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East End News

Orchard close to being planted, be careful of the weedkiller

Back in late spring, a field of kudzu in lower Chimborazo (set to be an apple orchard) was charmingly cleared by a herd of hired goats. If you’ve been through recently, though, you might have observed that field is a flat, brown emptiness.

A neighbor wrote in earlier this week with worries that the new field is being sprayed with harmful weedkiller:

Around 10:30 this morning the field was sprayed with a noxious smelling spray out of a tanker on the back of a non-municipal truck. As one of the people who was witness to this commented “kinda reminds me of agent orange that I was exposed to in ‘Nam.”

As of 15 minutes ago there was still no sign posted to warn people that they might want to avoid walking their pets through said field. Dog walkers have helped make Chimborazo safe for joggers, tree stewards and families. Let’s make sure Chimborazo is safe for pets and their families, too.

I reached out to John Sydnor of the Enrichmond Foundation for some clarification, but he didn’t know anything about the spraying. He said that he’d reach out to the city and get back to me.

As far as the orchard itself, Sydnor says that the project is slowly moving forward. Fence hardware has been purchased, trees are being picked, the planting schedule is being finalized, and that they are “close to putting shovel to dirt.”

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Alli Alligood 10/23/2014 at 9:12 AM

I hope the City has a good explanation for this. It’s totally unacceptable to expose folks — and other animals — to unknown chemicals without posting both a warning/announcement BEFORE it’s done, and a sign explaining what’s there for us to walk through after the fact. Thanks for posting this.

John Vetrovec 10/23/2014 at 9:17 AM

I was wondering how it was suddenly cleared. The kudzu was back 2 weeks after the goats were gone, then all of a sudden it was gone again.

spacecat 10/23/2014 at 11:41 AM

The orchard trees can also absorb chemicals in the ground, like RoundUp residue and lead from the Fulton gas works…

crd 10/23/2014 at 12:17 PM

A number of years ago, the city sprayed the sidewalks in Libbie Hill Park and the grass turned orange. I called Parks and Rec and the guy I talked to said it was “totally safe.” I asked what they’d used, and he said mix of Triox and 2/4D, if memory serves. A friend who was in Vietnam said that was what went into Agent Orange….to echo the person who witnessed the spraying here.

@4 yea, I’d worry about that, too. Would not touch any fruit from that orchard for a few years to come.

Christy 10/23/2014 at 5:11 PM

I give this Photoshop situation an A+++++

Mars 10/23/2014 at 5:26 PM

What kind of truck was it? I saw a pickup truck spraying poison oak in Gillies one day this summer. They were not city employees.

spacecat 10/26/2014 at 1:57 PM

Glyphosate or ‘RoundUp’ is a very common defoliant. Possibly used at the orchard site. Wikipedia info on toxicity:

I guess the goats were just greenwashing. Why bother with goats at all if they’re just going to nuke the place with defoliants?


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