Monday, March 11, 2013

Basal Bark Herbicide Applications Fact Sheet

Penn State Extension Releases New Forest Science Fact Sheet Series

Penn State Forest Resources Extension has just released the first publication in a new Forest Science Fact Sheet Series. The series will provide in-depth practical information on a wide variety of topics. Forest landowners will be able to use the information to implement practices on their property to increase timber productivity, improve forest health, or provide beneficial wildlife habitat.

The first in the series in entitled Using Basal Bark Herbicide Applications to Control Understory Tree Species. The fact sheet was written by Forest Resources Educator Dave Jackson. The information provided is based upon applied research findings from a basal bark herbicide rate study conducted by Jackson from 2008-2010. The findings of the study are published in the fact sheet along with a wealth of information that can be utilized to control competing or less desirable understory tree species.

The latest U.S. Forest Service forest inventory and analysis data indicate the tree species composition of Pennsylvania’s forests is changing. One indication of change is understory composition. Recognizing and treating potential species composition changes using properly applied silvicultural practices is critical to forest sustainability. Herbicides are a versatile tool for manipulating tree species composition and when selectively applied offer one of the safest and most economical means for controlling unwanted understory tree species.

When considering basal bark treatments for timber stand improvement and/or forest regeneration establishment projects, it is important to know what species are targeted for treatment. Pretreatment understory inventories are necessary to make proper herbicide prescriptions. The species mix may dictate time of year and herbicide concentration. This 6-page fact sheet suggests that adequate control can be achieved with reduced herbicide rates, thus decreasing the amount of chemical being applied and greatly lowering herbicide costs. A small investment of time to collect data and plan treatments can provide considerable financial savings.

The fact sheet is available online by clicking here or in hard copy by contacting the Penn State Extension Ag Publications Distribution Center at:
Phone: 814-865-6713 or E-mail:

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