Contractors are reaping the benefits of Monsanto’s Ecoplug Max, now fully available from distributors.
Ecoplug Max is a patented tree stump control application method, originally developed in Sweden to deliver more efficient forestry clearance.
The unique plug acts as a delivery device for glyphosate into the stump. Each plug contains 283mg of granular glyphosate which is released inside the tree stump ensuring all the active ingredient is carefully targeted where it is needed.
Glyphosate is translocated through the stump and down to the roots preventing new growth sprouting and leaving the stump to gradually rot away.
Ecoplug Max been successfully deployed to clear trees under power and telephone lines, on utility and industrial properties, railways, bridges, golf courses, highways, heritage sites and graveyards. It can be used in situations where mechanical stump removal is not practical, and is clean and easy to transport and use.
The unique design eliminates the risk of chemical spillage, and the application method reduces the risk of chemicals getting into water or potential overdosing.
Ecoplug Max application supports the requirements of the Sustainable Use Directive to minimise the use of pesticides and the Water Framework to prevent contamination of waterways with pesticides.
Ecoplug Max, PCS number 05595, is authorised ‘for use in all situations, (stump).’ It can be used on tree stumps in forests, agricultural situations or amenity vegetation.
Monsanto Technical Development Manager Barrie Hunt comments: “The development of Ecoplug Max system gives land managers the opportunity to benefit from glyphosate’s efficiency in clearing trees in a convenient, clean and operator-friendly system.”
Leading UK contractor Ground Control uses some 600,000 Ecoplugs per year, on contracts for utilities clients including Network Rail, Highways England and Western Power Distribution.
National training manager for Ground Control Neil Huck explains that Ecoplug Max has been specified by Network Rail for trackside work as it is ideal for controlling regrowth from tree stumps in these areas.”
Mr Huck comments that while Ecoplug is easy to use, Ground Control ensures that operators receive appropriate training for Ecoplug use.
“This improves the quality of the application and ensures that we get the best out of the product, by measuring the trunk and spacing the plugs correctly.”
With such a range of contracts and variety of weeds to treat, Ground Control keeps a number of products in its armoury, but Ecoplug Max has some obvious benefits he points out:
“There’s no risk of run-off – liquid products take time to be absorbed and can get washed off if rain follows application, so Ecoplugs are safer and more effective.”
“It’s a controlled dose so it’s easier to get right and gives a neater and tidier finish,” he says, adding: ”Safety is a priority for us, both for the operator and bystanders, and by using Ecoplugs we are eliminating the risk of drift, too.”
1.The new formulation of Ecoplug Max from Monsanto is authorised for use in aquatic situations, which is making it the stump control product of choice for contractors.
2. Contractor Ground Control’s National Training Manager Neil Huck.