Dragged-rail treatments for reducing cholla infestation in Southeast New Mexico, USA

Robert D. Cox, Braden G. Johns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Cholla infestations can be problematic on rangelands in North America, Australia, Africa, and Europe, and treatment options for this plant are limited because of its ability to resprout from broken stem fragments. We investigated dragged-rail treatments, where iron rails are dragged across the rangeland by tractor and knock plants over while uprooting them, as a treatment option for tree cholla in southeast New Mexico. Railing effectively controlled tree cholla plants over 0.5 m tall, but did not effectively control plants smaller than 0.5 m. Nevertheless, treatment did effectively reduce overall cholla density: Treated areas averaged 40 to 50 plants ha-1, whereas nontreated areas averaged over 350 plants ha-1. Railing can be an effective means of cholla control, especially if followed by another treatment, such as prescribed fire, that is known to be effective against the smaller sizes of cholla.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-289
Number of pages4
JournalWeed Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Cholla
  • Cylindropuntia imbricata
  • control
  • railing


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