PRE herbicides are the backbone of a successful weed management program in Christmas tree production. In a 2-yr field study, weed control efficacy and tolerance of newly transplanted Canaan fir to different PRE treatments were evaluated. Herbicide treatments consisted of two rates of each of atrazine plus mesotrione plus S-metolachlor at 561 + 150 + 1,504 and 1,122 + 300 + 3,008 g ai ha–1, flumioxazin at 214 and 429 g ai ha–1, hexazinone plus sulfometuron methyl at 289 + 27 and 480 + 46 g ai ha–1, indaziflam at 20 and 41 g ai ha–1, simazine plus oryzalin at 3,366 + 1,683 and 3,366 + 3,366 g ai ha–1, and a nontreated control. Averaged over 2 yr, all PRE treatments controlled giant foxtail, large crabgrass, and redroot pigweed at least 80% throughout the summer. Only the high rates of atrazine plus mesotrione plus S-metolachlor maintained >80% season-long control of yellow foxtail. Horseweed was controlled >85% with flumioxazin at both rates and at high rates of atrazine plus mesotrione plus S-metolachlor, hexazinone plus sulfometuron methyl, and indaziflam. The season-long PRE control of both red sorrel and wild carrot was maintained ≥80% with atrazine plus mesotrione plus S-metolachlor and hexazinone plus sulfometuron methyl regardless of application rate. By 16 wk after treatment, within-row densities of weeds evaluated in this study were reduced >75% in plots treated with atrazine plus mesotrione plus S-metolachlor at both application rates or hexazinone plus sulfometuron methyl at 480 + 46 g ai ha–1. Within-row weed densities in the nontreated control plots were 50, 32, 36, 25, 27, 31, and 19 plants m–2 for large crabgrass, giant foxtail, horseweed, redroot pigweed, red sorrel, wild carrot, and yellow foxtail, respectively. No discernible injury was observed in Canaan fir with any PRE treatment in both study years.
Nomenclature: Atrazine; flumioxazin; hexazinone; indaziflam; mesotrione; oryzalin; simazine; S-metolachlor; sulfometuron methyl; giant foxtail, Setaria faberi Herrm.; horseweed, Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq.; large crabgrass, Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.; redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus (L.); red sorrel, Rumex acetocella (L.); wild carrot, Daucus carota (L.); yellow foxtail, Setaria pumila (Poir.) Roem. & Schult.; Canaan fir, Abies balsamea var. phanerolepis