Aerial Herbicide Applications are cost effective, broadcast treatments generally performed on large acreages by a helicopter. Aerial applications are extremely effective on heavy debris sites and areas containing standing live trees that will hinder the development of newly planted seedlings.
Ground Herbicide Applications are performed with either a skidder or a forestry tractor. These are broadcast applications designed to control most of the plant species on a site. Ground Applications can be more accurate along the boundaries, borders and streamside management zones on a site than aerial applications, and can be cost effectively performed on small to medium sized acreages.
Hand herbicide applications are labor intensive, and performed by professionals with a backpack or ATV sprayer. Environmental and chemical sensitive sites are treated using backpack hand sprayers or when spot treatments are necessary in order to save/select for beneficial plant species. Hand applications are generally performed on small acreages when specific species are targeted.
Do you have hardwoods within your pine plantations? Hardwoods have a dramatic negative effect on pine growth. Herbicides have been proven to be the most effective and economical way to control hardwoods. Pines competing with hardwoods experience a decrease in moisture and nutrient availability, root volume reductions and crown loss due to the lack of available sunlight. As a result, forest landowners are faced with the decision of whether to chemically treat the hardwoods in the stand or live with decreased pine yields.
Studies have shown that controlling hardwoods in mid-rotation aged slash and loblolly pine plantations results in more wood produced within the stand. Slash pine stands, after hardwood release, have averaged an additional 1/3 cord/acre/year for 14 years. Loblolly pine stands have averaged an additional ½ cord/acre/year for 8 years after release treatments. Approximately 60% of additional wood produced is being added to the larger diameter, dominant trees.
Pine release with herbicides can increase economic returns by increasing stem size, shifting product classes and shortening rotations. Do not throw caution to the wind though, these studies indicate that not all sites respond the same. Many variables can change the results. If you think your pine plantation might benefit from a release treatment, contact one of our foresters today.