emergent like Barricade Herbicide or a soil sterile to keep brush away where it is not wanted.