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Tools of the trade

Invasive species control can be an impossible task without the right tools. While you probably already know about the value of a good pulaski, chainsaw, or loppers, you might not know about some of the other weed whacking devices described below.

painter Deathstick, aka Woody Painter
Call it what you will, this is a simply designed tool that allows you to easily travel in the field and apply herbicide to vertical stems, using slightly modified paint roller technology. Not quite low-tech, not high tech, but the right-tech!.
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knife Cattail Knife
Behold the lowly vinyl knife! While it is great for cutting linoleum, it is also a marvelous and inexpensive tool you can use to bring cattails into line.
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puzzy Eco-Weeder (aka "Puzzy Boy")
The Eco-Weeder is a device that uses a superheated radiating element to toast weeds by disrupting their cells. It looks more suitable for the lawn and garden than wildland applications, but you can be the judge.
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ezject EZJect Lance
This long rod is armed with herbicide capsules. You can use it to drive the small capsules directly into the tree trunks, similar to a drill and fill application. No muss, no fuss.
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Herbicide Wand
This tool was designed by TNC's Jack McGowan-Stinski (Michigan), and is a home-made device that makes cut-stump treatments easy. We have design information on-line for you.
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klipkleen KlipKleen Shears
What a great idea! Clip a plant and apply an herbicide to the freshly cut surface at the same time! This would simplify your work a lot. But does this little device do all it advertises? Read our mixed review.
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kutt-n-kill Kut-N-Kill Hand Pruners
Another kind of "herbicide shears", well built and a nice addition to your tool box. This does not cut and apply herbicide in a single step---it is essentially a pair of shears with a separate on-board herbicide tank. However, the design makes cutting and herbiciding easier for some applications. Read this if you do not know about "ratchet" pruners.
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landa Landa® Hot Water Pressure Washer
Pouring boiling hot water onto weeds, or subjecting weeds to hot steam, is a method of weed control that has been practiced for some time. Read this tool review, written by TNC's Robin Switzer (Mississippi), for its application and use on cogongrass, and its applicability in other natural areas.
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ringer Ringer
More than $150 is a lot to spend on a tool that rings trees, especially if you already have a machete or chainsaw in your toolbox. However, I had heard a couple of raving reviews about this tool, so when I received word that a nearby land manager had bought one, I borrowed it for a "test drive."
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root jack Root Jack
The Root Jack is something similar to the Weed Wrench (described below). However, it is lighter weight and cheaper. I did some field tests with it and decided it was better than the Root Talon for most applications, but not better than the Weed Wrench. You might have some use for this, as long as you are aware of its limitations.
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talon Root Talon
The Root Talon is an inexpensive way to grab onto small trees and lever them out of the ground. Lightweight and easy to handle, this is designed with buckthorn in mind.
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roarrr!! Vapor Torches
Would you like to use spot burning to incinerate plants? This backpack-mounted vapor torch is a convenient way to carry fire into the field.
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foam Waipuna™ Hot Foam System
Another hot water/steam system! Does using foam to trap superheated steam onto weeds work better than just hot water alone? Does this type of system work well in natural areas? Although this hot foam system appears to kill weeds readily, there are several limitations to using this system in natural areas.
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wrench Weed Wrench
This handy device is used to yank plants right out of the ground. Four different sizes are available, and with the biggest model, trees up to a few inches in diameter can be yanked!
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Invasive plant management
Research the information we have on the management of a particular species of invasive plant here.
Invasive animal & pathogen management
Research the information we have on the management of a particular species of invasive animal or pathogen here.
Weed Control Methods Handbook
An electronic handbook provides detailed information on the use of manual and mechanical techniques, grazing, prescribed fire, biocontrol, and herbicides, to help you control undesirable invasive plants.

Other site resources

Weed Information Management System (WIMS)
A fully-integrated hardware and software application for mapping invasives and tracking management actions.
Remote sensing
A review of remote sensing technology, as applied to invasive species detection and mapping.
Photography archive
One of the largest collections of photographs of invasive species (mostly plants) available on the web.
Red Alerts!
Species which are either new to an area, or are showing alarming symptoms such as signs of signicant, new expansion.
Templates and examples
Adaptive management planning tools such as model plans for sites, weed control templates, etc. Very useful!
Join our listserve to voice your frustrations and trumpet your successes.
Volunteer coordination and public outreach
Powerpoint presentations on invasive species, weed pamphlets, on developing weed management areas, and more.

Updated July 2008
©The Nature Conservancy, 2005