Fayetteville Policies and Procedures  730.0 

Vegetation Management Policy

Campus vegetation management is the responsibility of Facilities Management and is accomplished by the Grounds Maintenance Division. Vegetation management in its broad sense includes planting, pruning, mowing, fertilizing, irrigation and necessary removal of undesirable plants. In its strict sense, vegetation management refers primarily to the control of unwanted vegetation by mechanical means, cultural practices and the use of herbicides. Since this policy is intended to regulate the safe use of toxic materials in the landscape, it also covers other pesticides, such as insecticides and fungicides used to protect the health of landscape plantings.

The specific intent of this policy is to control:

  • vegetation which obstructs traffic signs, signals, street lights, safety fixtures or markings placed in the public way
  • vegetation which is a hazard to persons using campus walk-ways or other spaces intended for their use (e.g., poison ivy, thorns, plants known to produce severe allergens)
  • vegetation which is a hazard to constructed facilities where allowing the vegetation to remain will cause deterioration of a campus structure or improvement (example: weeds in concrete expansion joints) 
  • vegetation which obstructs surface or underground water drainage facilities on campus
  • vegetation which causes deterioration of the quality of lawns and other landscape plantings on the campus
  • insect and disease pests which threaten the health of plant material on campus

The goal of this policy is to protect the campus landscape through the removal of unwanted and destructive vegetation by an integrated approach employing biological, mechanical and chemical means. A corollary goal is to accomplish such vegetation management in a manner that minimizes any risk of injury and inconvenience to the campus community. This policy is consistent with the Vegetation Management Policy and Procedures of the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas (adopted February, 1991) in applicable and similar situations. This policy extends beyond the management of unwanted vegetation to include the use of other pesticides normally employed in landscape maintenance operations.

Vegetation Management Procedures


All herbicides used on the campus shall be materials and formulations registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for vegetation control in public use areas. Materials include a range of different chemical classes with different modes of action. Materials selected for specific vegetation removal situations shall be those which pose the least risk to humans and other non-target organisms from toxicity in terms of potency and residue persistence. Selection of all herbicides will be made in consultation with weed scientists from the UofA Department of Agronomy as appropriate.


The designation, insecticide, shall denote compounds commonly called such to include miticide and nematocides. All insecticides used on the campus shall be materials and formulations registered by the EPA for control of targeted insects in public use areas. Materials used will include a range of different chemical classes with different modes of action. Specific materials selected for use shall be those which pose the least risk to humans and other non-targeted organisms from toxicity and residue persistence. A preference shall be given to biological control agents over non-biological toxicants. Selection of all insecticides will be made in consultation with the UofA Department of Entomology as appropriate.


The designation, fungicide, shall include bactericides and all other classes of plant disease control agents or plant protectants. All fungicides used on campus shall be materials and formulations registered by EPA. Materials used will include a range of different chemical classes with different modes of action. Specific materials selected for use shall be those which post the least risk to humans and other non-target organisms from toxicity and residue persistence. A preference will be given to biological control strategies over nonbiological toxicants. Selection of specific materials will be made in consultation with the UofA Department of Plant Pathology as appropriate. 

Application Procedures

All pesticide applications shall be made in strict compliance with label directions. Application of spray materials shall only be made on days when wind drift potential is minimal and wind velocity is less than eight (8) miles per hour and rainfall is not likely to occur within 24 hours. Application methods must assure precision of application to the target area only. Application in which material may contact and remain on paved surfaces shall be made at a time when such surfaces are minimally used or not used by pedestrians or vehicles. Attempts shall be made to apply pesticides at times of the day when fewest people are on campus and on weekends when campus buildings are closed.

Pesticide applications to shrubs and trees shall be made in a manner to minimize spray-through of the plant canopy and the direction of spray oriented so that spray-through or over-spray shall have minimal contact with non-target vegetation, buildings and site furnishings. A field determination of air movement at the plant location shall be made before spraying begins. Spraying shall not be done if wind visibly moves plant foliage.

Sensitive Areas

Sensitive areas are those locations which support unique or fragile elements of the campus environment or where high potential exists for direct human exposure. Extreme care must be taken if pesticides are used in sensitive areas identified as:

  • locations within or immediately surrounding playground equipment for children; e.g., sandboxes, swings
  • areas known to have rare or endangered species of plants or animals
  • any bodies of water or streams in which children routinely play or where domestic animals derive drinking water
  • any areas in which the possibility exists for contaminating ground water or underground aquifers

Priority Use Areas

Since pesticides are intended as only one of several strategies for control of unwanted plants or reducing insect and disease problems on campus, the following priority use areas are identified as:

  • locations with noxious weeds
  • unwanted vegetation which causes destruction of walkways, roadways and other paved surfaces
  • areas where new plantings have been established or renovation has been accomplished
  • landscape plantings and turf in areas of high visibility from roadways and major pedestrian thoroughfares

Public Notification of Applications

Notification of the use of pesticides shall be made by posting of signs at the perimeter of application areas. Such signs shall state that the area has been treated and that human contact with the area should not occur. Signs shall be erected prior to the beginning of application and remain in place until the material solution has dried and the area is usable in accordance with the manufacturer’s label. All applicators shall have in their possession the technical label of the material being applied and allow the campus public access to such information, upon request.

In the case of pesticide applications to shrubs and trees around campus buildings, Facilities Management shall notify the custodial supervisor of the building in advance so that all windows (and exterior doors) may be closed prior to applications to minimize the risk of spray droplets entering the interior environment.

Application Equipment

All equipment to be used in the application of pesticides shall be that which is manufactured for that specific task. Nozzles on all spray equipment shall be calibrated on a monthly basis during the season of use. Protective clothing and other protective devices, as recommended by the manufacturer on the pesticide label, shall be provided to the applicator and the property used by the applicator.

All equipment and pesticide materials used on the campus shall be stored in compliance with all applicable regulations in a safe, secure manner. All empty pesticide containers and rinse water from equipment shall be disposed of in accordance with label directions. 

Applicator Training

All pesticide applicators shall be trained in the proper use and safety of pesticide applications. Applicators shall comply with all regulations for licensure prescribed by the Arkansas State Plant Board. Each pesticide applicator and vegetation management direct supervisor shall annually attend the training session, Vegetation Management in Public Places/Herbicide Applicator Training for Non-Commercial Grounds and Rights-of-Way Maintenance. This one day session will be conducted by personnel of the UofA Department of Agronomy and the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

Record Keeping

Each pesticide applicator shall complete a field log recording the following information:

  • date and time of application
  • specific location of application
  • material and rate used
  • purpose of application (target species)
  • recorded temperature, wind speed and general weather conditions
  • applicator’s name and license number authorizing applicator to perform services

The pesticide supervisor(s) shall file these log records for 10 years.

Reformatted for Web May 27, 2014
Revised March, 2002
June 1, 1991