Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2017
Dalmatian toadflax is listed as a noxious weed in most of the western United States, but control of this species has not been extensively studied in California. Studies in other states show effective control of Dalmatian toadflax with picloram, but this herbicide is not registered for use in California. In addition, reports vary as to the optimal timing for herbicide applications. In this study we evaluated several herbicides with combined foliar and soil-residual activity at two times of application: postsenescence (fall) and rosette (winter to early spring). We applied two series of treatments (2008 and 2009 to 2010) on adjacent sites in high desert scrub of southern California. In the year of treatment and the following year, we evaluated Dalmatian toadflax cover and presence/absence of associated dominant species (≥ 5% cover). Although time of application, treatment, and timing by treatment interaction all produced significant differences in Dalmatian toadflax cover in the 2008 trial, only the high rate of aminocyclopyrachlor (280 g ae ha−1) applied to dormant plants in fall consistently reduced cover through the second year. No treatments at the rosette stage consistently produced 2 yr of control. In 2009 to 2010, treatments were more effective, probably owing to higher precipitation in spring. In both dormant and rosette applications made in 2009 to 2010, aminocyclopyrachlor (140 and 280 g ae ha−1) and aminocyclopyrachlor + chlorsulfuron (140 g ae ha−1 + 53 g ai ha−1) gave second year control; chlorsulfuron at the dormant stage (105 and 158 g ai ha−1) and aminopyralid at the rosette stage (245 g ae ha−1) also gave 2 yr of control. The treatments had only minor effects on grass species. The response of broadleaf species varied among treatments, with aminocyclopyrachlor at the high rate increasing Eriogonum spp., but greatly reducing Asteraceae species. These results provide options for the management of Dalmatian toadflax in California and other western states.