Get to grips with problem issues
Published 17/06/2015 | 02:30
Now that the weather and grass growth is picking up, it is a good idea to go for a walk through your newly established forest to make sure that the young trees are able to cope with the surrounding vegetation.
Lack of vegetation control in the early years is the most common cause of poor performance and plantation failure.
Grass and weeds compete very aggressively with young trees for light, water and nutrients - taking these from the young trees for their own use.
Well-weeded trees will grow much more swiftly which will save far more bother and hassle later on. It is worth noting trees grow better in fertile areas but so too will grass and weeds.
There are two main ways to ensure that grass and weeds are under control.
The most effective method in a young forest is using herbicides. The choice of herbicide is influenced by many factors including the type of weeds, the tree species, site type and the time of year.
Keep in mind that broadleaves are more susceptible than conifers to damage from herbicide drift, so careful application is essential.
A positive side effect is that chemical control can lead to a boost in tree growth, especially for species such as ash and sycamore.