How to Control Mare's/Horse Tail

How to Control Mare's/Horse Tail

About Mare's Tail / Horsetail

The name "horsetail" is derived from the Latin Equisetum which translates as equus, meaning horse and seta which means bristle or hair. Its full name is Equisetum arvense (Field Horsetail)

Horsetail can also be known as marestail.

NB: There is another variety of horsetail/  mare’s-tail called Hippuris vulgaris and it is an aquatic weed. This species is very different to 'land-based' horse tail because it is tall, straight with no side branches and can be found in ponds or slow-flowing streams. Suggestions below all refer to field horsetail - NOT the aquatic version

Where does Horse Tail grow? 

Horsetail prefers moist areas but is increasingly found on waste ground, in gardens and on non-cropped areas. It has a thick, silica-rich outer layer and small needle-like leaves. This can make it difficult to get sufficient spray into the plant to kill horse tail.

Is marestail/ horsetail harmful?

Horsetail is a poisonous weed if consumed raw due to the heavy content of silica in the weed. Grazing animals will usually avoid marestail but it can become more palatable as it dies.

Kill Mares Tail/ Kill Horse Tail

Repeated cutting will weaken the rhizomes in Horse Tail but is generally ineffective on its own in killing horse tail as it has a deep and spreading root system. Cultural control methods like digging can often make the problem worse because each broken root fragment can develop into a new plant by itself - multiplying the problem.

Treating horsetail with Kurtail Evo & Kplus

Kurtail Evo is the new weed killer just introduced by ProGreen - the number one name in marestail control. Kurtail Evo will show symptons of weed control on the marestail or horsetail as well as other broad leaved weeds and grasses in about 10-14 days. You may need successive applications to control newly emerged weeds that grow from untreated roots. Weed control results can be made even more consistent by adding KPlus to the spray tank

Try to target the weed when it is 6-8" tall (15-20cm) rather than when it first emerges.  This will ensure more herbicide moves down to the roots.

Sprayed horsetail usually takes 1-2 weeks for the weed to show symptoms, but it will take longer to rot down and disappear, so be patient.  Full control and translocation of the product down to the roots can take 4-5 weeks. Once it is black and dead it may be raked/ or cleared away. If you are looking to kill mares tail in a paddock it will eventually rot down and disappear. Then it is safe to graze on and bale for hay. Please note that all grass species will also be killed by Kurtail Evo

You can currently use a boom sprayer to apply Kurtail Evo. There are three pack sizes available to suit all the requirements of all users. ProGreen supplies Kurtail Evo in 0.5 L, 1 L and 5 L pack sizes There is no chemical effect on the soil and no residual effect from the treatment

Please see our table below for information on Kurtail Evo or visit the Kurtail Product Listing here:

Treating horsetail with SBK Brushwood Killer & Kplus

ProGreen has a great alternative to Kurtail Evo which has a few unique features.   When combined with the water conditioner KPlus, SBK Brushwood Killer becomes an extremely effective option against this troublesome target weed. Kplus maximises the effect of the herbicide by preventing herbicide ions locking up onto the free calcium ions in water.

Try to time the application, when most of the weeds are at least 6-8" tall (15-20cm) and not as they first emerge.  Sprayed horsetail usually takes 7-14 days or the weed to show symptoms of control , but it will take longer to rot down and disappear, so be patient.  Successive applications are usually necessary to control further emergence of root fragments.    Full control and translocation of the product down to the roots can take 4-5 weeks. Once it is completely dead it may be raked or cleared away. 

However, what sets this product apart are three useful benefits which cannot be matched by alternative options.

  1. SBK & Kplus has a full approval to be applied via a hand-held sprayer which makes it especially suitable for small scale areas. ProGreen can offer a full range of hand-held sprayers from a simple pump sprayer to larger knapsack options.
  2. SBK is also generally safe to most grass species so is particularly suitable where horsetail is growing in lawns, paddocks or pasture.
  3. SBK is also very effective on other troublesome species such as nettles, thistles, brambles and small samplings.

For more advice please call us on 0800 032 6262 or email us

For more information on Kurtail Evo & KPlus+ click here

Products for Treating Horse Tail Weed/ Mares Tail Weed

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