Q: When can I start treating my shoreline for new cattail growth?
Charlie – Bottineau, ND
A: When the wall of cattails comes between you and your recreational pond or lake, it’s time to retake control of your shoreline! Once the cattails are 18 inches above the water’s surface, you can start treating the new growth.
Here’s how we recommend managing cattails:
Not all cattails are bad. They provide a habitat for wildlife, like amphibians, insects, birds and fish. Their below-the-ground rhizomes stop soil erosion. And their green strap-like foliage, which stands 3 to 10 feet tall, adds beachfront privacy. So rather than totally eradicate cattails from your pond or lake, set boundaries for them and treat them when they stray.
The most common way to control cattails is to apply an EPA-registered herbicide like Shoreline Defense® with a pressurized pond sprayer to the foliage of actively growing plants. The product is absorbed by the weed, ultimately killing it all the way down to its roots. It’s a perfect solution for beaches, shorelines or anywhere emergent weeds grow.
Once the herbicide has had a chance to fully soak into the cattail’s root system, the plant will turn brown and become limp. At this point, you should remove the stalks. Why? Those dead cattails and decomposing foliage will turn into muck—which will act as a fertilizer for next season’s cattails. Cut the stalks using the Pond Rake and Cutter Combo or the Jenlis WeedRazer® Pro at the base of the plants, allowing for easier removal with your rake.
Stay in Control
Cattails have extensive root systems, and so staying on top of their growth is key to preventing them from turning into a cattail wall—and taking over your shoreline!
Pond Talk: What critters live in your stand of cattails?
Filed under: Cattails, Emergent Weeds, Pond & Lake, Season-Long Control Tagged: | controlling cattails, how to get rid of cattails, how to kill cattails, kill cattails, kill weeds, prevent cattails, weed cutter