Herbicides are more cost-effective than alternative weed control methods for increasing early growth of Eucalyptus dunnii and Eucalyptus saligna
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Effective weed control is an essential management task in establishing commercial tree plantations. Much of the current weed control strategies employed in Australian forestry relies on the use of available herbicides. However, given community concern regarding the use of herbicides, investigation of alternative weed control methods is warranted. We tested the ability and cost-effectiveness of mechanical (hand weeding and inter-row slashing), mulching (sawdust over newsprint, woodchips and jute), cover crops and herbicide applications for weed control in establishing eucalypt plantations. Jute matting and herbicide treatments reduced weed competition and increased seedling growth to age 2 years in plantations of Eucalyptus dunnii and Eucalyptus saligna in northern NSW, Australia. Growth increased by 269 % (Experiment 1) and 196 % (Experiment 2) in the Jute and by 216 % (Experiment 2) in the Herbicide treatments when compared to the control (no weed control) at 2 years age. As the Jute material deteriorated, after nearly 2 years, weed cover increased and there were significantly more weeds present in the Jute treatment compared to the Herbicide treatment. Jute matting costs approximately 15 times more than the herbicide regime used and, therefore, could not presently be considered a viable option for weed control in commercial eucalypt plantations. Other weed control treatments, including hand weeding, sawdust and woodchip mulches, slashing and sowing cover crops did not effectively control weeds and did not improve survival or increase seedling growth to age 2 relative to the control. We conclude that herbicides remain the most cost-effective weed control option available to commercial growers of eucalypt plantations.
- Ascard J. 1995. Effects of flame weeding on weed species at different developmental stages. Weed Research 35: 397–411.
- Baker T.G., Cameron J.N., Fagg P.C. and Matthews D. 1988. Effect of timing and rate of hexaxinone application on weed control and early growth of Pinus radiata on two contrasting sites. Aust. For. 51: 92–97.
- Balneaves J.M. 1981. The use of 2,4,5–trichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4,5–T) in forestry in the South Island, New Zealand. N. Z. J. For. 26: 232–244.
- Balneaves J.M. 1982. Grass control for radiata pine establishment on droughty sites. N. Z. J. For. 27: 259–276.
- Balneaves J.M. and Christie M. 1988. Long-term growth response of radiata pine to herbaceous weed control at establishment. N. Z. J. For. 33: 24–25.
- Balneaves J.M. and McCord A.R. 1990. Gorse control: a trying experience at Ashley forest. In: Bassett C., Whitehouse L.J. and Zabkiewicz J.A. (eds), Alternatives to Chemical Control of Weeds, Proceedings of an International Conference, July 1989; Rotorua, New Zealand, Ministry of Forestry, FRI Bulletin 155., pp. 150–156.
- Bonny L. 1991. Growth of a Eucalyptus grandis plantation following intensive silvicultural treatments applied in the first six years. Forestry Commission of New South Wales, Australia, Research Paper No. 12. pp. 19.
- Brand D.G. 1991. Biological and Economic productivity of Canadian silvicultural regimes. In: Menzies M.I., Parrott G.E. and Whitehouse L.J. (eds), Efficiency of Stand Establishment Operations, proceedings, IUFRO Symposium, held at the Forest Research Institute, Rotorua, New Zealand, 11–15 September, 1989, FRI Bulletin 156., pp. 324–332.
- Cellier K.M. and Stephens C.G. 1980. Effect of fertilizer and weed control on the early growth of Pinus radiata D. Don in Southern Australia. Aust. For. Res. 10: 141–153.
- de Boer D. 1970. Chemical release of Pinus radiata in grasslands. Appita. 23: 291–298.
- Dyck W.J. and Beets P.N. 1987. Managing for long-term site productivity. N.Z. For. 32: 23–26.
- Ellis R.C., Webb D.P., Graley A.M. and Rout A.F. 1985. The effect of weed competition and N nutrition on the growth of seedlings of Eucalyptus delegatensis in a highland area of Tasmania. Aust. For. Res. 15: 395–408.
- Fagg P.C. 1988. Weed control techniques for the establishment of Eucalyptus regnans plantations on pasture sites. Aust. For. 52: 28–38.
- Flint L.E. and Childs S.W. 1987. Effect of shading, mulching and vegetation control on Douglas-Fir seedling growth and soil water supply. For. Ecol. Man. 18: 189–203.
- Florence R.G. 1996. Ecology and silviculture of eucalypt forests. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne, Australia. 413.
- Francis P.J. 1984. The role of cultivation in plantation establishment in subtropical Eastern Australia. In: Grey D.C., Schonau A.P.G. and Schutz C.F. (eds), Site and Productivity of Fast-Growing Plantations, Proceedings of the IUFRO Symposium, 30 Apr-11 May 1984; Pretoria and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Forest Research Institute, Pretoria, pp. 579–587.
- Gupta G.N. 1991. Effects of mulching and fertilizer application on initial development of some tree species. For. Ecol. Man. 44: 211–221.
- Haywood J.D. 1999. Durability of selected mulches, their ability to control weeds, and influence growth of loblolly pine seedlings. New For. 18: 263–276.
- Haywood J.D. 2000. Mulch and hexazinone herbicide shorten the time longleaf pine seedlings are in the grass stage and increase height growth. New For. 19: 279–290.
- Haywood J.D., Tiarks A.E. and Sword M.A. 1997. Fertilization, weed control, and pine litter influence loblolly pine stem productivity and root development. New For. 14: 233–249.
- Knutson R.D., Hall C.R., Smith E.G., Cotner S.D. and Miller J.W. 1997. Pesticide-free production a ''disaster''. Commercial Grower. 52: 8–10.
- McDonald P.M. and Fiddler G.O. 1993. Feasibility of alternatives to herbicides in young conifer plantations in California. Can. J. For. Res. 23: 2015–2022.
- McDonald P.M., Fiddler G.O. and Henry W.T. 1994. Large mulches and manual release enhance growth of ponderosa pine seedlings. New For. 8: 169–178.
- McDonald P.M. and Helgerson O.T. 1990. Mulches aid in regenerating California and Oregon forests: past, present and future. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-123 Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Berkeley, CA 19.
- Messina M.G. 1990. Herbicides increase growth responses to fertiliser in a 5–year-old Eucalyptus regnans plantation. N. Z. For. Sci. 20: 168–175.
- Minko G. 1985. Cost of thinning regeneration in second-rotation radiata pine plantations with a motorized brushcutter and with a hand slasher. Aust. For. Res. 15: 515–520.
- Nambiar E.K.S. and Zed P.G. 1980. Influence of weeds on the water potential, nutrient content and growth of young radiata pine. Aust. For. Res. 10: 279–288.
- Richardson B. 1993. Vegetation management practices in plantation forests of Australia and New Zealand. Can. J. For. Res. 23: 1989–2005.
- Sands R. and Nambiar E.K.S. 1984. Water relations of Pinus radiata in competition with weeds. Can. J. For. Res. 14: 233–237.
- Smethurst P.J. and Nambiar E.K.S. 1989. Role of weeds in the management of nitrogen in a young Pinus radiata plantation. New For. 3: 203–224.
- Squire R.O. 1977. Interacting effects of grass competition, fertilizing and cultivation on the early growth of Pinus radiata D. Don. Aust. For. Res. 7: 247–252.
- Stone C. and Clarke A.R. 1998. A phytocentric approach towards future pest management in Australian Eucalypt plantations-an alternative to classical IPM. In: Zalucki M.P., Drew R.A.I. and White G. (eds), Pest Management-Future Challenges; Proceedings of Sixth Australasian Applied Entomological Research Conference, Brisbane, 29 Sept.-2 Oct. 1998., pp. 144–152.
- Sutherland O.R. and Hill R.L. 1990. History and protocols for biological control of weeds in New Zealand. In: Bassett C., Whitehouse L.J. and Zabkiewicz J.A. (eds), Alternatives to Chemical Control ofWeeds, Proceedings of an International Conference, July 1989; Rotorua, New Zealand, Ministry of Forestry, FRI Bulletin 155., pp. 18–24.
- Swanton C.J. and Weise S.F. 1991. Integrated weed management: the rationale and approach. Weed Technology 5: 657–663.
- Teasdale J.R. 1996. Contribution of cover crops to weed management in sustainable agricultural systems. Journal of Production Agriculture 9: 475–479.
- Tiarks A.E. and Haywood D. 1986. Pinus taeda L. response to fertilization, herbaceous plant control, and woody plant control. For. Ecol. Man. 14: 103–112.
- Turvey N.D. and Cameron J.N. 1986. Site preparation for a second rotation of radiata pine: soil and foliage chemistry, and effects on tree growth. Aust. For. Res. 17: 9–19.
- Walker R.F. and McLaughlin S.B. 1989. Black polyethylene mulch improves growth of plantation-grown loblolly pine and yellow-poplar. New For. 3: 265–274.
- West G.G. and Dean M.G. 1990. The use of livestock to control weeds in New Zealand forests. In: Bassett C., Whitehouse L.J. and Zabkiewicz J.A. (eds), Alternatives to Chemical Control of Weeds, Proceedings of an International Conference, July 1989. Ministry of Forestry, FRI Bulletin, Rotorua, New Zealand 155:, pp. 128–132.
- Herbicides are more cost-effective than alternative weed control methods for increasing early growth of Eucalyptus dunnii and Eucalyptus saligna
Volume 24, Issue 2 , pp 147-163
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Jute matting
- Plantation establishment
- Weed control