Responses of two species of mesquite to initial and follow-up applications of selected herbicides in a potted trial

E.C. SparkesA and D.J. MidmoreB

A Alan Fletcher Research Station, Department of Natural Resources and Water, PO Box 36, Sherwood, Queensland 4075, Australia.

B School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland 4702, Australia.


Quilpie mesquite (Prosopis velutina) is an invasive woody weed that is believed to have been introduced into south-west Queensland in the 1930s. Following the withdrawal of 2,4,5-T, research on P. pallida resulted in revised recommendations for control of all Prosopis spp. in Queensland. Adoption of many of these recommendations for Quilpie mesquite control produced substandard results. Following a pilot trial, a shade-house experiment was conducted to determine the differences in susceptibility of two species of mesquite, P. velutina and P. pallida, to commonly available herbicides. It was hypothesized that P. velutina was less susceptible than P. pallida, based upon claims that the registered chemical recommendations for Prosopis spp. were not sufficiently effective on P. velutina.

Nine foliar herbicide treatments were applied to potted shade-house plants. Treatment effects indicated differing susceptibility between the two species. P. velutina consistently showed less response to metsulfuron, fluroxypyr, 2,4-D/picloram and triclopyr/picloram, compared to the glyphosate formulations, where negligible differences occurred between the two species. The response to glyphosate was poor at all rates in this experiment. Re-application of herbicides to surviving plants indicated that susceptibility can decrease when follow-up application is in autumn and the time since initial application is short.

The relationship between leaf structure and the volume of spray adhering to a plant was assessed across species. The herbicide captured by similar-sized plants of each species differed, with P. pallida retaining a greater volume of herbicide.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2007) 22 (3) 100-106.