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Presentation on the invasive Japanese stiltgrass.

Presentation on the invasive Japanese stiltgrass.

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  • 1. Japanese StiltgrassMicrostegium vimineum Chris Evans River to River CWMA www.rtrcwma.org/stiltgrass
  • 2. Japanese Stiltgrass• Nepalese Browntop, Eualia, Chinese Packing Grass• Annual, warm season, shade tolerant grass• Native to Asia• First found in the United States in 1919 in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • 3. Identification• Weak rooted annual – Pulls up easily• 1-6 feet in height• Sprawling, weak stems• Longer stems prostrate along ground or propped-up
  • 4. Identification• Turns purple-brown in fall, starting at the top of the plant (hence the name ‘Browntop’)
  • 5. Identification Leaves • Short, wide leaves – 2-4 inches long – ½ - ¾ inch wide • Whitish midrib • Smooth edges (not serrated)
  • 6. Identification
  • 7. IdentificationFlowers/seeds• Thin spike-like raceme• 1,2 or 3-branched on long, wiry stem
  • 8. Ecology• Grows in a variety of habitats – Deep shade to full sun – Moist soils to dry conditions• Does best in semi-shaded environment with adequate soil moisture• Seeds can be viable for a long period (7-10 years), but most germinate in first two years – Differs by seed type and local conditions
  • 9. Ecology• Invade forests, forest edges, roadsides, ditches, etc.• Has the ability to dominate forest understory plants• Spring fires seem to promote stiltgrass
  • 10. Impacts• Decreases habitat/forage• Decreases diversity in forest understory• Restricts some tree seedling establishment• Increases fuel loading
  • 11. Timing• Late spring – seeds germinate• Summer – peak growth• Late summer / early fall – flowering• Early fall – seed set• Mid-late fall – senescence
  • 12. Japanese Stiltgrass
  • 13. Spread• Still actively expanding its range – Water – Gravity – Animals – Humans • Equipment • Roads • Shoes • Materials
  • 14. Spread• Stiltgrass closely follows disturbance – Logging roads – Fire breaks – Trail construction – Logging – Other invasive control
  • 16. Management and Control• Easy to kill, hard to eradicate• Pulls easily• Variety of herbicides work• Mowing before flower initiation• Fall burns?
  • 17. Chemical Control• Broad-spectrum, grass-specific, and pre- emergent herbicides will kill stiltgrass – Some recent research indicating that native recovery may be best when using grass-specific herbicides• Wetlands and streamsides limit what type of chemicals you can use – Aquatic-label glyphosate
  • 18. Chemical Control• Sethoxydim – 1-1.5%• Fluazifop – 0.5%• Clethodim – 0.33-0.66%• Glyphosate – 1-2%
  • 19. Mechanical Control• Post-treatment equipment sanitation is a MUST• If flowers are present, then plant material should be bagged and removed• Late summer (but before flower initiation) mowing may prevent seed set
  • 20. Management and Control• Key is to conduct control efforts before flower initiation or seed set – Being an annual, your goal is not to kill the plant, it is to prevent seed production – Germination may continue after early-season control activities• Think about landscape level infestations• May be a waste of money to control stiltgrass in one area if infestations occur farther upstream in the watershed
  • 21. Prevention• Early Detection / Rapid Response• Equipment sanitation• Infestation avoidance – Re-routing firebreaks – Pre-logging treatments• Changes in firelines – Green lines – Blown instead of plowed lines• Coordinate efforts regionally
  • 22. Summary• Stiltgrass is a major invader of forestlands with drastic impacts• Stiltgrass has rapid spread and can be introduced through human activities• Several different chemical treatments are effective at controlling stiltgrass, but grass-specific herbicides tend to allow recovery of native plants the best• Coordination across ownership boundaries is necessary to achieve success in management