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Herbicide Hardwood Crop Tree Release in Central West Virginia

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Chemical crop tree release treatments were applied to young hardwood stands at three sites in central West Virginia to evaluate the effectiveness of glyphosate as Accord (41.5% SL), imazapyr as Arsenal AC (53.1% SL) and Chopper (27.6% EC), and triclopyr as Garlon 3A (44.4% triethylamine salt SL), and Garlon 4 (61.6% butoxyethyl ester EC) using hack-and-squirt injection and low volume stem bark band application methods. American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) was a major competitor to black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.) crop trees at each site. The treatments were applied in June and evaluated 12 months after treatment. A numerical rating system ranging from 1 to 7 (0–100% crown affected), which utilized visual symptoms, was used to evaluate the efficacy of each treatment. Trees receiving a rating of 5 (75% crown control) or greater were considered controlled.

After 12 months, almost complete control (99+%) was achieved with the Accord, Garlon 3A, and Arsenal AC injection treatments across all study sites. The low volume stem bark band treatments used in this study were not effective. The imazapyr treatments adversely affected several crop trees and are not recommended for hardwood crop tree release. Some crop tree damage was inflicted by the Accord treatments, but when suggested guidelines are followed, Accord is recommended for crop tree release treatments. No crop tree damage was observed in the Garlon 3A treatments. The costs of the injection treatments expressed in dollars/ft2 of basal area controlled were as follows: Accord ($0.91), Garlon 3A ($1.04), and Arsenal AC ($0.84). The Northeast Decision Model Stand Inventory Processor using the NE-TWIGS growth simulator was used to predict the future composition and value of projected stands. The stem injection treatments more than doubled projected growth of black cherry basal area. Real rates of return for investment in weed tree control averaged 8.77% for stem injection treatments. This study indicates that chemical crop tree release treatments using stem injection with label recommended solutions of Accord or Garlon 3A are an effective way to increase the future value of Appalachian hardwood stands. North. J. Appl. For. 18(2):46–54.

Keywords: Herbicides; crop tree release; economic benefits; efficacy; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; hardwoods; natural resource management; natural resources; silviculture

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: College of Natural Resources, 228 Cheatham Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 24061-0324 2: USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, 180 Canfield St., Morgantown, WV, 26505-3101

Publication date: June 1, 2001

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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