UC IPM Online UC ANR home page UC IPM home page


SKIP navigation


How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Special Weed Problems

(Reviewed 1/08, updated 1/09)

In this Guideline: More about weeds in olive:

Most of these special weed problems can be minimized through an active preplant weed management program.

BERMUDAGRASS. Bermudagrass is a vigorous spring- and summer-growing perennial. It grows from seed but its extensive system of rhizomes and stolons can also be spread during cultivation. It is very competitive in olive orchards for moisture and nutrients. Seedlings are controlled with preemergent herbicides. If bermudagrass develops in an orchard or in localized areas, spot treat it immediately with postemergent herbicides such as glyphosate (Roundup).

DALLISGRASS. Dallisgrass is a common perennial weed found in olive orchards. It has a clumpy growth habit that gives it a bunchgrass appearance. It can be highly competitive in newly planted orchards; in established orchards it competes for soil moisture and nutrients. Seedlings germinate in spring and summer and form new plants on short rhizomes that developed from the original root system. Dallisgrass seedlings can be controlled with cultivation or with preemergent herbicides. Treatment with glyphosate has been successful in controlling dallisgrass infestations.

FIELD BINDWEED. Field bindweed is a vigorous perennial weed that either grows from seed, which can survive for up to 30 years in the soil, or from stolons, rhizomes, or extensive roots. Because of the longevity of the seed in the soil, it is critical to destroy plants before they can produce seed. The plants may spread from stem or root sections that are cut during cultivation, however cultivation controls seedlings. If field bindweed appears in or around the orchard, spot treat it with high label rates of glyphosate. Repeat applications are often needed, as a single glyphosate application seldom results in complete field bindweed control.

JOHNSONGRASS. Johnsongrass is a perennial weed that spreads from seed or from an extensive system of underground rhizomes. It grows vigorously in spring and summer when it overtops newly planted trees and competes for light, moisture, and nutrients. Severe setback of a young orchard can occur under these conditions. A postemergent application of fluazifop or clethodim can be used around newly planted trees. If johnsongrass develops in or around trees in an established orchard, spot treat it with glyphosate to prevent the spread of its rhizomes.

NUTSEDGE. Yellow nutsedge is a perennial weed that reproduces from underground tubers that survive for 2 to 5 years in the soil. The tubers are easily spread by cultivation equipment. Each tuber contains several buds capable of producing plants. One or two buds germinate to form new plants; however, if destroyed by cultivation or an herbicide, then a new bud is activated. In established orchards, if nutsedge develops, spot treat it with glyphosate.

BLACKBERRY. Blackberries (Himalayan and California) are vigorous perennial vines that are often found around orchard margins and sometimes around the trunks of trees. They interfere with all cultural operations, especially pruning and harvest. For best control, spot treat with glyphosate at the flower stage or after fruiting when there is good soil moisture and the plants aren't stressed. A re-treatment may be required on large clumps if regrowth occurs. If blackberry is growing near or up into an olive canopy, pull the vines out before treating so the herbicide will not get into the tree.

LITTLE MALLOW (CHEESEWEED). Little mallow is an annual or biennial plant that is sometimes not controlled with preemergent herbicides. In addition plants larger than 4 to 6 inches won't be controlled well with glyphosate. Mature plants are tall and woody with a large taproot that can be removed with a shovel or with cultivation. Oxyfluorfen effectively controls seedlings or young plants.



[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Olive
UC ANR Publication 3452
W. T. Lanini, Weed Science/Plant Sciences, UC Davis
Acknowledgment for contributions to Weeds:
C. L. Elmore, Vegetable Crops/Weed Science, UC Davis
D. W. Cudney, Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside
D. R. Donaldson, UC Cooperative Extension, Napa County

Top of page

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
All contents copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

For noncommercial purposes only, any Web site may link directly to this page. FOR ALL OTHER USES or more information, read Legal Notices. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual solutions to specific pest problems. See our Home page, or in the U.S., contact your local Cooperative Extension office for assistance.

Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /PMG/r583700211.html revised: April 25, 2014. Contact webmaster.