Eight technically pure herbicides were evaluated for their relative phytotoxicity to hydroponically grown seedlings of red maple (Acer rubrum L.) and white ash (Fraxinus americana L.). Six of the herbicides (acids) were prepared as the triethylamine salts to provide formulation uniformity. With four compounds, equi-mole dosages per plant produced different toxic responses depending upon whether the herbicide was applied to the shoot or root. The 2,4,5-trichlorinated phenoxyaliphatic acids 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), 2(2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy) propionic acid (2,4,5-TP), and 4(2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy) butyric acid (2,4,5-TB) were consistently more toxic on a mole basis when applied to the roots of both species than when applied to the shoots. The opposite effect was observed with ammonium sulfamate (AMS) where shoot treatments were always more toxic. Shoot and root treatments were equally effective for the compounds 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 2-methoxy-3,6-dichlorobenzoic acid (dicamba), 4-amino-3,5,6-trichloropicolinic acid (picloram), and 3-amino-l,2,4-triazole (amitrole). Differential species susceptibilities to certain compounds were observed.