Controlling Competition in a Pine Stand

Pine release, woody release – it goes by different names. Whatever you call it, the purpose is to control competition in a pine stand. While many of the herbicide release treatments are done on young pine stands, they can be done on older stands as well.

Herbicides for Forestry

Increase Tree Growth

There are many reasons to do a herbicide pine release treatment on young stands, but mainly it’s to fix a site preparation that did not go as planned or did not get done at all. If your seedlings are alive – that is great! But, are they growing as well as they could be? The competition to be concerned about is not just for sunlight, but also for water and nutrients.

As we all know, reducing competitive species increases crop tree growth. If you will make it a point to control the weeds early, it will pay off at harvest time. Research shows that a pine release application can increase crop pine by over 500 cubic feet/acre in 7 years! Other studies show that for each square foot of hardwood basal area, pine basal area is limited by 1.5-2.5 square feet.

Choose Wisely

The main methods for pine release application of herbicides are spot spraying and broadcast spraying. Spot spraying is usually done with a backpack. Broadcast spraying is usually done with a skidder or helicopter. You can be more selective with the backpack application. Let’s say you have some young oaks you want to keep; using a backpack will allow you to do that. If you have a large tract, broadcast spraying is more efficient and can be done quicker.

On older stands, many pine release applications are made after a thinning operation. The thinning process opens up the stand to get better coverage for aerial applications. For skidder applications, thinning creates open rows for the skidder to drive through the stand.

Not all herbicides can be applied over the top of young pines. Contact your local Red River Rep to discuss what products to use, application type, and what timing is appropriate for your tract.

Have Questions? We’re here to help!

Red River Specialties, an Azelis company, has experienced representatives that can help you make the right decision for your land management objectives. We are ready to provide you with a safe and effective solution.

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