Re: [tomato] Tomato Digest V1 #254

Paul Reynolds (
Thu, 01 Jul 1999 10:23:20 -0500


I will not disagree with you on it being illegal to use diesel fuel as a stand
alone herbicide.  I will admit that I can't quote the law on it and I have made
some enquiries about it and should know something before long.  You have tweeked
my interest on this issue and will pursue it until I have some answers and if
I'm wrong, I'll let ya know.  ;-)

However, I do know that it's perfectly legal to use diesel as a surfactant
and/or emulsifier here in Texas.  These are common practices here for brush
control and insect control (mesquitos and flies).  I've used diesel, in the
manner I described previously, most of my life.  I'm not saying that this is
justification, but when used in a common sense attitude, as with all chemicals,
it is very affective.    And as I've stated before, you have tweeked my interest
and I'm interested in knowing exactly what the law says because I don't believe
it is completely illegal to use diesel and am interested in knowing where they
draw the line for private use and property rights.

I do agree that diesel can be "incredibly" toxic when not used properly.  The
laws that were developed were probably more aligned with stopping folks like the
Railroads and highway departments from washing their right of ways with diesel.
But, too much of anything can be incredibly toxic.  And I believe that in the
case of my own folks, I'd rather see diesel in their hands than to think of the
damage they could do with something such as Roundup or gasoline.    I have spent
several years doing PST (petroleum storage tank) work and know that gasoline is
several times worse than diesel when it comes to the environment.

Unfortunately, I wasn't consulted before the application event with Roundup or
I'd've recomended something other than Roundup, such as Brush B Gone, or would
have at least advised waiting until this winter to start acting against the
stuff with mechanical removal then treatment.  I try to stear away from chemical
treatments if mechanical treatment can be accomplished.


Paul Reynolds
Environmental Agronomist
Austin Texas

> Besides being a violation of Federal Law to use the diesel fuel, the stuff
> is incredibly toxic to the environment.
> If they're going to cut the poison ivy trunks, an application of triclopyr
>  Brush B Gone ) to the cut stumps is very effective.
> I have found that Round Up can be quite effective on mature poison ivy
> stands *If the ivy is actively growing and not drought stressed. Application
> a day or two following a rain when the new leaves are emerging works very
> well. Using a liquid fertilizer like MiracleGro a day or so before
> application can help, too.