|Tree Planting Site Preparation
Now is the time to start next year’s TREE projects?
If you are undertaking a project or thinking about undertaking a project then now is the time to get organised, now is the time to put an application in to me and now is the time to start your first weed control on that site.
The six easy steps to successful results
Step 1: Spray now with a glyphosate mix to knock down all plants (if other weeds present are not susceptible to glyphosate then spray them with an appropriate herbicide)
Step 2: Lightly scarify the ground in early summer and just prior to ripping as this will make the soil more friable and help to reduce clods in the mounds
Step 3: Rip and mound in late summer early autumn
Step 4: Spray with a mix of Glyphosate and Simazine after ripping and after the autumn break at the rates suggested on the label
Step 5: Spray the plantation again with a Glyphosate and Simazine mix a week prior to planting in August or September
Step 6: Follow up weed control
For the best site preparation results now is the time to start weed control works. If phalaris is present then this is ABSOLUTELY critical as it is so hard to kill and is such a competitor for moisture. Failure to start now will mean a much less successful project, much poorer growth and survival rates and much more hard work with follow up weed control.
It is recommended that landholders spray a glyphosate mix to the area that they intend to plant with the maximum rate suggested on the label for the control of phalaris in the next 4 to 6 weeks or prior to seed set. After this date subject to seasonal conditions the results will be poorer or of no value. Plants need to be actively growing to uptake the chemical so late spraying will be ineffective. Phalaris is very difficult to kill so the maximum dose recommended is needed to get the best results.
Lightly scarify the ground in early summer to break up the ground and to disturb all the root systems. This will also help to germinate dormant seeds in the ground if a rain event occurs. It is also best to scarify the ground just prior to ripping as this will make the soil more friable and help to reduce clods in the mounds. The mound will form much better, have less air pockets, will be softer and easier to plant into in spring and you will get good soil plant contact and good root development.
A warning would be that failure to rip and mound as soon as possible after scarifying in autumn may result in the ground getting wet and difficult to manage.
Ripping and mounding is most successful when it is done in the late summer or early autumn. The ground needs to be dry so that when the ripper goes through, the ground fractures all around the rip line and this allows for much better aeration and moisture penetration of the soil and when you plant you get excellent root penetration.
By ripping early the mounds have a chance to settle over winter and fill in the rip line itself with fresh soft soil and this helps the tree to establish and get its roots down into the wetter subsoils. Planting trees into a rip line that is still open can end up drying out the plants resulting in death.
After autumn break and after the ripping and mounding has been completed spray the area with a Glyphosate / Simazine mix. The glyphosate will knock down the germinated plants and the Simazine will kill any germinating plants for several months after application depending on the rate. Follow label direction carefully for best results. A light dose of Simazine will be relatively ineffective but a really high dose may affect tree growth later on.
In early spring 1 to 4 weeks prior to planting spray the area again with a Glyphosate / Simazine mix. Follow label directions carefully for best results. This is the most critical spray as this will need to hold the site until the trees become well established. Simazine is a residual root uptake chemical and relies on rainfall to wash the chemical into the root zone. Planting should not occur until around 25 millimetres of rain has fallen on the site after chemical application. If you plant before this occurs you risk a heavy rain event washing the chemical into the root zone around the trees.
The following year after autumn break but before the ground gets too wet or the plants get too high spray the whole area again with a selection of the following chemicals
Glyphosate – Spray rows between trees and around the base of the trees to get good knockdown. Warning: Chemical contact or spray drift onto the trees could cause damage or loss of trees.
Simazine – Can be added to the glyphosate mix for better long term results. Care should be taken when adding Simazine as high doses may adversely affect the growth of the trees.
Fusilade – This is a grass specific herbicide and can be boom sprayed over the top of all the trees. If label directions are followed it will not kill the trees and will give you a good grass knockdown. This product will not kill thistles or other broad leaf plants so further treatment with a suitable broadleaf may be necessary.
Sertin – Same as for fusillade. It is a grass specific herbicide and can be sprayed over the top of the trees.
Note: Always follow the directions on the label. Failure to do as the label states may result in poor results or even the death of the trees.