Can 2,4-D hurt trees?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by lawnboyblake, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. lawnboyblake

    lawnboyblake LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    I am curious if 2,4-D can harm birch trees? My buddy and I were talking today about some lawns he sprayed and now all the birch trees seem to be dying, or at least looking like they are......He sprayed early in the morning, zero drift. So I know that wasnt a concearn, so as he says....I would think it would be almost impossible to kill trees with even the slight drift you could get. What do ya guys think?
  2. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,958

    Yep - it can. Dicamba (the D in 2-4D) especially, since it is easily uptaken by tree roots. 2-4D can also harm them if sprayed on saplings growing off the tree's root system.
  3. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    americanlawn... .the D means Di (2), for two chlorine atoms on the molecule.
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Standard question on most pesticide Exams is about Broad leaf Herbicides and the Fact trees are Broad leaf plants. The question may be worded different but the Question will be there. Yes it is highly likely that the 2,4-D as in Di Latin for TWO has effected the trees. Depending on the size of the trees and the amount of 2,4-D as in Di meaning Two, that was applied the trees "MAY as in Maybe" survive.
  5. lawnboyblake

    lawnboyblake LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    The trees that he's concerned about have mulched beds around them. The mulch extends about 3 feet from the bottom of each tree. That is why we are highly doubting that it could have affected them. Also, he has sprayed them in the past with the same chemicals and no effect such as this. How would the roots have picked up the dicamba in the first place? Also, he did spray them in a time of pretty bad drought, I think we had 17 days of no rain or something....He said there was no way it got on the leaves of the trees. How does everyone else spray when these type of trees are around?? O boy, he's gonna be worried by the time I show him all this....
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    American Lawn is a wealth of MISinformation. There is no Dicamba in 2,4-D

    Dicamba is a woody stem plant killer (as opposed to Herbaceous stems) and is in most 3 or 4 way products in very small percentages. However you said 2,4-D which has no Dicamba. 2,4-D can be absorbed by the root which might extend be on the 3 ft planter beds. The fact that you have been in a drought sure makes the 2,4-D even more suspect.

    Because of the Drought I have not done any Herbicide applications for several months now. Once our rain season starts I will apply herbicides in low rates because of higher temperatures.
  7. naughty62

    naughty62 LawnSite Senior Member
    from iowa
    Messages: 369

    I have seen a lot birchtrees planted the last year or two, and lots did not made the winter.local box stores pedalled a lot of clump or bunchbirch .
  8. Grandview

    Grandview LawnSite Gold Member
    from WI
    Messages: 3,251

    It is unlikely that the birch trees are being affected by the 24-D application. Most likely the birches are suffering from either leaf miner or birch borer. Birch trees can have borers for several years and drought conditions make the symptoms show more. Parts of the tree normally starting at the top fail to leaf out. I have sprayed woody shrubs with three way trying to kill them. It normally takes a couple applications. A little drift might make a few leaves curl but thats it. 24-D has very little soil activity, close to none. Try spraying the soil around some broad leaf weeds in your garden. You will see no affect.
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,900

    Dry spell is not good for birch trees. What do other nearby trees look like? What are symptoms? Are the leaves brown--sign of drought. Sunny side affected first. Old and new leaves are affected, plant usually wilts first.

    OR Are the leaves twisted and curled, puckered, petioles curved, mainly in the new growth--edges curled like drawstring? Does it look the same as dandelions you just sprayed? Then herbicide.

    What was rate? How much (if any) dicamba was in the mix?

    Spraying weed killer on warm soil could (possibly) cause volitilization (particularly if an he used ester form of 2,4-D) The vapors rise and affect the foliage. A still hot day would be a little worse, whereas a gentle breeze would blow vapors away.
  10. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    so.....what does the lawn look like? Any damage done to the lawn from this 2,4-d product? Unless we are saying that all the product applied to the lawn ALL drifted onto the trees or all was applied so close to the trees for root absorbtion...sooo unlikely....then them there trees have other issues going on.

    side note: I'm sure American just had a brain cramp (at least thats what I'm hoping) but its gonna take a long time to live this one down

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