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How To Control American Water Willowamerican water willow

A common pond or lake invader which can get in the way of recreational activities, as well as mess with the aquatic ecosystem, is the American water willow. American Water willow is a herbaceous perennial plant that is common along stream and lake margins.  Water willow grows to 3 feet tall and often forms dense colonies that help stabilize shorelines.  The stems do not tend to branch and have prominent whitish lines.  The leaves are opposite, long and narrowly tapered (up to inches 6 long and ½ inch wide) with smooth margins and a distinctive whitish midvein.  The leaves look very much like those of the willow tree.  

American water willow flowers between the months of May and October.  The flowers are on long stems originating from the base of the leaves. Flowers are 5-petaled orchid-like (3/4 inch diameter), white with purple/violet streaks on the lower petals.  Water-willow can spread from seeds and forms extensive rhizomes by which it forms colonies and spreads rapidly.

American water willow has crept up all over the United States, preferring to reside in habitats such as sandbars, gravelbars, or mudbars of rivers, low islands in rivers or ponds, shallow water or muddy banks of ponds and rivers, shallow water of rocky upland streams, shallow water or wet areas of swamps, and sandy marshes.

If you have American water willow invading your aquatic property, Solutions Pest and Lawn carries a variety of products which can eliminate this weeds presence permanently.

Check out our American water willow control products below. If you have any further questions or concerns, we are available to contact via email, phone or online live chat so don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


How To Get Rid of American Water Willow: 3 Step Solution

Controlling American water willow can be quite a difficult task especially if they have grown to the point of overtaken an entire area. At Solutions, we recommend chemical treatment through the use of aquatic heribicdes as the the best way to remove this invasive species. While mechanical or physical control can also work to knock down these plants it can largely be an ineffective chore as American water willow can quickly regrow from seeds or the roots. However, while aquatic herbicides are the best choice for eliminating American water willow, treatment isn’t as simple as equipping yourself with herbicide and spraying away. Below we have laid out a three step plan to effectively control American water willow.


Step 1: You should begin the treatment process by first conducting a thorough inspection of the body of water. Analyze the size of the water, the vegetation in the water, what wildlife and fishes live in the water as well as what the body of water is used for when ti comes to recreational activities. Various factors must be taken into account before proceeding with purchasing and applying a chemical to the water because you don’t want to damage desired plants and fishes you want in the pond or lake. Also you need to be certain that the weed is indeed American water willow. Often times American water willow can be confused with another species of aquatic weed. If you are not totally sure, send a photo of the weed to us via email at identification@solutionsstores.com and we will help correctly ID the weed and present you with herbicide options to tackle American water willow.


Step 2: Once you have carefully analyzed the water and properly ID’d the weed, you can then proceed with chemical treatment to get rid of the water willow. Solutions Pest and Lawn has a variety of different aquatic herbicides, many which can specifically eliminate American water willow. Our herbicides come in either liquid or granular form which each have their own advantages and disadvantages. What you choose is up to your preference and budget. If you are not sure which aquatic herbicide to use, contact us and we can help you with expert suggestions.


Step 3: Now it’s time to move onto application. Mix the selected aquatic herbicide in a sprayer and then make sure you have proper safety equipment on before moving forward with spraying. You should also select a time in early morning or late evening when the wind is calm to prevent spray drift into unwanted areas when applying the herbicide mixture.


Adjust the nozzle on the spray wand to a narrow spray pattern to allow for decent coverage without an over concentration of the herbicide. Apply the application liberally to the American water willow, but do not apply the herbicide to the point of runoff to reduce the chances of contamination to the water in the area. Depending on the size of the pond or lake, it may be best to apply the herbicide in sections rather than all at once. If you want more detailed how-to instructions check out our knowledge base.

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