Henbit is the No. 1 weed of the week, and chickweed is a very
close second. Chickweed and henbit are weeds that get going very
early in the spring; we even call them winter annuals. Chickweed
stands out in yards because it is quite abundant and has a
lighter green color than grass and most other weeds. I can't
begin to tell you how to identify it; it gets even harder when
there is common chickweed and mouse-ear chickweed. Henbit is
easier to identify since it has purple flowers and smells like
mint. As for control, that gets a bit easier.
2,4-D that is used on dandelions seems to act like a fertilizer
for chickweed and other problem weeds. Combinations that contain
2,4-D, MCPP and dicamba are rated very effective on chickweed,
henbit, red sorrel, purslane, white clover and others. These
combinations are sold under several different trade names. You
can find these at most hardware, discount, and lawn and garden
stores. Just check the label under active ingredients and check
for two long chemical names and dicamba. You can also check to
see that it says it will control chickweed and henbit. This
group of chemicals is effective in the 50-degree range and up.
As with any chemical control, read and follow label
instructions very carefully. On these product labels there will
be some cautions you should be aware of concerning injury to
sensitive plants. This is because dicamba can drift as a vapor
for a few weeks after you apply it, if the weather gets hot and
Nuisance tree fruit removal
Nuisance fruit removal is a term used for removing sweet gum
balls, maple seeds and crab apples. It really applies to fruit
that is a nuisance.
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There are several products available to eliminate nuisance fruit.
The most common is ethephon, and it is used as a foliar spray to
reduce or eliminate undesirable fruit or seeds. A couple of the
trade names are Florel and Ethrel. The product is effective at
eliminating much of the fruit without affecting leaf growth and
color, and it does not harm other plants that get some spray drift
on them. It also does not affect the actual flowering of the treated
With ethephon, the key is in the timing. The application must be
made during flowering but before the fruit set in. For most
flowering trees there is a 10-14-day window of opportunity. Sweet
gums are a little tricky since there are no showy flowers involved,
so effective sprays should occur just as new leaves begin to emerge.
Sprays should leave leaves wet but not to the point of dripping.
Good coverage of the tree is needed, so keep in mind the size of the
tree when you are weighing this option.
This product is a growth regulator that naturally occurs. Its
natural production is stimulated by stress, so make sure you aren't
treating a tree that is under stress from drought, high
temperatures, diseases or other environmental stresses. Treating
stressed trees can cause severe injury to the plant, such as leaf
loss or scorching.
There are also injection products available, mainly through
commercial applicators, but the cost is considerably more. The other
side of the coin with some of the injection products is that they
may not remove as much of the nuisance fruit.
In the end, weigh your options and decide what may work best for
Fulton, unit leader,
University of Illinois Extension,
Logan County Unit]