summertime weed management in christmas trees
Hello, I am on the east coast in Maryland and I am a relatively new Christmas tree grower. There is so much to learn. I am having weed control issues. When I planted originally, I planted in a corn field. I was very new to everything and I never established any slow growing grasses or anything, so the fields are primarily weeds. My original plantings were like 12 years ago. Since then when I plant new fields I plant grass or clover first. Back to the problem fields. I am a small farm so I will never be able to clear cut a field to re establish grasses and then plant again. I plant new trees in the spring in between older trees. In the spring I typically spray I qt per acre of glyphosphate and 8 oz per acre of sureguard. This year I used 12 oz of sureguard and I lost some trees so net year back to 8 oz. In the fall like October, I will also spray 1 qt per acre of glyphosphate. My problem is in the summer. The Sureguard stops working usually early June and then the weeds start to grow in the tree rows themselves. I have always been afraid to spray anything in the summer because the new growth is not hardened off. So usually I cut the fields in both directions, but this takes forever and it cause a lot of tree damage from the mower. There has to be a better way to control the weeds in the summer during the growing season. I have heard other tree farmers us 6 oz or 8 oz per acre of glyphosphate in the summer without damaging trees. Can you give me some guidance here as to what I can do during the summer? Do you have a weed management plan you can refer me to? Any help would be very much appreciated. We have had so much rain this year. I have lived on my mower. Thank you very much in advance for your time.
Frederick County Maryland