Herbicide for Sumac
Name: Cindi W.
Date: Thursday, September 12, 2002
We have sumac growing all over our lawn and we're having
trouble eliminating it. What will kill this plant and help keep it from
coming back? My husband has already had a reaction to it that didn't go
away for months.
There are several over-the-counter herbicides that will work on sumac and
other broad leaf plants. Glyphosate is a popular choice. This is from
GLYPHOSATE (An alphatic herbicide used in Roundup and other products.)
Uses: Glyphosate may be America's favorite all-purpose weed killer. It's a
nonselective herbicide, which means it kills virtually anything that is
green, including annuals, perennials, grasses, sedges, broadleaf weeds, and
How it works: When sprayed on foliage, glyphosate is readily absorbed and
quickly moves throughout the plant. It disrupts amino-acid synthesis,
causing white spots or streaks on leaves and eventual cell and plant death.
Toxicity to Humans and Wildlife: Some formulations of glyphosate are nearly
nontoxic to humans, while others (particularly the trimethylsulfonium salt)
are more dangerous if ingested. It is usually nontoxic through skin
exposure, but some versions can be extremely irritating to the skin or eyes
and acutely toxic through inhalation, so make sure you read the label
carefully. It binds tightly to soil particles, so its leaching potential is
low. Some formulations are more toxic to aquatic species than others, but in
general, risk to fish is low. It's also nontoxic to honeybees and virtually
nontoxic to earthworms.
Alternatives: Try better mowing techniques, mulching and weeding your
garden, or spot treatment of plants with soap-based sprays.
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Update: June 2012