Action: Skunk cabbage: Chemical control using herbicides
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- A study in the UK found that two herbicides, glyphosate and 2, 4-D Amine, both killed all skunk cabbage plants in test areas. However, another study in the UK found that although using 2,4-D amine at 9 litres/ha, successfully eradicated skunk cabbage, using glyphosate was unsuccessful at eradicating skunk cabbage, with only limited reduction in growth of the plants.
Application of chemical herbicides may offer a tool for management of skunk cabbage Lysichiton americanus provided regulatory approvals are in place.
Supporting evidence from individual studies
A study in 2010, at Lymington Reedbeds, England, UK (Chatters 2010) found that herbicide sprays, glyphosate and 2, 4-D Amine, each killed skunk cabbage Lysichiton americanus. Two months following treatment, most plants sprayed with glyphosate appeared to have been killed, whereas most of those sprayed with 2,4-D amine were found to have new shoots. However, six months following the treatments, a limited survey did not find any skunk cabbage plants, suggesting that both herbicide applications may have been successful. The site was divided into two sections. A larger downstream section was treated with glyphosate (Roundup Pro Biactive) at a rate of 6 litres/ha. A smaller, upstream section was treated with 2, 4-D Amine in an unspecified amount. Herbicide was applied by two people over a three day time period. Surveys were conducted for seven to eight weeks, then six months, after application.
A study in the UK (European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation 2009) found that use of 2,4-D amine at a concentration of 9 litres/ha eradicated skunk cabbage Lysichiton americanus, whereas glyphosate did not eradicate skunk cabbage and caused only limited reduction of growth of the plants. The 2,4-D amine was applied in the month of May at a private garden in Sussex, and at Sheffield Park Garden National Trust property. Glyphosate was applied at a site in Scotland. No further information was available.
- Chatters C. (2010) New Forest non-native plants project report of measures undertaken to control American Skunk Cabbage during 2010. New Forest Plants Project, UK, 13 pp.
- European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization . (2009) Report of a Pest Risk Analysis for Lysichiton americanus. European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization Report Number 09-15078 rev report. European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization Report Number 09-15078 rev.