Several vegetation control options are currently available to British Columbia foresters. Some of the more common options, such as herbicide application or manual brushing operations, may be limited in their effectiveness for a number of reasons. For example, public opposition may curtail the operational application of herbicides, while site conditions may preclude the use of manual brushing of competing vegetation (Boateng and Comeau 1997). Other less common methods may be restricted in their use to specific ecosystems. The Research Branch of the B.C. Ministry of Forests, in partnership with the Canadian Forest Service, the Biology Department of the University of Victoria, and Mycologic Inc., are currently involved in testing the use of a fungus, Condrostereum purpureum, as a method of controlling vegetation that competes with planted conifer seedlings. The purpose of this research was to evaluate promising methods for managing vegetation in conifer plantations.
Condrostereum purpureum is an ideal candidate for vegetation control (Harper et al. 1999). It occurs naturally in British Columbia forests. Because it will attack only woody species that have been selectively wounded, the effect of this mycoherbicide is restricted to the target vegetation.
This extension note reports on the mortality and growth response of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) suckers 3 years after application of the fungus Chondrostereum purpureum ([Pers.: ex Fr.] Pouzar). The data presented here were collected from one of two British Columbia installations that are part of a larger national research program testing the efficacy of C. purpureum. This extension note does not discuss the field trial that tested the effectiveness of C. purpureum in controlling the growth of Sitka alder (Alnus sinuata [Regel] Rydb). For further information on C. purpureum and its control of Sitka alder see Harper et al. (1999).
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Updated April 19, 2007