Page 2A Plant's Home
WindStar Wildlife Institute
Control weeds aroundseedlings. Because weeds grow
faster and often taller thanyoung seedlings, they competefor moisture, nutrients, light,and space. Weed control iscrucial in the first 3 to 5 yearsafter planting. You will need toprevent weed growth within a 2to 4 ft. zone around seedlings.Here
Remove all vegetationaround the tree site beforeplanting, either by
cultivation or using a generalherbicide like Roundup in thefall.
Control weeds afterplanting. You can kill weeds
by mulching around seedlingswith sawdust, wood chips,bark, or composted leaves.Be sure to make the mulchlayer about 6 in. thick tokeep weeds from reappearing.
Apply herbicides, but onlywhen needed, in the properamount at the right time.
Two types of herbicides areeffective in controllinggrasses and broadleaf weeds:(1) pre-emergent, soil-appliedchemicals, and(2) post-emergentchemicals applied to foliageof weeds.Check with your countyagricultural extensionservice for information onrecommended chemical weedcontrol around treeplantings.
Weed around your trees.
Cultivation is probably theleast effective method of controlling weeds, as oneshould avoid digging close tothe tree in order not todamage roots.Weeding by this method alsomust be done 3 to 5 timesper season.
Remove Invasive Plants
If aggressive invaders gain afoothold at your habitat site,they may compete moresuccessfully than your desirableplants.Suckering or clonal trees likesassafras and black locust andwildflowers like white wood asterand hay-scented fern cansignificantly change the groundlayer.The best way to deal withaggressive invading species isto recognize them early andremove them as they appear.Use lists of your area
s invasiveexotics published by your statenative plant society todetermine whether a newcomeris an appropriate resident. If itis not, remove and destroy it.Waiting until invaders are wellestablished will make moredrastic removal methodsnecessary.
Control OverlySuccessful Plants
Some of the plants that youintroduce into your wildlifehabitat may be fast growersand may threaten to take overyour plot.Ground covers such ascreeping phlox, barrenstrawberry, and foamflowereventually need to be thinned.Even wild bleeding heart, whichhas a delightfully long floweringperiod, can overwhelm us intime.
Before long, editing becomescentral to the garden
smaintenance, and the best redpen is a fearlessly usedcompost pile," writes SusanDumaine in
.When plants get out of hand,she
stands ready to smotherthem with mulch-topped stripsof old carpet when necessary."
Nurture Welcome Volunteers
Seed dispersal through wind,water, or animals will also bringdesirable newcomers to yourhabitat. If they are