Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) is a difficult weed to control in conifer nurseries. Soil fumigation with methyl bromide has been used to control yellow nutsedge for years but may not be available in the future. For this reason, the objective of this research was to identify herbicides that can control yellow nutsedge but do not injure loblolly (Pinus taeda L.) and slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) when used over-the-top of seedlings. Yellow nutsedge tubers and loblolly and slash pine seedlings were potted separately, and treated with three rates of the herbicides mesotrione (Callisto®), imazosulfuron (Valent-V10142), and halosulfuron (Sedgehammer®). Imazosulfuron and halosulfuron provided the best suppression of nutsedge, but imazosulfuron injured loblolly and slash pine. Slash pine diameter and height growth were reduced by imazosulfuron. Halosulfuron did not affect loblolly pine but it reduced slash pine height growth and the number of new leaders (spring flush growth) the following spring. Mesotrione injured slash pine but provided intermediate control of yellow nutsedge. Halosulfuron applied at 35 to 140 g ai·ha−1 (active ingredient per hectare) over the top of loblolly pine (≥ 60 cm height and ≥ 8 mm diameter) can control yellow nutsedge without injuring pine seedlings.

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Author notes

2Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University. Corresp. author: dpj0001@auburn.edu.

3Professor, Department of Horticulture, Auburn University.