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Seedling of field bindweed (wild morningglory), Convolvulus arvensis.Cherry

Survey for Weeds—Dormant

By surveying weeds in early winter, you can identify weed species that escaped fall management, perennial species present, and if herbicides were used, the need to change to another herbicide, or timing of future herbicide treatments. Winter monitoring will also identify any winter species that are emerging.

Ideally tree rows are weed free, whereas weeds growing in row middles can reduce water quality problems by preventing soil erosion and water and sediment runoff to creeks and streams. However, perennial weeds are problematic and should be kept from establishing in row middles.

How to survey your orchard

  • Survey your orchard after the first rains of the fall when winter annuals have germinated.
  • Use either a numeric scale from 1 to 5 (1 being the lightest, 5 being the heaviest), or rate as "light," "medium," or "heavy."
  • Look for winter annual weeds in tree rows to check the effectiveness of any preemergent herbicide applications.
  • Pay particular attention to perennials and check for regrowth of perennials a few weeks after cultivation.
  • Sketch a map of the orchard and mark areas with major weed infestations for follow-up control action, noting carefully the location of weeds producing seed.
  • Indicate the growth stage of the weed (seedling or mature).
  • Keep records (114 KB, PDF) of your survey results for future management decisions.

Survey information collected over a period of years tells you how weed populations may change and how effective your management operations have been over the long term. By knowing which species are present, you will be able to make appropriate decisions on cultural and chemical controls.

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