Do applications of systemic herbicides when green fruit are present prevent seed production or viability of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)?
Garlic mustard [Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande] is a biennial invasive plant commonly found in the northeastern and midwestern United States. Although it is not recommended to apply herbicides after flowering, land managers frequently desire to conduct management during this timing. We applied glyphosate and triclopyr (3% v/v and 1% v/v using 31.8% and 39.8% acid equivalent formulations, respectively) POST to established, second-year A. petiolata populations at three locations when petals were dehiscing and evaluated control, seed production, and seed viability. POST glyphosate applications at this timing provided 100% control of A. petiolata by 4 wk after treatment at all locations, whereas triclopyr efficacy was variable, providing 38% to 62% control. Seed production was only reduced at one location, with similar results regardless of treatment. Percent seed viability was also reduced, and when combined with reductions in seed production, resulted in a 71% to 99% reduction in number of viable seeds produced per plant regardless of treatment. While applications did not eliminate viable seed production, our findings indicate that glyphosate and triclopyr applied while petals are dehiscing is a viable alternative to cutting or hand pulling at this timing, as it substantially decreased viable A. petiolata seed production.