Herbicides and forest vegetation management: A review of possible alternatives.

  • Nick McCarthy Chemical and Life Sciences Department, Waterford Institute of Technology, Cork Road, Waterford.
  • Claire McCarthy
Keywords: Vegetation management, alternatives, mowing, cultivation, mulching, ground cover species.


A major component of forest management programmes is the suppression or elimination of weeds. This is essential during seedling establishment, as the more vigorous the growth of non-crop vegetation, the more the competition with desired plants for space, light, water and nutrients. Much of the research into forest vegetation management has been on developing technology to control unwanted species with the main focus being on herbicides. In this paper, four alternative methods of weed control: (1) mowing, (2) cultivation, (3) mulching, and (4) ground cover species, are reviewed and their advantages and disadvantages discussed. Recently, certification initiatives and increasing public and industry awareness of the importance of environmental protection have led to concerns over the continued use of herbicides. It is therefore important to examine some potential alternatives for the Irish forestry situation.
How to Cite
McCarthy, N. and McCarthy, C. (2005) “Herbicides and forest vegetation management: A review of possible alternatives. ”, Irish Forestry. Available at: https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/9968 (Accessed: 4October2023).