One of the biggest advantages mast orchards have over food plots is that once established, they require far less effort. But maximizing the growth potential of your trees does require occasional regular maintenance, particularly in the early stages of growth. That maintenance includes reducing competition in the form of grass and weeds that steal water and soil nutrients away from your trees, and it can be done mechanically and chemically.
Mechanical Weed Control
A relatively simple way to significantly reduce competition is to establish and maintain a 2 – 3 foot circle clear of weeds around the base of each tree. Begin by physically removing grass and weeds down to bare soil. Next, add mulch or mats within the weedless circle. This moderates soil temperature extremes, improves soil moisture retention and retards subsequent weed growth.
Chemical Weed Control
Herbicides like Roundup and other glyphosate-based broad-spectrum systemic herbicides are more effective and less labor intensive but require extra care as they can be absorbed by the trees you’re trying to protect directly through the bark.
If you choose this option, the folks at Chestnut Hill Outdoors offer the following recommendations:
*Use Grow Tubes. They allow you to spray close to the tree without fear of herbicides being absorbed through the bark. They also improve the mirco-environment and protect bark from insect and rodent pests.
*Apply only when there is no wind to prevent over-spray, or herbicides dispersing into unintended areas.
*Mix herbicide with a colored dye so you can clearly see where the herbicide is being applied and avoid accidental over-spray.
*Use a shield or hood on the fertilizer wand. This allows greater control over where herbicide is applied.
Also bear in mind that because it is a growth inhibitor, Round-Up should be applied during the growing season, not as a pre-emergent. Your spraying will be more effective if you can mow the area first, then wait a week to 10 days until vigorous weed growth begins before spraying.
If site conditions allow, you can also reduce weed competition outside the 2-3 foot circle by herbicide spraying, mowing and if properly done, controlled burning.
Chestnut Hill Outdoors is more than just a nursery. In order to ensure you realize the maximum benefit from their products, they also provide sound advice and instruction on proper planting and care. For more on Chestnut Hill Outdoors products and how to care for them, visit ChestnutHillOutdoors.com, or call (855) 386-7826
Chestnut Hill is the best place for you to purchase your food plot and deer attractant plants because they offer a large selection, their plants are specifically bred to attract deer, and they offer customers different sized plants at different levels of growth.
For more information, please visit