There is a great deal of interest in managing beech.  I have experience with cut stump and foliar treatments of beech (see the project profile), but I have almost no experience with frill treatments.  I am often asked though if frill treatments (cutting through the bark and applying a herbicide with glyphosate) will provide control of connected suckers.  Does anyone have experience with this?  If so, I would be particularly interested with any of the following aspects of your treatment:


1. Diameter of beech you treated?

2. Time of year the treatment was made?

3. Sizes of untreated beech in the area where you worked?

4. Type and concentration of active ingredient of the herbicide

5.  Did you frill with chainsaw, axe, or hatchet?  Maybe with a hypohatchet?

6.  Percentage of smaller stems that were controlled by your treatment?





Picture 1.  Cut stump treatment


Picture 2.  Frill treatment (picture courtesy of


Picture 3.  Mist blower foliar treatment (of invasive honeysuckle)

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Hi, Pete.

We've used frilling with Glyphosate to treat beech on our place for a long time.  We used to frill 100% around the stem at a comfortable height, then gently squirt our mix of 50% herbicide and 50% water into the frill.  We tried to get the entire frill wet without wasting the mix ($$$) by having it run out of the frill and down the stem.  This was completely effective - I don't think I've ever seen a frilled tree that survived in our forest.

Now, on stems less than 8 inches in diameter, we hack with a hatchet around the tree, leaving uncut spaces between the single-strike hatchet cuts.  So, if the hatchet cut is 1.5 inches horizontally, we leave 1.5 inches uncut then make another cut.   Like this around the stem: - - - - -

Each cut is about 1/4 inch deep or a little more, at a 30 degree downward angle.  Then we squirt a little of the mix into each cut, again trying not to "overfill" the cut and waste herbicide.  The downward angle forms a little shallow cup which holds the mix.  Kill rate is very high and I think it saves us a lot of money.  The incomplete frilling saves a lot of work.

Hope this helps.  Cheers, Tim

Forgot to answer the questions directly.

1. Diameter of beech you treated?

- From 1 to 24 inches DBH.  On stems larger than 8 inches we usually used a chainsaw to girdle the tree, then applied herbicide mix into the cut.

2. Time of year the treatment was made?

- Late summer, between early August and mid Septenber.

3. Sizes of untreated beech in the area where you worked?

- See above.  We have found that root grafting will carry the herbicide to other beech stems nearby.  I used an axe once to make regular cuts with uncut spaces in between (see previous post) in three large stems (each over 18 DBH).  I did not treat the many small beech stems nearby.  We got complete kill of all stems, including all small stems within a 15 foot radius of the big one.  Remarkable.

4. Type and concentration of active ingredient of the herbicide

- I didn't keep track of the glyphosate concentration of the product straight out of the jug (bought at Agway), but we have always mixed injection treatments at one part herbicide, one part water.

5.  Did you frill with chainsaw, axe, or hatchet?  Maybe with a hypohatchet?

- Hatchet for 8 inches and below.  Axe or chainsaw for larger.

6.  Percentage of smaller stems that were controlled by your treatment?

- We have eliminated larger stems of beech from our forest.  It took 25 years.  Our success rate was very close to 100%.  We still have beech brush patches and I am eager to try varying forms of "treat one, leave one" to see if flash-over (root grafting) will kill the untreated ones, thus saving me a lot of work.  Our sugar maples are having trouble on our hilltop and ridgeline sites, so I'm considering letting the beech grow there for fuelwood.

Tim, Thanks for the great input.  I appreciate the details.  Pete

Hi Peter,
I have an herbicide project that I've run into some logistical problems with the subcontractor.  The treatment was supposed to be cut stump treatment of beech with glyphosate for all trees greater than 3 inch DBH.  The site is dense with beech seedlings and saplings 2 inches that we are hoping to control.  The site also has a significant number of beech trees greater than 8" DBH.
The problem is that the subcontractor will be working without the logger on site and does not want to get involved with felling large diameter trees.  He's asked if he can use hack and squirt instead of felling trees greater than 6 or 8 inch DBH.  The beech that need treated are up to 30in DBH, but generally less than 22in DBH.  I've done some reading this morning and it seems that hack and squirt is highly effective on the treated tree, but have you found any additional information on the control of the nearby beech stems?  The response above sounds promising.
Some other questions:  Is it worth upping the solution to 75% herbicide instead of 50/50?  What do you think the practical DBH is for the cut off between the cut stump and hack and squirt?  Also, how soon could the logger harvest/fell the treated trees and not disrupt the translocation of the herbicide and thus reduce the over all effectiveness?

Hi Chris:

Welcome to the ning site.  I hope others will share responses as well to your questions.

I've uploaded a paper by Kochenderfer who looked at the translocation of glyphosate from trees treated with hack-n-squirt into the root suckers.  You should look at the sizes of trees treated (I didn't re-read the details) to see how this might apply to your situation.  There is some control of understory trees.  I don't have much personal experience with HnS (hack-and-squirt), but all reports are that it provides full control of the treated stem.  The question then is about the efficacy of translocation to the root suckers.  Here is a link to that same paper

Regarding concentration of the mixture.  On the cut-stump project, there was slightly higher mortality of root suckers when we used the full strength Accord (53.8% active ingredient) versus a 1:1 dilution in water.  The sucker mortality was about 10% higher with the full strength.  I would expect a similar pattern of modest increase following a high concentration of glyphosate via HnS.

Regarding mixed treatments of poles vs. sawtimber.  From my experience and other research, cut-stump treatments with immediate treatment using glyphosate provides the greatest and most efficient control of beech root suckers (I think all glyphosate treatments control the treated beech stem). I can only guess how mixing c-s and HnS will effect sucker response; the mixed treatments may not be as effective, but it might be sufficient and beech >20" dbh are sometimes challenging to fell.  The logging contractor might prefer the trees still standing.  As a context to my speculation, one area of our c-s project had several beech in the 3 - 5" dbh class.  We cut and treated all stems > 6".  In test plots that included several (>100/ac) sapling/pole sized beech, there was less control of the seedling size class following c-s of stems >6" dbh.  I believe the 3 - 5" dbh sapling/pole stems preferentially utilized (?) the glyphosate.  Glyphosate moves to the most actively growing meristems, so the sapling/poles would be most photosynthetically active.  I'll speculate that if your contractor cuts and treats the larger saplings and all poles sized (<8 - 10" dbh) and does HnS on stems >10" that might result in sufficient control of the seedling and small sapling size class because of the small stem c-s and the large stem HnS.  If larger trees preempt the absorption of glyphosate, then the HnS should preceed the c-s treatments.  I will guess that the c-s should follow the HnS within one day so the connective tissue is still functionally connective and allows movement within each parent tree root system.

I'm not aware of anyone with experience or research regarding the timing of post-treatment lag before harvesting.  Maybe others on this forum have some experience.  With the c-s treatments, I would typically see almost full impact among suckers within 4 weeks after treatment.  I presume the glyphosate was active sooner than 4 weeks, but it took some time for the symptoms (i.e., dead leaves) to display.  Early symptoms were evident within 15 to 20 days.  The lag between treatment and harvest has to be balanced between allowing the glyphosate to work and creating standing dead snags. 

Good luck...keep us posted.



Hi Pete,

Thanks for the input.  I've re-read that Kochenderfer paper.  I think we are on the right track. The tentative plan is to HnS >8in. and c-s 3-8in. DBH.  I guess the real question is how much beech do we have to kill to get a successful response from desirables and get them above the deer...

I'll keep you posted. 




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