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Removing Sycamore Seedlings in Paddocks

Why It's Important To Remove Sycamore Seeds From Paddock & Pastures?

Sycamore seeds and leaves can be found in paddocks and pastures. These could have been blown over from fields and Acer trees (Sycamore trees) in the vicinity. Ingestion of the toxic sycamore seeds, leaves or saplings by grazing horses (usually in Autumn or Spring time) can result in an illness called Atypical myopathy or Sycamore poisoning. This can often prove fatal to horses by causing muscle damage often effecting mainly the muscles which a horse uses to stand and breathe. The amount of toxin within each seed/sapling varies greatly and each horse’s susceptibility to the disease varies from horse to horse. Therefore, it is vital to remove all seedlings and saplings from any areas as soon as they are spotted.

What to do if you spot them you field?

Remove horses from the area with suspected sycamore seedling/saplings immediately. Securely fence of any areas where you suspect has seedling and/or saplings. If you are struggling to identify sycamore seedling or saplings, then contact our technical qualified Agronomist for help with identification.

How To Control Sycamore Seedlings? 

Remove any seeds on the ground by raking them up. Apply a specialist mixture of 2 weedkillers; Envy and Vivendi with blue dye in the tank so you can see where has been sprayed. Our recommended application rates; Boom sprayer is 2L per Ha of Envy and 400ml per Ha of Vivendi.Knapsack sprayer is 100ml of Envy and 20ml of Vivendi in 10L of water. There is a minimum grazing interval or 14 days after applying the chemical.

The best time to chemically treat sycamore saplings is when they are actively growing in the spring time.

Future Prevention

1. Try to identify the original source of the seedling and investigate ways to prevent the seeds travelling in future (e.g. cutting a sycamore tree overhanging a field right back) If you cannot do this then fence of any areas where sycamore seeds are likely to fall.

2. Inspect fields regularly to identify any new seeds, saplings and leaves.

3. If pasture is poor then supply extra forage (hay or haylage).

4. Reduce stock density, so there is enough quality grazing for each horse.

5. Turn out horses for shorter periods (less than 6 hours).

6. Contact your vet as soon as your concerned.

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