Clopyralid, picloram, triclopyr, metsulfuron, and tebuthiuron were applied to control kudzu on four loblolly pine forest regeneration sites during July 1997. Spot treatments were applied to recovering kudzu in June 1998 and June 1999. Soil leachate was monitored for these five herbicides from July 1997 to December 2000. All herbicides were detected in shallow (51–58 cm deep) and deep lysimeters (84–109 cm deep). Clopyralid was not persistent and limited leaching occurred, with residue levels of 0.4 to 2.8 μg L−1 in 12 of 102 deep lysimeter samples. Picloram was mobile and persisted at 0.6 to 2.5 μg L−1 in shallow and deep lysimeters for at least 10 mo after the initial application. Triclopyr residues were not persistent in shallow lysimeters and remained < 6 μg L−1 during the study. Metsulfuron persisted at < 0.1 μg L−1 for 182 to 353 d in shallow lysimeters and at < 0.07 μg L−1 for 182 to 300 d in the deep lysimeters in various plots. Tebuthiuron peaks in the deep lysimeters ranged from 69 to 734 μg L−1 34 to 77 d after the first spot treatment. In the soil that was essentially a fill area, tebuthiuron residues remained > 400 μg L−1 (402–1,660 μg L−1) in the shallow lysimeter samples and > 180 μg L−1 (181–734 μg L−1) in the deep lysimeters throughout a 354-d period that followed the first spot application. When used as part of a forest regeneration program, the relative potentials of the herbicides to move into shallow groundwater were: tebuthiuron > picloram > metsulfuron > clopyralid > triclopyr.
Nomenclature: Clopyralid; metsulfuron; picloram; tebuthiuron; triclopyr; kudzu, Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merr. PUEMO; loblolly pine, Pinus taeda L. PINTA.