FL Herbicides

Q

Herbicides were sprayed on the lawn around Foothills Lab on June 19. What
chemical was used? The little yellow signs say Trimec, but different
varieties of this product exist. Why are chemical herbicides applied on
NCAR grounds at all? Has NCAR considered other options for weed control or
ground cover that present fewer risks to health and the environment?

Answered on June 28, 2007

A

Under our standing blanket contract for turf grass and landscape
maintenance, The Green Plan applied post-emergence herbicides to the FL
campus the week of June 19th.

What chemical was used? The turf grass was treated with Lesco Three-Way
Selective Herbicide for control of broadleaf weeds, including dandelion.
Other plantings were selectively treated with Monsanto Roundup PRO for
control of various weeds growing within the plantings. (Note that Gordon’s
Trimec is a competing broadleaf weed treatment for turf grass with the same
indications as Lesco Three-Way.)

Why are chemical herbicides applied to NCAR grounds at all? Because they
provide cost-effective control of undesirable, invasive weeds growing in
our lawns and among ornamental plantings.

Has NCAR considered other options? Perhaps the least risky method would be
to hand-pull weeds, but given the high cost of labor and limited funds
available, this is not an option. However, we do not rely exclusively on
chemicals; we do have our staff and contracted staff pull weeds in xeric
and other plantings at ML, FL, and CG. The chemicals that are used in our
landscaped areas are the result of a compromise to achieve results that are
cost effective while presenting the least risk to our staff and contracted
personnel who apply the products.

MSDS (material safety data sheet) information on the products used in our
lawn and landscape care and maintenance is available at UCAR’s Maintenance
Office and at several sites maintained
by SaSS.

—John Pereira Director, Physical Plant Services