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A Comparison of Herbicide and Mulch Mat Treatments for Reducing Grass, Herb, and Shrub Competition in the BC Interior Douglas-Fir Zone—Ten-Year Results

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Abstract:

We present results from a study established in 1993 in the Interior Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone of southwestern British Columbia to test the effectiveness of several herbicide and mulch mat treatments for reducing grass, herbaceous, and shrub competition. The effectiveness of the preplant herbicide applications of hexazinone (Velpar L) at 2.1 kg ai/ha, glyphosate (Vision) at 2.1 and 1.0 kg ai/ha, and the installation of plastic mulch mats (Tredegar 90 × 90-cm mats) for controlling competing vegetation, improving seedling growth and survival of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) seedlings and improving soil moisture availability was evaluated. Ten-year results indicate that application of hexazinone and glyphosate enhanced the survival, diameter, and height growth of planted Douglas-fir seedlings. These herbicide treatments provided effective control of grass and herbaceous vegetation for three to four growing seasons. Plastic mulch mats did result in improvements in growth and survival, but these were not statistically different from untreated seedlings. The results of soil moisture monitoring from within the various treatments indicated delay in the onset of soil drought as a key determinant of the seedling growth improvement noted. West. J. Appl. For. 20(3):167–176.

Keywords: Glyphosate; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; hexazinone; natural resource management; natural resources; soil moisture

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Branch, BC Ministry of Forests PO Box 9519 Stn Prov Govt Victoria BC Canada V8W 9C2 Phone: (250) 387-8904;, Fax: (250) 387-0046, Email: George.Harper@gems4.gov.bc.ca 2: Department of Renewable Resources University of Alberta Edmonton AB Canada T6G 2E3 3: BC Ministry of Forests Squamish Forest District Squamish BC Canada V0N 3G0

Publication date: 2005-07-01

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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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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