Giving forests a head start with good weed control
Effective weed control contributes significantly to the survival and growth of newly planted stands, and also promotes productivity throughout the life of the stand.
Scion’s Weed Management Team conducts research to overcome the weed problems faced by the forestry sector while also maintaining industry licence to operate. This includes trials of herbicide mixes that could potentially replace existing products currently classified as hazardous by the Forest Stewardship Council, as well as studies of the impacts of soil type and organic matter on the leaching of herbicides into the wider environment. For example, a recently released study showed that increased amounts of organic matter in the form of harvest residues could limit the leaching of herbicides from soil, reducing environmental risks.
Weed management research also incorporates testing different strategies to control the spread of invasive wilding conifers, which are a significant threat to native biodiversity. Economic issues are the key limitation to addressing the spread of wilding conifers, so the development of cost-effective methods is a focus of this research.