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I'm considering using a triclopyr based herbicide to defeat some clover in my lawn (dwarf fescue) in San Francisco, CA. For example, there is this product:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ortho-Weed-B-Gon-16-oz-Concentrate-Chickweed-Clover-and-Oxalis-Killer-for-Lawns-0394560/100355767?N=5yc1vZbx89

But it's not available anywhere (that I can find) in California. I asked Scotts why not, and they couldnt answer.

One possibility is that it's banned, but I dont see any references to that online. Another possibility is that its ineffective against California variants.

Anyone know why it's so hard to get triclopyr in CA? (I can order it online from out of state, but I want to know why it's unavailable)

thanks

  • This is due to your state's legislature but this pdf from 1997 indicates that even then there were concerns about the long term residues that were taken up by plants and animals that were not the intended target. cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/pubs/fatememo/triclopyr.pdf – kevinsky Feb 12 '14 at 20:14
  • @kevinsky thanks for that link. As far as I can see, it doesnt state or reference any state legislature regarding Triclopyr - maybe I'm missing something. Do you have a reference for the state legislature? I would have thought that if it was on the books it would be easier to find.. – tom Feb 13 '14 at 1:35
  • It's more complicated than I thought. The EPA has a say, the state government and possibly local regulations too. This link ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7434.html from the University of California in 2010 says that it is available to licenced applicators and homeowners. Why not ask at a retail store? – kevinsky Feb 13 '14 at 2:15
  • I asked Lowes, and a local gardening store. Neither knew anything about it. Based on kevinsky's link, we believe it's not banned. So why is it not available for purchase? – tom Feb 14 '14 at 4:54
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Triclopyr is considered to be one of the more toxic pesticides. California has stricter environmental laws than most states, especially when it comes to carcinogens.

http://www.alternatives2toxics.org/tox_profile-triclopyr.htmhttp://www.alternatives2toxics.org/tox_profile-triclopyr.htm

  • Thanks for the links, but they dont answer the question: we still dont know why it's not available to buy in California, but it is available in many other US states. So I can't accept this answer - sorry. – tom Feb 17 '14 at 4:01
  • I believe the answer is California's stricter environmental/ carcinogen laws. If you're looking for alternatives I might be able to help with that. One thing to consider is that "weeds" are indicators of conditions that are not ideal for grass but are ideal for the "weed." On the bright side the clover is adding nitrogen to your soil. A vigourous stand of clover is an indicator that your soil might need more N. Cutting your lawn taller, fescues like that, will help the lawn compete with the clover. – hortstu Feb 17 '14 at 7:01
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If getting the triclopyr is the problem, you can order it on Amazon. I didn't see any immediate shipping restrictions. I had a big problem with tall grass growing in my lawn in 2012, and I used the following to get rid of it. Very little came back last year. I don't know if it works for clover, but it is worth investigating, because if mixed and applied correctly, it does not affect the lawn at all. You need a surficant, like the one listed, to spread it properly too. You can get both on Amazon, although I ordered the Drive 75 from ePestSolutions. Maybe they can answer your CA question.

DRIVE 75 DF HERBICIDE WEED CONTROL CRABGRASS Quinclorac

Bonide Products 097 8OZ Concentrate or Concentrated or Concrete Turbo Sticker

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Consider 'tuning' your lawns' pH (acidity) for the fescue - do or get a soil test. Dwarf fescue's optimum pH is around 5.8, whereas clover's ideal pH ranges up from about 6.0. So ask you garden store for the right fertiliser to pull the down to this level.

Seconding low N as a likely cause. I used to be a weed control contractor, but nowadays try to solve the problem rather than the symptoms (clover).

It's a pity the whole 245-T / Triclopyr / Grazon issue became so irrational and political though - there are much worse herbicides very readily available.

  • True, there are much worse readily available but shouldn't they be taken off the market too? I like that you treat the problem instead of the symptom. Way to go. – hortstu Mar 9 '14 at 5:06

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