ARTICLE IN FARM SHOW MAGAZINE
Power Pellets Kill Invasive Trees
In the spring, when Ray Clay walks his quarter section of
land in Reydon, Okla., he is on a mission to kill the
invasive cedars that suck up valuable moisture in his
pasture needed for grass to feed his cattle. He drops Power
Pellets near the trees and brush he wants to eliminate.
Because seeds blow in from neighbor's fields, it's been
an annual task since he started using the pellets in 2002.
"I saw it (Power Pellets) in a magazine, and I bought a
bucket and went from there," Clay says. "If you get enough
moisture, you see the effect in 6-8 weeks."
Rain breaks down the tablet and the active ingredient
Hexazinone goes into the ground about 12 in. and is drawn
into the tree/brush roots, causing it to die, says Bill
Sander, president of Pro-Serve, Inc., a formulator of
agricultural chemicals that makes Power Pellets. The company
provides instructions depending on species regarding
placement and how many pellets to use. For example, a 4-in.
diameter cedar takes about six tablets dropped halfway
between the trunk and canopy edge.
Clay has adapted the method for his situation.
"Our worst problem is we have a drought here so bad that
the little bitty cedar roots need to go farther out to get
water," Clay explains. He places the pellets up to 3 and
4-ft. away from the tree's drip line in order to be over the
top of the roots.
Though the pellets remain effective up to six months,
they should be applied in the spring when rainfall is most
likely. Clay usually drops the pellets in April, the time of
year for rain.
Power Pellets are recommended for mesquite, cedar,
huisache, yucca, tallow and multiflora rose, but they also
kill other hardwood and softwood species.
"They work on just about anything you want to put it on,"
Clay says. "It'll even get cottonwoods." Follow the
recommended doses, he suggests, and if part of a bigger tree
remains green, treat it again the following year. Clay also
spray paints trees he has treated so he doesn't double treat
them. With annual treatments, he's eliminating the biggest
cedars and staying ahead of smaller ones that start.
At $350 per 5 1/2 lb. bucket (3,900 pellets), it's more
affordable than hiring someone to run a skidsteer and cutter
for $50-$60/hour, Clay says. He can also walk and drop the
pellets on slopes and in wooded areas where skidsteers can't
He says he's never seen any ill effects on his cattle,
wildlike or birds and has been pleased with the results.
The product is good, he says, and he likes the control he
has with it. The only thing he can't control is Mother
Nature to provide the rain.
Power pellets can be purchased from dealers throughout
the country and smaller quantities are available. They are
not intended for lawns or yards. Check the Pro-Serve website
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Pro-Serve, Inc., PO Box
161059, Memphis, TN 38109 (877-776-7375;