Maintaining Early-successional Habitats Using a Metal Wick Herbicide Applicator

We tested the efficacy of an aluminum wick herbicide applicator, the Weed Sweep®, for control of hardwood and pine saplings, 1994-1996. We compared spring and fall applications in 1 trial and, in a second trial, tested 2 herbicide mixes: glyphosate mixed with either trichlopyr or imazapyr. Herbicides plots had 78% fewer sapling stems/ha than control plots (P < 0.006). May applications of glyphosate/imazapyr provided greater control of hardwoods but lower control of pines than September applications (P < 0.05). Also, glyphosate/imazapyr provided greater control of hardwoods than glyphosate/trichlopyr (P < 0.05). Percent ground cover by forbs, grass, and legumes and total number of species in the ground story did not differ between treatment and control plots. Our results indicate that a higher rate may be needed to achieve more consistent control of slower growing genera, such as Carya and Quercus. However, this technique may be valuable to managers needing an inexpensive alternative to mechanical methods for controlling hardwood resprouts and young pines and require a herbicide application technique more environmentally-sensitive than broadcast spraying.

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