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Marestail/horse tail

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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.
Horsetail is also known as marestail, mare’s-tail is an aquatic weed, Hippuris vulgaris, which is commonly found in ponds or slow flowing streams.

Horsetail prefers moist and shady areas but is increasingly found on waste ground and non-cropped areas. It has a thick waxy cuticle and small needle-like leaves that make it difficult to get sufficient spray into the plant to kill the roots. Repeated cutting will weaken rhizomes but is generally ineffective on its own as horsetail has a deep root system. Cultural control methods can often make the problem worse.

Is marestail/horsetail harmful?

Horsetail is a poisonous weed if consumed. Grazing animals usually avoid it but it becomes more palatable as it dies.

Treating horsetail with Kurtail

Kurtail is a total weedkiller and will kill horsetail, weeds and grass in about 7-10 days. It will kill the horsetail systemically, right through to the root and treated plants will not grow back. You may need to treat new plants that grow from untreated roots, but once sprayed they too will be completely controlled.

Sprayed horsetail usually takes 1-2 weeks to look dead, but it will take longer to rot down and disappear. Only once it has gone is the grass safe to graze or bale for hay. Although the method of eradication sounds dramatic, there are no alternative chemicals that can reliably control horsetail in grassland, so Kurtail is the only product that will put a stop to the weed.

You can use a tractor or knapsack to apply Kurtail and you can re-plant immediately after treatment on all soils except sands, which require a 3 day gap.  There is no chemical effect on the soil and no residuality from the treatment.

Have a look at our videos which show horsetail before and after (12 days after treatment).

For more information on Kurtail click here

Please see our table below for information on Kurtail:

Active Ingredient Glufosinate-ammonium
Rate 25ml/1ltr for 50m2
Pack size 0.5ltr
Coverage 1,000m2
Mode of Action Contact
Following crop No residual effect
Area of use Cropped and non-cropped land
Weeds controlled  
Marestail Yes (spray onto 20cm stems)
Grasses Yes
Other weeds Most annual and perennial weeds


Summary for when to use Kurtail: contact herbicide on established horsetail/marestail, without leaving a soil residue, can replant soon after.

For more advice please contact us on freephone 0800 032 6262 or email us


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