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Seedling of white sweetclover.

Survey Weeds—Late Fall

By surveying weeds in fall, you can identify summer species that escaped previous control attempts and determine which perennials are present. If herbicides were used, surveying identifies the need for changing to another herbicide. Fall monitoring will also identify any winter species that are emerging.

Ideally tree rows are weed free, whereas weeds growing in row middles may be beneficial in reducing erosion, soil compaction, water runoff, and sediment runoff to creeks and streams that ultimately impairs water quality. However, perennial weeds are problematic and should be kept from establishing in row middles.

How to survey your fields

  • Survey your orchard after the first rains of the fall when winter annuals have germinated.
  • If you use cultivation for weed control, monitor at least 2 weeks before you plan to cultivate.
  • Look for winter annual weeds in tree rows to check the effectiveness of any preemergent herbicide applications.
  • Pay particular attention to perennials. Check for regrowth of perennials a few weeks after cultivation.
  • Sketch a diagram of the orchard and mark areas where perennials are found.
  • Keep records of your survey results. By knowing which species are present, you will be able to make appropriate decisions on cultural and chemical controls.
  • Survey information collected over a period of years tells you how weed populations may be changing and how effective your management operations have been over the long term.
  • Use the late-fall weed survey form (105 KB, PDF) to record your weed observations in order to make weed management decisions. Keep these records so that you can track weed population information from year to year to better understand ongoing weed control problems such as resistance.

Important links

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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