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Vegetation control

Weed control is crucial on most sites. Lack of weed control in the early years is the most common cause of poor performance and plantation failure.

  • When: April – June
  • Why: light, water and nutrients competition between trees and weeds
  • Control: manual or chemical control

Manual control

Trampling involves stamping on weeds around the trees:

  • Suitable for the control of tall weeds such as nettles, bracken, rush and tall grasses
  • Prevents weeds smothering young trees
  • Trampling is often a short term measure
  • Delayed weed control will require trampling before spraying

Chemical control

Chemical control involves the use of an appropriate herbicide:

  • The choice of herbicide depends on the type of weeds, the tree species, site type and the time of year
  • Broadleaves are more susceptible than conifers to damage from herbicide drift, so careful application is essential
  • Chemical control can lead to a boost in tree growth, especially for species such as ash and sycamore

Types of vegetation and herbicides

Vegetation Herbicide Timing of application 
Grasses Propyzamide Jan - Feb
Grasses, rush & bracken  Glyphosate May - Oct
Gorse Triclopyr Aug - Dec
Woody scrub Triclopyr Aug - Nov
Rhododendron, laurel Triclopyr Jun - Sep

Relevant publication:

Remember: Weed control should be carried out at the start of the growing season