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NEWARK, Del. Christmas the'only practical means of control
trees offer a potential cash crop for for both kinds of enterprise,
part-time fanners and people with University of Delaware Ex
small land holdings in semi-urban tension horticulturist Charles
areas. One of the problems in Dunham has been evaluating
establishing such plantings is weed potential herbicides for their ef
control - especially during the' fectiveness and safety on plants,
first few years after trees'are information he collects is
planted. being used to help clear promising
Weed control is also a major materials for use on such or
problem for operators of nurseries, namental crops under the En-
High labor costs make chemicals vironmental Protection Agency’s
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in Christmas tree plantings
special IR-4 program.
“There aren’t very many ef
fective herbicide treatments
currently available for Christmas
tree growers to use at planting,”
says Dunham. “As coarse weeds
get ahead of young trees, it
becomes almost impossible to
remove them without resorting to
a contact herbicide.”
Last summer he says he got
excellent results on white pine.
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Lancaster Farming, Saturday, December 19,1981—D17
Norway spruce and Douglas fir
with a combination of several
herbicides, including Princep, a
product not presently labeled for
use on ornamentals at planting.
Princep was applied im
mediately after planting in
combination with either Goal or
Deverinal. Spray- formulations
included either 1 pint of Goal or 2
pounds Deverinal (a-ctive
ingredients) with several different
rates of Princep.
At the 1 pound rate, Princep, in
combination with these materials
caused no plant injury to or
namentals growing on either sandy
soil at the university’s Georgetown
Substation, or the heavier soils of
the experimental farm in Newark.
Materials were applied over'the
top immediately after planting on
Though results were promising,
Dunham thinks it is very im
portant that the soil be well firmed
around plants if they are to resist
herbicide injury. This is easier to
do if you’re planting by hand,
rather than by machine.
In a related demonstration,
Dunham has been evaluating the
effectiveness of the Herbi sprayer
as a low-cost, low-labor means of
applying herbicides on nursery
stock, including Christmas trees.
Advantages of the sprayer are
that it applies very low volumes of
material per acre. This means that
with one filling, you can cover a
large number of trees. The
equipment is light and easy to
“I think the Herbi has a place in
ornamental production,” he says.
“The main disadvantage we en
countered was that the volume put
out is so low that it’s hard to realize
you’re putting any material on.”
This poses a psychological
problem for the person doing the
spraying in the sense that it may
seem that the job isn’t getting
done. You have to be careful not to
Tests showed that the sprayer is
effective in applying flowable pre
emergence herbicides such as
Princep, Deverinal, Goal and
Lasso. It is also very effective in
materials such as Roundup.
Roundup cannot be used where
foliar contact is a potential cause
All indications are that despite
the low volume of water applied
per acre, the effectiveness of the
materials is much the same as
when comparable rates of her
bicides are applied by other
methods, says Dunham. He feels
the Herbi offers a very efficient
low-cost method of applying weed
control chemicals. Being hand
held, it can be used in areas dif
ficult to reach with mechanical
During the past two years,
Dunham has worked on weed
control problems encountered the
previous year. Using spring
planted Norway spruce, Douglas
fir, white pine and Colorado
spruce, he has been able to find the
most effective control and rates of
herbicide application on young
trees of these species.