weed control

dwheeler at teleport.com dwheeler at teleport.com
Sun Mar 1 10:58:49 EST 1998

In article <34F89C32.E88 at livingston.net>,
  dstaples at livingston.net wrote:
> MMEMU wrote:
> >
> > The Loblollys are planted 900 to the acre..  This  first year it seemed like
> > they were lost in the surrounding weed growht, but winter has proven most of
> > them survived.  I know pines need full sun but the weeds around here grow 12'
> > tall.  These trees were planted without the benefit of a ground cover having
> > been established. The area was mowed first and then planted. Each tree was
> > mulched with shredded hard wood bark at planting.  The planting area  had been
> > a weed patch so big that very few native woody shubs and trees were growing
> > there either.  I mowed between the rows last year but don't want to do it again
> > this year.  It requires doing over and over.  Is okay to mow and blow the
> > clippings into the tree row to act as a mulch?Is it too late to establish  a
> > cover crop between the rows.  Thanks so much.
> yes, and no, respectively.  Control of the old vegetation should have
> been done prior to the planting, now the mower is where its at, give it
> 5 or so years and the weeds will begin to get over storied to death.
> --
_If_ you can still tell where the Loblollys are, try using a sickle-bar mower.
If you are truly getting that much weed growth each year, you probably will
have to mow twice a year at least. The weed debris will create a heavy mulch,
which tends to stump the future growth, allowing the pine to get a little

For young Loblollys, try inoculating next time with Rhizopogons as you plant.
Rhizopogons are one of those mycorrhizal fungi which create their own
fertilizer for their host trees, and have been found associated with Rhizobium
bacteria: nitrogen-fixing bacteria. This association tends to grow the trees
much faster.

As to which Rhizopogon to use, choose a nearby healthy Loblolly stand, and
rack around the roots. Sooner or later you'll probably find Rhizopogons or
some other mycorrhizal fungi.

As for fertilizing: BAD IDEA. Application of too much fertilizer (I think it's
around 80 lbs. per acre) can cause the mycorrhizal fungi to disassociate with
the host tree. This is a good thing the first year. The trees will grow like
weeds. The second year, especially if there is a drought, the trees may all

To repeat, if you give the trees all the nutrients they require for growth,
they disassociate with natural mycorrhizal fungi. Often they die shorly
afterwards, unless re-innoculated with mycorrhizae.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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