Michigan Christmas Tree Industry Research Priorities 2016
1. Reducing/eliminating cone production
- Look at using PGR’s or herbicides to reduce the cost of picking cones.
- Evaluate other plantation management that may influence early coning.
2. Weed management
- Evaluate new herbicides for use in Christmas tree production. Particularly broadleaf herbicides to use after bud break.
- The effects of long term glyphosate use on tree growth
- Herbicide programs to use with ground covers
- Herbicide resistance issues – Stinger, Velpar and Round-up
3. Improved Genetic
- Help establish seed orchards
- Crosses with fir’s – example: Concolor X Fraser
- CoFirG trials of Turkish fir
- Develop trials looking at traits for “target” seedling vs just height (example caliper, root shoot ratio)to improve establishment.
4. Pest Management (insects and diseases)
- Evaluate new fungicides for use in Christmas tree production
- Emerging pest issues – Hemlock and balsam woolly adelgid, midges, etc.
- Sustainable pest management
- Ways to get off the pesticide treadmill
- Organic options
5. Nutrient management
- Looking at nitrogen management
- Using N inhibitors
- Rates and timing to maintain color at harvest
- Shearing practices to produce a more open tree
- Marketing survey and promotion of more open trees (Victorian, European)
7. Alternative production systems (agro-forestry)
- Soil health
- cover crops, soil amendments, organic systems, etc.
- nutrition – soil and foliar tests, micronutrients
- Trimming/pruning workshop
- Weed management
- cover crops
- nutrient management
- Consumers – pricing
- Effects of climate change on industry
Updated December 2016
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