Herbicide Stick Applicator: The Makutu

Everyone needs a good applicator for the variety of herbicides used in prairie and savanna restoration and conservation. The Makutu is the answer to all the applicator problems you have had in the past. Here I provide a description of this device the Glacial Prairies Chapter has developed at the request of one of Glacial Prairie Chapter’s stellar volunteers.

Applying herbicide to woody vegetation, either on cut stems or to basal bark, is a part of the work we do. Finding a good applicator was a challenge for the Glacial Prairie Chapter. Foam brushes don't last long and using an open container filled with herbicide in which to dip the brush raises the risk of spills; spray bottles and devices that drip hebicide may be suitable for larger cut sufaces, such as tree stumps, but are not appropriate for smaller surfaces like saplings and brush stems. Walter Mirk from GPC took up the challenge and has designed The Makutu. After three different iterations in four years, he is finally satisfied with the latest version. It has an angled wick end, a see-through reservoir to avoid over-filling, a valve to control the flow of herbicide and an easily replaceble, cost-effective wick made out of synthetic fleece used for applying oil-based polyurethane to wood floors. The durable wick is readily and economically replaceable with accessible material.

There is no waste with the Makutu and one fill of the reservoir covers a large area. The reservoir holds 20 ounces (2.5 cups) and proper use ensures no drips, making it very economical and safe for surrounding vegetation. It is very light weight, made of PVC pipe and fittings. The wick is just the right size for for targeted applications.
Walter has tested this final design in the field and logged over 150 hours with his personal Makutu! Detailed instructions are included with each Makutu including how to fill, use it and how to replace the wick—a simple and inexpensive procedure.  
 
One can employ two Makutus—one for water-based solutions and one for oil-based solutions—or one can change wicks. There are two sizes: a 59 inch Makutu which avoids being on your knees or bending over, and a 27 inch for working alone with a pruner to treat small stems.
 
We can ship or arrange for pickup/drop off if you are in the SE Wisconsin (Glacial Prairie Chapter area).The Makutu ships for $8 via USPS. 


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