I was recently driving around and was looking over a clearcut that had recently been site prepared with herbicides and machine planted. The property belonged to a timber company whose name I will not mention. I was amazed!! The tract was harvested about 2 years ago. All I could see looking over the property was a sea of green!…. a carpet of volunteer pine seedings.
What surprised me was the fact that the volunteer trees looked healthy as if that had not been treated by herbicides and yet the land manager had decided to plant the tract….bad decision!! There are some great herbicides out there for treating volunteer pines prior to planting.
These tracts can not be treated after being planted because the treatment will also kill the genetically improved planted trees. The only option is a pre-commercial thinning which is very expensive and you have to rely on the crew to select which trees to cut and which trees to leave. The crews do not always choose the best trees to leave (these crews are generally made up with immigrant workers on a H2-B Visa). If you have a planted tract with hardwood competition, no problem. You can fly over these tracts and spray a herbicide mix that will selectively kill the hardwoods.
You only have once chance to get it right, so be sure to use an effective tank mix of herbicides.
G. Kent Morris
Accredited Land Consultant
Associate Broker, Bickerstaff Parham Land