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Chemical Weed Control in Southern Hardwood Nurseries

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In the past, hardwood nurserymen often relied on fumigation with methyl bromide for weed control. Today, however, herbicides can provide cost-effective control of grasses and most annual broadleaf weeds in hardwood seedbeds. New herbicides like sethoxidim can be used to control annual and perennial grasses while germination of many broadleaf weeds can be inhibited by oryzalin, oxadiazon, or napropamide. Resistant weeds can be controlled by directed applications of glyphosate. Use of these herbicides reduces the need for fumigation, which often lowers the population of beneficial endomycorrhizal fungi. Fumigation may still be required when controlling high populations of nutsedge or when pathogens are a problem. Although use of chemicals can make control of weeds easier, the nurseryman should not rely entirely on fumigation or herbicides for weed control. If left alone to reproduce, populations of resistant weeds can quickly increase. The nurseryman should therefore adhere strictly to a comprehensive year-round weed control program that prevents introduction, reproduction, and spread of weeds. Even with these efforts, several years may be required to deplete the reservoir of weed seeds in the soil. The nurseryman who is successful will be able to produce more uniform, higher-quality seedlings at a lower cost.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant professor and director of the Auburn University Southern Forest Nursery Management Cooperative, Department of Forestry, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, Alabama 36849

Publication date: 1984-02-01

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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 Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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