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How safe is Round-up

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by AA961JESTER, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. AA961JESTER

    AA961JESTER LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    I was planning on using round-up on stone flowerbeds for weed clean-up. How safe is round-up to trees and shrubs. For mulch beds how well does the Preem work, and how do you suggest best using it.
  2. hollywood

    hollywood LawnSite Member
    Posts: 93

    since roundup is nonselective herbicide, dont spray near anything that you do not want to kill. to my knowledge roundup is not soil activated, and once dry will not transfer to another surface or plant. we are careful when applying an herbicide in either humid or windy conditions. spraying near water sprouts (suckers) at the base of a tree trunk can do serious damage to the tree. as for preem, we apply granular pre-emergents using a hand granular spreader, and place the granules right on top of the mulch. we have had decent results as long as a heavy rain has not followed the application or nothing has disturbed the mulch and broken the weed preventing "barrier". around trees and shrubs sometimes the best method to remove weeds without any risk to the plant is to remove them by hand.
  3. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Round up is fine around trees and shrubs,do not spray it onto leaves or onto the stems of young plants.Small shrubby plants just lift them up and spray the weeds under them.Around small plants you have to use a fine spray,like a trigger bottle,dont use a back pack sprayer as its hard to control the spray from getting on the leaves.I used to have a Garden Centre we used Round up for all our weed control,I even used to spray off the weeds on top of pots and all around the plant beds.Just be careful with it,dont forget to use your safety clothing,masks etc,I have also met a person who had suffered from long term exposure to Round up spray,he was a very sad case.
  4. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Big Jim - I didn't think Roundup was harmful to humans at all, at least not in low doses. In the warning materials, there is very little. So I hope there isn't much too it, because it's about the only chemical we use (I'm not fond of using any).

    As for delicate application of roundup, try putting on rubber gloves, and dip the glove in a small bucket of roundup, and 'paint' the weed with your hand. Very time consuming, but the only way to go when you have lots of small, delicate plants, and weeds.
  5. Cheese burger

    Cheese burger LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I posted a similar reply in the comercial lawn care forum a few months ago that some of you may have seen. In a meeting of county landscapers,with county extension agent and a "weed expert" from the University of Ga, we were told that round-up poses little if any risk to humans. Our state "weed expert" said that there is an index they use to communicate risk/ danger to humans. He said that round-up indexes lower than table salt. He also stated that several strains of vegetables that are resistant to round-up are being developed, because it is safe enough to spray on food.

  6. jrodgers

    jrodgers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 212

    Another effective and safe way of applying RU is with a wick applicator. There is a wand with a cloth type wick about six in. long, the RU is absorbed into the cloth and then all you do is wipe it across the weed to wet it. The wand can be attached to a hand held sprayer and when you need more you can just pull the trigger for a second or two, moistening the applicator. With this method you can do weed control in a hurricane and you will have no drift. It is also good for applying to grass and weeds growing up through ground cover like Blue Rug Junipers, Pacysandra and the likes.
  7. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Whew! I was worried that I shouldn't have been using it as syrup for my pancakes!

    Seriously though, I was not being very careful with personal protection when using it, because I thought I had heard similar info. Glad to hear that corroborated.
  8. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 472

    You should ask for the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) when you purchase a pesticide for additional information on the toxicology of that pesticide. Also, UC Davis has a nice site that provides additional information. Check out:


    Their PIP list glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) with an oral and dermal (skin) LD50 greater than 5000 mg/kg. This is a very low risk.

  9. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Glyphosate/Round Up
    Many herbicides contain the chemical glyphosate. One such brand is Round-Up.Round-up is used frequently by homeowners and can have devastating effects. It has been found by the makers of Round-Up, the following problems exist.
    * Up to 140 days were required for half of the applied product to break down or disappear from the soil
    * Glyphosate drifted up to 1300 feet during ground applications and 12,600 feet during aerial applications
    * Ingesting about 3/4 cup can be lethal. REMEMBER: ingestion can occur through inhalation and absorption. Between 1984 and 1990 in California, glyphosate was the third most frequent reported cause of illness related to agricultural pesticide use
    * Glyphosate can cause salivary gland lesions, reduced sperm counts, and a lengthened estrous cycle
    * Round-Up contains toxic trade secret ingredients that cause nausea, diarrhea, chemical pneumonia, laryngitis, headaches, and burns
    * Roundup kills beneficial insects
    * Glyphosate is hazardous to earthworms
    * Roundup inhibits mycorrhizal fungi
    * Reduces nitrogen fixation
    * Increases the spread or severity of plant diseases

    Theres a lot of information on the net about Round Up,also a new report from Sweden linking it with lympathic cancer,also a lot of information saying it is harmless,but remember 30 years ago 2,4.5T,PCB's,Asbestos,Carbaryl,Agent Orange were all "safe" to use too.I use Round Up when necessary,but with precautions,better safe than sorry later.......
  10. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Lawnstudent -

    There's some good info on that site. Thanks for listing that.

    If one of the highly-excitable California universities gives it the green light, that's good enough for me.

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