Did My Herbicide Do That?

Would you like your weed killer to last all summer long? Would you like it to start working faster? Are you tired of those Herculean bullies staring you in the face for days as if to say, “Ha, ha! I’m still here!”


While attending a class at the Wildflower Association of Michigan Conference, I was amazed to find out what had been going on in the world of herbicides. Dr. David Roberts, MSU professor, was called by a homeowner to visit his woodland yard and find out why certain trees were declining. There was a stone path running through his yard, and the homeowner had always sprayed the path with an herbicide to keep the weeds in check. Why were unsprayed trees dying? After checking the herbicide that was used on the path, Roberts found that “Roundup Extended Control” had been used on the walkway, which included not only glyphosate, but also imazapic and diquat Di Br, dubbed “Roundup on steroids.” Yes, his herbicide did that. The homeowner lost two hickories and one oak which were 20 feet away from the path.

On another occasion, a homeowner called to find out why his wife’s favorite plant – a hydrangea – had several distorted, cupped-shaped leaves on certain branches. The caller was sure that he had not used herbicides. Upon further investigation, a jug of “Roundup Extended Control” was found in the garage and had been used on the adjacent side of the house, leaching through the soil to the hydrangeas. Yes, his herbicide did that.

This news greatly alarmed me because I use Roundup on certain weeds which consistently outperform me! I certainly don’t want to be surveying my dying trees while saying, “Did my herbicide do that?” What to do?

Be aware that herbicides can be “enhanced” with other herbicides (possibly because of expired patents) and make sure you know what you are putting on your property. There are many names of products … too many to list here …which can have unintended consequences. Roberts emphasized two ingredients which homeowners should never have:


They are deadly, systemic, long-lasting (a year +), and mobile (they leach through the ground by gravity and rainwater.)

Also, be aware when you buy bulk mulch, soil, or even plants-ask the nursery or greenhouse if they have been sprayed. Remember, these herbicides can last over a year.

Again, what to do? I will continue to use glyphosate (to the horror of some of my family members) because I feel it is the best choice for me … I just won’t use “enhanced” glyphosate. Roberts himself recommended it when one class attendee asked what she should do to control poison ivy. He recommended glyphosate at a higher concentration than normal, with a surfactant.

Thank you, Jennie, for telling us to read the labels on the products we use. We must not be content to read just the front of the package. “Roundup – Max Control 365” contains imazapic, yet advice on the container said “… for use on driveways, patios, sidewalks, and gravel areas.” Well, the pictures I saw at class really brought it home to me. Read the labels… read the labels…read the labels.

Finally, here is my disclaimer: As much as I tried to share this info perfectly, my article may not be perfect. I was writing furiously on the margins of my program and the outside of my manila envelope because there were no handouts! More perfect information may be obtained at: treedoctor.msu.edu

article by Joan Otter



Here are a few of the flowers that were seen at the Hidden Lake Gardens
Spring Bulb show. It runs from daily from 9am – 4pm until March 26. The
smell is wonderful! Thanks Sandy

The Friendly Bug

Naida came across this in the MI Master Gardener Newsletter and thought you might be interested in following the Blog below – some pretty interesting stuff! I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Bugs on Poop” Part 1 🙂 – stay tuned and bookmark it!

The Friendly Bug Debuts! Horticultural Instructor Abi Saeed has launched a new blog and if you know Abi you won’t be surprised at the title The Friendly Bug! Abi was at Master Gardener College last year encouraging us to try bugs as a food source. Click through to her blog to learn more.


New Info for Members

New information on our July field trip has been added to the members page

Educational Opportunity

Naida sent me this info

Jennie and Gail sent me this information to share. Events have been added to the calendar as well. The calendar includes websites as well.

Plants of Distinction program Feb21, Novi https://events.anr.msu.edu/event.cfm?eventID=854094F0DADC5C02

MSU beginning farmer webinar series contains some classes that will interest some gardeners, such as a mixed fruit orchard, blueberries. https://events.anr.msu.edu/event.cfm?eventID=FA99E1B5F67C3AEC

Master Gardener Training Course – Belleville (Wayne County)
(In the past, if they checked ahead of time for space, Master Gardeners could attend new training sessions for review and ed credit)
Jan 23, 2017 – May 1, 2017 | Wayne County Community College District, Western Campus, 9555 Haggerty, Belleville, MI 48111
Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101 Webinar Series
Jan 24, 2017 – Feb 28, 2017 | webinar
Evenings in the Garden – Winter 2017 Series

Jan 26, 2017 | 28115 Meadowbrook Rd, Novi, MI 48377
Photo Tour of the Natural Communities of Michigan
Feb 1, 2017 | University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens Auditorium, 1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Monroe Conservation District
January 2017

Monroe Conservation District Spring 2017 Conservation Plants Fundraiser Catalog coming very soon. Hard copies will be mailed next week and will also be available on our website – http://www.MonroeCD.org. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to receive a hard copy of the tree order form, please reply to this e-mail with your name and mailing address, or call the Conservation District office, 734 241.7755 Ext 5.
Order deadline, March 24, 2017. Pickup dates Pickup: Friday, April 21, 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 22, 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Monroe County Fairgrounds, M-50

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Prince of Peace Community Center, 1920 Lewis Avenue, Ida.
Suggested donation; $7.00 for ages 8 and over, children 7 and under eat free. Tickets available at the door.
Pancake supper: 6:00 to 6:45 continuous serving; business meeting and election of two directors 7:00 pm
Speakers/Entertainment: to be announced.
Door prizes
The public is welcome to attend.

Saturday, March 4, 2017, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
1920 Lewis Avenue, Ida. Prince of Peace meeting room.
Monroe Conservation District will be holding a tree workshop again this year. The tentative line up is fruit tree pruning, managing fruit tree diseases, tree pests and forest/wetland habitat. If there is a topic you would like to learn more about please let me know.
This workshop is free, although donations will be accepted to help defray the costs.
Light refreshments will be served.
Please RSVP by February 24th, as seating is limited.

Saturday, March 18, 217, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
Monroe County Community College
Lay-Z-Boy Center- Meyer Theater
Support the River Raisin Institute mission and programming at their spring fundraising event. Sample American regional foods created by the MCCC Culinary Arts Students. The evening will include a short program, musical entertainment, and more. Tickets will be on sale in January and can be purchased from their board members or from Sharon Venier at 734-240-9754.

12TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF EARTH DAY IN MONROE COUNTY, “EARTH DAY EXPO 2017 – HEALTHY PLANET, HEALTHY YOU.” Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Gerald Welch Health Education Building at Monroe County Community College, please note the NEW LOCATION.
This year’s Expo will again promote green living by emphasizing buying locally and educating residents on everyday actions they can take to help restore and protect our community and the Earth. The Expo is also looking for exhibitors in the environmental, health and wellness field to promote the connection between green living and personal health in support of the “Healthy Planet, Healthy You” theme. Also featured at the event will be environmental education efforts underway at local schools, including the Michigan Green Schools Program and a student program exploring our relationship with the animals living alongside us in complex, interdependent ecosystems. An exciting line-up of presenters is also being scheduled.
MONROE COUNTY WILL CELEBRATE ITS BICENTENNIAL IN 2017. The proclamation naming our county Monroe was signed by Territorial Governor Lewis Cass July 14, 1817. It was in honor of President James Monroe’s visit to Michigan Territory in August of 1817, however there is no record of the President visiting Monroe County. This August 1817 proclamation made Monroe County the second oldest county in Michigan Territory.
In anticipation of our county’s bicentennial, a group of interested citizens met at the Monroe County Historical Museum with the intention of getting the word out about our bicentennial. The Bicentennial Alliance of Monroe County was organized to facilitate and celebrate the 200th anniversary of Monroe County. The hope is to raise awareness and to create a greater appreciation for Monroe County during its bicentennial celebration throughout 2017.
Many organizations are represented on the alliance including the Monroe County Historical Commission, the Monroe County Quilt Guild, Kiwanis, the Monroe County Historical Society, Friends of the River Raisin Battlefield, Ida Public Schools, Sawyer Homestead, Monroe County Historical Museum, the Monroe County Farm Bureau and interested citizens. These groups and others are encouraged to label 2017 events as a “Monroe County Bicentennial Event”.
The annual Battles of the River Raisin Commemoration, January 21, 2017 will be the first 2017 bicentennial event. Other activities planned include a Monroe County Bicentennial exhibit at the Monroe County Historical Museum; the Genealogical Society of Monroe County will offer “Early Settler” certificates to descendants of those pioneers who settled here before July 1817; Michigan Week will have a Monroe County bicentennial theme; the Monroe County Historical Society will host a “Bicentennial Ball” October 14, 2017; and a beard/moustache growing contest will be judged October 22, 2017. The Monroe County Quilt Guild is working on a quilt which will be exhibited at the visitor’s centers on I-75 and US 23. Organizations are encouraged to label 2017 activities as bicentennial events so the word will spread throughout the community that our county is 200 years old!
The Monroe County Bicentennial Alliance meets monthly and anyone interested is welcome to attend. Contact Chris at 734-652-1192 for further information.

Monroe County farms in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) can receive an additional benefit through potential eligibility to receive up to five free soil tests. To be eligible, potential participants must schedule a first time on-site MAEAP A*Syst with a MAEAP Technician.
Testing will be conducted by the Michigan State University soil laboratory with results sent to participating farmers and the Conservation District MAEAP Technician for interpretation. Test results will indicate current nutrient and pH levels, and provide fertilizer recommendations based on the crops to be grown.
The Conservation District MAEAP Technicians are available to assist farmers in pursuing MAEAP verification. Farmers interested in more information about how to become MAEAP verified should contact one of the Monroe Conservation District’s MAEAP Technician. Rob Bates WLEB MAEAP technician 734.265.9313/ Robert.Bates@mi.nacdnet.net or Tim Kwiatkowski at 734.265.9315/Timothy.Kwiatkowski@mi.nacdnet.net. Information about MAEAP is also available at the state MAEAP web site at: http://www.maeap.org .