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how to get rid of horsetail (or running bamboo)


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Rochana

Posts: 3
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:48 pm   Post subject: how to get rid of horsetail (or running bamboo)


I am writing on behalf of my wife who has no time to do so; she spends all her available time weeding horsetail/bamboo(are these two plants similar or are they the same plant with two names?)from our patio.
So, please, can someone tell me how to properly identify the plant and how to get rid of it.

I found this website senrendipitously and figured that it would be the best source of information for all things of the garden variety.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give.

Sid Leonard




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toni


Administrator
Plants Moderator
Regular Plants Contributor

North Texas, Zone 8a
Posts: 15092
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:16 pm   


Running Bamboo is Phyllostachys Vivax --- But we do not have a photo of this one in our database as of yet.

Common Horsetail is Equisetum arvense
Equisetum arvense (Field Horsetail, Common Horsetail) Click on the blue link to see photos.

Not related at all. And I have found nothing that indicates they have the same common name. Could you post a photo of the plant your wife is slaving to exterminate Wink

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Rochana

Posts: 3
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:56 pm   


Thanks, Toni for your prompt reply. I can't post a picture,but I am confident that our plant is horsetail. Any ideas re: how to get rid of it; its rhizomes have invaded out patio with plants popping up everywhere.
Thanks. Sid Leonard

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marlingardener
Central Texas, zone 8
Posts: 5194
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:12 pm   


Dig out the roots, when possible, and when not possible apply the strongest herbicide you can get. I don't usually recommend herbicides but in the case of horsetail (which I would not wish on my worst enemy) I think it is justified.

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cherylad


Regular Plants Contributor

S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
Posts: 10861
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:00 pm   


Does your horsetail look like this? Which is called Horsetail Rush - Equisetum Heymale



Horsetail Rush - Equisetum Heymale ( photo / image / picture from cherylad's Garden )


They get about 2-3 foot tall and spread like crazy?
If this is your plant... I honestly don't think you'll ever get rid of it.
I'd just advise digging it out whenever you see one.... and maybe one year you will get it all.
Crying or Very sad

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Rochana

Posts: 3
Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 5:21 pm   


Thank you, Cheryl. Yes, that is a picture of what we are dealing with. I just shared your advice with my wife who is now resigned to doing what you advised. We really appreaciate haveing someone of your expertise to draw upon (we are definitely green novices). Sid Leonard

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lukeypukey
grimsby uk
Posts: 610
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 5:15 am   


a freind once told me to use a mixture of glyphosate and parrafin for equisitum arvense. . . . and also to stand on or crush the horsetail slightly before spraying it . . . not too sure if yours is as persistant as the arvense though Very Happy Very Happy either way, best of luck getting rid of this nightmare weed Very Happy

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Sjoerd

West - Friesland
Posts: 9256
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 11:50 am   


It seems that you have the Horse Tail plant. That is an awful thing to have to deal with.

There are places on our allotment complex where this weed exists. One of my plots has it, in fact. It is an annual headache to thoroughly dig as much of the roots up as possible where they stick their heads above ground.

I do not use poisons, but in the lottie two plots up from me has a "bad case" of this infestation. When the plot was abandoned last year, the work crew sprayed the plants with a poison mixture and then turned the soil to expose the roots in the hopes that this heavy-handed approach would once and for all rid this plot of the weed. it is spring and yesterday when I was leaning on my schoffel handle and looking over at that plot, I saw hundreds of the green points standing tall, as if nothing had happened at all.

I believe that using chemicals on this nasty weed is pointless because of how it works--it is taken up by the plant and the sprig that was sprayed may indeed die, but the stem goes very deep to a "main root". The main root is not effected, and goes merrily on its way, sending up more new sprigs.

It should be recognized that the treatment of this plant must not be done with "eradication" in mind, but rather, "containment".

***I think that the one MOST important thing to note when combatting the Horse Tail, is to look for and be aware of the "spore sprigs", as I will call them. These are usually a slightly different colour than the usual green sprigs sent up from deep the roots.
This brownish-gray stem has a small "cone" on top that is loaded with thousands of spores.

A spore sprig:


The greatest of care must be taken to remove these stems before you begin rooting out the rest of the plant, because it represents a "re-seeding" potential in one's garden (as well as the neighbour's).

Take a paper bag, and a sharp instrument. Grasp the stem and clip it and immediately place it in the paper bag, moving and shaking it as little as possible.
These spore stems should be thoroughly destroyed--by fire, for instance, bag and all.

Additionally, I immediately dig up every sprig that I see during the course of the summer to keep the beast at bay (this is a part of the combatting program that I have set for myself).

I have a friend who has a shop that sells stones and fossils. He has a slab of rock that has these plants fossilized and he tells me that the fossils were dated to be more than a million years old. Thus, one can gather from this that the weed is a surviver and so will not be easily removed from your property.

To re-cap: The way that I deal with this is:
(1) remove and destroy all spore sprigs

(2) remove the mass of horst tail plants manually, taking as much root as possible.

(3) do spot removals of incidental plants that rise up through the growing season.

Good luck with this, mate.

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cherylad


Regular Plants Contributor

S. Liberty County - Texas (8B)
Posts: 10861
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 1:33 pm   


My aunt had some growing and I really liked the way they looked. So... without doing any research.... I dug up a clump and planted it. I still like the way it looks, but should have just kept it in a container.
I've resigned to the fact that I'll never get rid of them... so I just pulled a bunch here and there to keep them down.

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Coppice
SE-OH USAian
Posts: 348
Posted: Sat May 05, 2012 10:02 am   


I have to concur, hosetail ferm is probably not erradicable (sp?).

You might reduce it by digging. but its like freckles. Once ya got 'em, you got 'em.

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Sjoerd

West - Friesland
Posts: 9256
Posted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:08 am   


This bane has been on my mind quite a lot lately because spore pod harvesting time has just begun here.
As I make the various beds ready for planting-out my crop plantlets, I remove the plants that I come across, but it has not yet become warm enough for the majority to come up.

I was a bit disappointed when I took over the second lottie because I got it in januari and at that time there was nothing above ground, so I thought--"Ahh, a nice, clean lottie delivered to me just as it is supposed to be". How wrong I was.
The commission that controls the giving out of lottie plots and the making sure that they are delivered clean to the new allotment holder ran over the ground with a frazer.I do not know the english word for this machine, but it sort of grinds the upper foot or so of soil to a fine tilth.

This was not good at all, because the invisible underlying horse tail was ground up into thousands of short pieces.

Why was this such a drama? Well, the nature of this plant is such that every broken-off piece of root will become a new plant.....so you can see what I was up against, right?
It is another aspect of this weed to consider, and is precisely why one must be so meticulously thorough and careful when removing it. One can only do their best, and there will always be some left over....so keeping the left-overs to the barest of minimums is the goal when combatting horse tail.

But at any rate, once the thousands of new little plantlets sprung up in the spring, my partner and I had to literally go on our hands and knees to remove as much as we could. It took four days initially, then we did it again about three months later. We had to repeat this the following year and now it is co "contained" that there are only a few plants left in the spring that have to be removed, and now the job is finished in less than thirty minutes....plus the "keeping up extractions" during the growing season of course.

I guess that all this waffling is just to show what you are up against when it comes to dealing with this persistent weed. The attention points noted above in my first posting on this thread as well as this one must not be over-looked, if you are to have any measureable degree of success dealing with this plant.

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