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In the rocky mountains Scrub Oak/Gambles Oak are ever present and provide a significant fire hazard when they grow right up to your house. We have cut them back a safe distance, but new shoots keep coming back up either from the roots of the old or new growth.

We have applied a significant amount of roundup to these sites in an attempt to keep them from coming back but it is a rather ineffective and expensive battle. Does anyone know of a good way of keeping these guys from sprouting back up that isn't to drastic. Gamble's Oak shoots coming back

  • Can you rent goats in your area? – kevinsky Aug 28 at 0:41
  • Goats would be an idea, but it would have to be on a line to keep it from eating the rest of our flowers and the rabbit hole for approving that with the neighborhood HOA would be interesting. – DelaneyR Aug 28 at 0:52
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Gambel oak on the one hand is an important species that should be tolerated; but it is terribly persistent and can interfere with a gardener's ambitions for his immediate landscape. Colorado State U. Extension has a nice summary article for overall guidance. One of the suggestions is the use of Garlon herbicide (active ingredient Triclopyr); Cornell University offers a description of the characteristics of this material. I know that the electricity utility here in Ontario uses it for other species in power line easements. Garlon may or may not be available to you as a gardener, check with your local farmer's supply store or a reputable landscaper.

We can also perhaps learn from fire control strategies. The idea of a fire break is designed to limit the spread of a fire once started. If you have enough land that you can designate a strip around the property which can be regularly and deeply disturbed and this is regularly performed then spot controls inside the perimeter of that area might be more effective.

  • Thanks for the information. It is extremely helpful. I will look into Garlon. The use of fire breaks is of course a consideration to be considered for larger fire management, but that prerogative lies with the larger BLM or forest service on their land in our area of Colorado. We are simply attempting to set up a somewhat safe perimeter considering the oak brush goes for a few miles in all directions. – DelaneyR Aug 28 at 11:19
  • Garlon is probably a restricted pesticide in Colorado; it can also cause blindness if non-diluted product gets into your eyes (which can happen when you fill your sprayer). – Jurp Aug 28 at 13:32
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I would use triclopyr, usually applied non-dilute to cut stumps/stems at the time you cut them, not later. This is commonly sold as Stump and Brush Killer. You don't need to apply much to get results. Used here in Wisconsin to prevent resprouting when youngish ash are cut due to emerald ash borer infestation.

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