Letters to the Editor

Herbicide misuse

August 1, 2009


I have been walking through Oak Hill Cemetery for the past 20 years, and it has always been a place of beauty, affording peace of mind as I walk along the quiet roads amid the lush green grass, graveside plantings and time-worn trees.

Fast forward to this summer … gone is the serenity and lush grass. In its place is a wide brown ring of dead grass from the use of herbicide around every gravestone, water faucet and tree.

The death-brown color created from herbicide simply does not blend well with nature. It is not soothing to the eye; it is offensive, especially where its use is blatantly unnecessary as on flat stones flush to the ground or where it has killed graveside plantings. The dead grass looks incongruous in the old sections encircling the stones that are over 100 years old. Yet it looks equally hideous in the newer sections.

Put bluntly, Oak Hill Cemetery is an embarrassing eyesore.

The use of herbicide is so prevalent and misused that without the roots of the grass to hold the soil, erosion is occurring around numerous stones. The ground has washed away leaving the footings of many stones showing. In other places the erosion is so bad the stones have shifted.

The city needs to rethink its policy on the use of herbicides in the upkeep of Oak Hill Cemetery and bring it back to its former verdant beauty.


BigPrune 8 years, 7 months ago

We certainly don't want to contaminate the soil where we keep dead people. Quite frankly I cannot find a good weed killer anymore. I'd like to know what the City uses to kill weeds. I've done roundup and others, and I might as well be putting weed & feed on my lawn because the treated weeds do not die. I was wondering if the government may have required removal of the key ingredient in weed killer for this year? I bet they did. But isn't the cemetary nothing but mowed weeds anyway?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Weeds become immune to herbicides thus a more toxic variety must be born. Who knows what the toxic levels of carcinogenic products are being broadcast on thousands of yards? The applicators have no clue.

Hire weed pullers instead of toxic carcinogenic chemicals!

And/or herbicide manufacturers have found yet another way to get in your pocket ...... offering less potent solutions thus americans buy more in their never ending quest for a weed free society.

Notice how so called weeds keep coming back and human killing cancer rates continue to increase. AND medical insurance rates go up?

“In front of me I have a document from my employer that shows their cost for insurance.

Medical, Dental and Vision for the year 2010 my employer will pay $15,450. I will pay another $2860 out of my pay check. $18,310 a year for insurance is ludicrous, and we wonder why so many companies are having massive layoffs. It is a real travesty that nothing is going to happen in the near future on health care.”

Weeds and insurance are expensive.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Weeds and grass go together. A lush green is far more beautiful than a toxic brown.

labmonkey 8 years, 7 months ago

I am sure there is a lawn service out there willing to take this on instead of using weed killer. It is stupid to use weed killer here.


Personally, I mix RoundUp and Crossbow....works really well.

labmonkey 8 years, 7 months ago


That is if you want to kill everything...I wouldn't put that mixture on my yard.

been_there 8 years, 7 months ago

I don't think they're using weed killer, I think it is vegetation killer that kills everything. That way they do not have to take the time to maneuver around the headstones or use a weedeater. The school district uses it too.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

How does anyone know when people will want to visit grave sites?

How does anyone know how many of these visitors do NOT wished to be exposed to toxic chemicals during their visit?

People many times walk their pets through the cemetery which labels warn against exposing pets,children and pregnant moms to toxic chemicals.

Some people like to wander about the cemetery viewing old tombstones.

The quite small signage is not necessarily easy to see.

Who would want their scheduled visits controlled by toxic chemical applications? Visiting loved ones can be an emotional event so let's keep it safe always.

Notice how so called weeds keep coming back and human killing cancer rates continue to increase.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 7 months ago

"edjayhawk (Anonymous) says…I'm surprised that Tom Shewmon and all of his Republican Nazi buddies haven't posted saying this is some Leftist, pro-environmental, anti-business LTE…"

Godwin FTW.

She is Richard Heckler's (aka Merrill) wife. Why post the obvious? Why do the Hecklers hate college professors? After all, that college professor was nearly killed weeding!

puddleglum 8 years, 7 months ago

Tumbilweeds is commenting about pulling weeds!

how cool.

is big Prune into pruning?

is Puddleglum glumming about the puddles in the cemetery?

this story was originally written by the corrupt liberal news media outlet aka fox news.

Tom hasn't had time to write anything yet-cuz we are still working on our sarah palin 2012 statue, which we will put out by the cemetery when we are done.

tom knows she is the hottest politician out there, but I constantly debate that ann coulter's 4 1/2 foot-long arms tingle my spine like a ptyerodactyl playing with a ladder.

if it just weren't for that annoying voice of hers.

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 7 months ago

I find it utterly grotesque to even think about visiting a cemetery. When I go I am going to be cremated and put into an urn. No gravestone, no grass cutting, no weed pulling, just a beautiful green urn in its niche. And, a small plaque on the niche that says, "there is not a moment to be lost."

gphawk89 8 years, 7 months ago

They might have used something like Pramitol without realizing what they were getting themselves into. Basically ground sterilizer - one application and nothing will grow there for a couple of years. And it goes wherever the rainwater pulls it into the ground. I've seen that stuff kill full-grown trees. Read the label before you spray...

BigPrune 8 years, 7 months ago

Where do you purchase Pramitol?

Frankly, I don't know why you'd want to walk a cemetary daily anyway - it is a bit morbid.

I however drove through Oak Hill Cemetary and got out and looked at some headstones today. I didn't see any brown dead stuff around the headstones. I'd like to know where the letter writer was looking.

...and edjayhawk, it is not the conservatives who are the Nazi's. Just look at the Obama regime. I rest my case.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

The brown dead stuff is all over the place as the letter writer stated. Around the bottom edges of the headstones is nothing but dirt where vegetation once grew accented with dead brown stuff. Now it erodes during rains. Vegetation roots prevent ugly and wasteful top soil erosion.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 7 months ago

"Richard Heckler (Anonymous) says… The brown dead stuff is all over the place as the letter writer stated."

The letter writer is your wife. Do you practice this stuff at home so you can spam the local paper even more effective?

christy kennedy 8 years, 7 months ago


I don't know you but you remind me of several individuals I knew in about the third grade. I believe the comment section is designed for people wishing to debate the topic in the letter.

The herbicide use described does sound inappropriate and ineffective, even if appearance alone is a consideration. And it sounds like it will take more time and energy to deal with the resulting damage — hiring a couple of landscapers / gardeners sounds like a better idea.

gl0ck0wn3r 8 years, 7 months ago

"ckennedy (christy kennedy) says…I don't know you but you remind me of several individuals I knew in about the third grade. I believe the comment section is designed for people wishing to debate the topic in the letter."

Really? Did you design the comment section? Are you in charge? In this case, pointing out that the LTE is married to the person spamming the comment section is particularly germane because of your second paragraph. The LTE's husband a) writes on this topic frequently and b) mows lawns for a living. Perhaps she's trolling for business for her husband?

gphawk89 8 years, 7 months ago

"Where do you purchase Pramitol?"

Online. Or maybe at a farm supply store. Not sold at any retail store in Lawrence that I know of. You might need a license to purchase it.

cthulhu_4_president 8 years, 7 months ago

"Notice how so called weeds keep coming back and human killing cancer rates continue to increase."

Fail. Correlation not equal to causation. Please try again, or display some evidence.

HW 8 years, 7 months ago

Orschelns might carry Pramitol. If they don't, Town and Country in Ottawa has it. Saw it in there last time I was out there. Pricey, but effective. It is hghly mobile through soil if there is any moisture though, as someone else said. Great for gravel driveways and such.

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