How to Control Field Horsetail

What is Field Horsetail?

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense), sometimes called mares tail, is a tough perennial weed that has roots extending to 2m deep. It spreads very quickly to form a thick carpet of foliage with negative consequences on other vegetation and the appearance of landscapes. 

In early spring the plant produces brown asparagus like stems topped with cone-like structures. In summer it grows into light-green shoots resembling a small fir tree up to 60cm in height with a rough and waxy texture. 

How does Field Horsetail spread?

The plant reproduces by spores that are dispersed in the wind and new stems can regenerate from rhizome fragments and from tubers. They can easily spread underground into neighbouring gardens and spores may reach great distances from the original plant.

Horse Tail Hex

Field Horsetail

Manual Control

Removal of horsetail by hand is challenging.  Shallow weeding is not sufficient enough and can actually make the problem worse as it can re-grow from any tiny pieces that were not completely dug up. Removing shoots as soon as they start appearing can weaken the infestation although larger excavation may be required to remove the entire rhizome structure.

Herbicide Control

Strong weedkillers are effective in controlling Horsetail and are best applied in late summer. Horsetail is very persistent and may take several applications over a number of years to eradicate the problem. JBB Knotweed Solutions are trusted and recommended to deliver a reliable and consistent treatment plan for complete control.

Invasive Species

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