Weeds are plants that compete in orchard ecosystems for soil moisture, nutrients, and sunlight. Weeds characteristically have rapid seed germination and seedling growth as well as root systems that have deeply penetrating and abundant fibers. Often weeds are better adapted than the tree fruit crop to a particular region. Weeds are of greatest concern in young orchards where they can severely reduce rapid growth of young fruit trees, leading to stunted trees and delays in flowering and cropping.
It is extremely important to understand plant-pest relationships within a class of pests as well as the interactions that can occur between or among classes when designing integrated control programs for orchard ecosystems. Treatment strategies aimed at controlling one pest can exacerbate problems with another. Conversely, careful orchard design and choice of treatment strategies can minimize problems associated with pests of several classes.
Related Topics: DISEASES; INSECTS AND MITES; NEMATODES; ORCHARD FLOOR MANAGEMENT; SUSTAINABLE ORCHARDING; WILDLIFE
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