The Benefits of Basal Blends

Basal oil herbicide blends, or simply basal blends, offer a practical, effective method of vegetation removal in certain situations. A basal blend combines a low volume of an herbicide, typically 15-30% by volume, with a carrier oil. Sensitive species may only require a 5-10% concentration.

The oil helps the herbicide adhere to and penetrate the bark. The blend is applied selectively to the bark of woody plants. The herbicide reaches the root system through the plant’s vascular system, preventing regrowth. When properly applied, it can enable complete control of foliage, stems, and roots. It works well for right of way applications, especially where invasive species are a concern.

How to Use Basal Blends

Basal blends offer the advantage of a low profile application and can be applied with a backpack sprayer.

Basal blends work best for small trees or shrubs with green stems a few inches in diameter or those without thick bark. It can work on larger trees, although trees with thick or rough bark may require increased and/or higher concentrations of herbicide for full effect.

The applicator should target the bottom one to two feet of stem or trunk with the spray mixture, using a solid cone or flat fan nozzle. They should completely encircle the trunk to coat the bark, but not to the point where the mixture runs.

Good coverage of the bark is important for effective removal. The basal blend should thoroughly wet the stem or trunk, root collar area, and any exposed roots.

When to Use Basal Blends

Basal blends are effective year-round, but timing depends on your goals and treatment schedule. Fall and winter are considered the optimal time to employ this method. Certain tough-to-control species such as mesquite can be best controlled by using a basal application any time of year. Keep in mind that extreme heat can lead to volatilization of the oils, especially with diesel mixtures, causing a safety hazard.

Operationally, late fall works well in temperate regions since there is less foliage, making it easier to see and access the target plants. Fall and winter are also preferable for use in high visibility areas since the affected vegetation will look unattractive against green foliage.

It is inadvisable to use basal blends when snow prevents spraying to the ground line or when stem surfaces are wet from rain or snow.

Using Basal Blends for Invasives

Basal blend treatment is the ideal vegetation management method for many non-native plant species, particularly those likely to crowd out desirable species. Controlling invasive species is an important part of managing rights-of-way and utility corridors. The targeted nature of basal blend treatment lets invasives be treated without harm to the surrounding vegetation. Care should be taken not to track seeds out of the area, where they may spread the invasive plant to other areas.

Types of Herbicides Used for Basal Blends

Only an herbicide labeled for this type of treatment should be used in basal blends. Many different types of herbicide can be used, depending on the target plant species and the needs of the applicator. Eco-Pak can blend the best herbicide for your needs. Our environmentally friendly oils have less odor than many alternatives.

Custom Blends from Eco-Pak

Eco-Pak provides convenient custom blending of herbicides, including basal blends. Ordering pre-blended herbicides eliminates the need for field mixing, and the attendant risks to safety and accuracy. Save money by making your employees more efficient while creating safer working conditions. Use custom  blended, pre-packaged basal blends in refillable, reusable containers.