Herbicides are an essential component of industrial vegetation management. The right herbicide can target specific species of vegetation much more accurately and efficiently than manual removal. No single herbicide works for every application, so it’s important to understand the commonly used herbicides and how they are classified, as well as what to expect when using herbicide blends.

Herbicides by Timing of Application

Herbicides are classified in various ways. One way is by when, in the life cycle of a plant, they are designed to be used.


Pre-emergent herbicides are applied routinely just before the seasonal arrival of a particular nuisance plant. Typically, watering can help carry pre-emergents into the soil to do their job. Their use relies on the knowledge of which plants are likely to emerge in a given area and their timing.


As one might expect, post-emergent herbicides act on plants that have already begun to grow, whether they are perennial, annual broadleaf, or grasses. These can be used when a particular species grows unexpectedly or when a pre-emergent is not effective for a certain species.

Herbicides by Mode of Action

Downwardly Mobile Herbicides

These products move from a plant’s leaves, downward into its roots and shoots. This type of herbicide is typically slow acting and may need one or two applications.

Upwardly Mobile Herbicides 

As the name suggests, these work in the opposite way from downwardly mobile herbicides. They begin at the base of the plant and are carried upward as water moves through the plant. They can be applied as pre-emergent or early post-emergent.

Non-Translocated (Contact Herbicides)

These products work quickly, disrupting cell membrane growth at the plant’s surface. It is important to fully cover the plant for a complete result.

Soil Applied Herbicides

These are applied to the soil to work on roots, shoots or both. They can prevent the growth of seedling grasses and some annual broadleaves.

Commonly Used Herbicides in IVM

These are just a handful of the herbicides commonly used in industrial vegetation management. Many of these are sold under different brand names, so you may know them as something else.


Aminopyralid: Applied to broadleaf plants

Bromacil: A pre-emergent weed controller

Diuron: A TVC — total vegetation control — product appropriate for areas where bare ground is desired

Glyphosate: An example of a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will remove any vegetation with which it comes in contact

Metsulfuron: For broadleaf plants and brush such as some species found along roadways

Imazapyr: Can be used pre- or post-emergence for removing brush

Triclopyr: For post-emergent application on brush


No single herbicide meets all the needs of a job, and your needs will shift throughout the year. That’s why, at Eco-Pak, we offer a “Blend of the Month,” which combines three to four key herbicides appropriate to most kinds of jobs at that time of year. Sign up for our newsletter to get notified of our Blend of the Month.

Advantages of Pre-Blended Herbicides

Handling and blending herbicides comes with certain risks to personnel and the environment. Unsafe handling or simple human error can lead to:

  • Spills while mixing in the field
  • Leaks during transport or storage
  • Overfilling of a tank
  • Mis-measuring while blending in the field

When any of these occurs, a person working with herbicides can become injured. The herbicides themselves may contaminate soil, leach into groundwater and/or harm wildlife. Improper handling or storage can incur costly EPA fines.


Pre-blended, pre-packaged herbicides reduce or eliminate many of these risks.

Eco-Pak Custom Herbicide Blends

Eco-Pak offers custom blended herbicides in returnable, refillable containers ranging from 15 to 350 gallons. We can help you select the best herbicides for your vegetation clearance needs and blend them in the optimal ratios so that you can eliminate the plants you don’t want while keeping the ones that you do want.

Our state-of-the-art plants use the latest technology to ensure that your orders are filled and packaged to your exact specifications. We can fill orders as small as 60 gallons to cater to your small-volume needs. Containers use the closed-loop Micro Matic system to maximize safety and efficiency while transferring from containers to tanks. Returnable containers do not require container disposal or triple rinsing and won’t wind up in landfills.