This year seems to be the year of herbicide injury. The theme is chemical damage.We want to remind people to be careful about using herbicides near any plants, as they can be damaging and even lethal to woody plants. Foremost - use all pesticides (this includes fungicides, herbicides and insecticides) according to the label. Mix the herbicide at the recommended ratio; use suggested appropriate equipment, and wear protective clothing and eyewear. Pay attention to limitations of how warm it can be when spraying (just a little rise in the temperature makes the chemicals volatize and turn into gases). Never spray on windy days. The slightest breeze can cause chemicals to travel to other plants. Spray early in the morning while it’s still cool outside, and generally calmer.
Herbicides, in particular, like Weed-B-Gone or 2,4-D, can cause leaf cupping, coiling and bending. Herbicides can suppress growth, cause iron chlorosis, can blacken tissues, and cause defoliation.
Non-selective chemicals like Roundup (the amino acid inhibiting herbicides) when used near other plants, can cause strap-like leaves, bushy growth, and misshapen leaves. Injury may be delayed into the next growing season or even longer.
Depending on the dose of what was sprayed on/near the tree, (near trunk bases, exposed roots) herbicides can cause long-lasting damage, and may even kill the tree or shrub. Keep this in mind - - the herbicide is just out there doing its job - which is to kill. It doesn't know the difference between a goat's head thorn or your prized maple. Don't be afraid to ask for help.