Burning Cogongrass

Cogongrass 004

Early last week, Mark Coram and I were looking at cogongrass on their plantation. Some parts of the leaf were turning green, and we were easily able to make an ID by the off centered midrib. We also pulled up some rhizomes. The rhizomes of cogongrass are sharp from the ground. This is a very small spot – actually an average size spot. My photo does not show it all, but it is textbook shape- a small circle and moving in a line away from the circle. It was likely brought in from a harrow. They are getting close to burning and we discussed the threat of cogongrass burning hot and injuring trees.

Off-center midrib

Off-center midrib

This is true and we want to be cautious about burning cogongrass since it can burns around 850 degrees F. Georgia Forestry Commision Forest Health Specilist Mark McClure says most trees on our plantations are widely spaced and damage from burning cogongrass is not a high risk. Mark says this is actually a good time to burn cogongrass and is a good idea to burn it if we see it. This is because fresh growth of cogongrass helps when treated. Mark McClure coordinates the Task Force of the Georgia Forestry Commission which treats reported cogongrass.

If you see what looks like cogongrass, call the Georgia Forestry Commission or the Extension Office (225-4130) to get a positive ID so it can be treated at no charge to the landowner.

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