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Foliar Damage/Growth Regulator Injury from Herbicide Drift

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Gail Ruhl, Plant Disease Diagnostician, Botany Department

(Credits for Photos: top two photosgraphs taken by Karen Rane.)

Growth Regulator Damage to Crabapple Growth Regulator Damage to Caryopteris
Growth Regulator Foliar Damage to Sargent Crabapple Growth Regulator Stem Distortion Damage to Caryopteris
Growth regulatory injury to redbud

Growth Regulator
Foliar Damage to Redbud
Grown regulator injury to grape
Growth Regulator
Damage to Grape

(Click on the smaller image to view a larger image.)

Growth-regulator type herbicides are used in the spring to control weeds in lawns, fields, roadsides and pastures. Many times dying plant parts are wrongly blamed on the recent application of chemicals by a lawn service.

Dieback of branches is not usually a typical symptom of damage from growth-regulator-type herbicide drift. Concentrate on the young foliage. Leaves of broad-leaved plants injured by growth regulator-type herbicide drift or volatilization will display symptoms of distortion, puckering and curling. Some species such as redbud, grape, rose, tomato and boxelder are more sensitive to injury and may be used as 'indicator' plants when looking for growth regulator-type damage. An 'episodic' event of injury, such as herbicide drift, is often easier to diagnose several weeks after the initial symptoms are observed since the newly emerging leaves will be normal in appearance.

Please refer to the publication ID-184, Diagnosing Herbicide Injury on Garden and Landscape Plants, for additional information pertaining to diagnosing potential herbicide injury to ornamentals.

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