Preparing ground for bareroot seedlings in spring


Active Member
What is your process for preparing the ground for planting bareroot seedlings in the spring? Last spring I weed whacked an area about 4x4, put down some mats and put some in tubes, and some got both. Many of the ones without tubes accidentally got sprayed because the grass and weeds had grown up so much father couldn't see them or remember where they were at. I would like to make sure the ones that are planted next spring have the best jump on competition. All of them will have mats, but how do you limit the weeds and unwanted from your plants without the risk of spraying around them? Pre emergent after planting, post emergent before planting, or both? No experience with preemergence, so please share any tips or suggestions for brands!
Paul Knox had some good threads on the old forum about this

As I recall, He would spray proposed sites with gly and oust in the fall prior to spring planting

I will try to find recipe for you

Oust and your other pre emergence herbicides do not affect seedlings, just seeds correct?
There's like an 8 month wait on planting after spraying Oust so read the label carefully. If grasses and weeds are growing, Roundup is as good as anything before planting. You didn't say what kind of trees. I've planted spruce and then sprayed Simazine, Prowl and Clethedum right over them. Fruit trees, I burn down with Roundup and then I don't use any other herbicides for the first year but after that, those three herbicides work well and as well on Oak seedlings also. I use Oust on spruce trees in the fall and it cleans things up real well. I do like to minimize any herbicides so planting in rows so you can take care of a lot by mowing is a good idea.
If I am planting rows such as for a riparian planting.I disk or till as deep as I can in sept-early Oct and plant winter wheat.Then in the spring I will spray with RU right before I plant.If I had to pick between tubes or mats I would pick tubes.If you don't use tubes mark with white flags and then take and cut you a 3-4ft piece of 4inch pvc and tie a wire on one end for a handle now you have something to slid over saplings when you spray.just be careful that tall grass doesn't touch the tree when spray is wet.
The only open areas I have are difficult to get machinery too, limited to an atv and sprayer. I plant to move a variety of shrubs and small trees such as ninebark, elderberry, dogwoods, persimmon, and hazelnuts. My plan was to spray gly in fall and then spray again early spring. I didnt know if there was a better spray, or a spray I could use after trees have greened up?
I just ordered some cleth to clean up some clover plantings, would that be safe to spray around fruit trees and shrubs?
Thats what i hoped and what I plan to spray early next summer. any suggestions to add to gly this fall or spring before planting?