I used a flamer just last week… on a pre-plant vegetable/small grain research project. 8 foot wide behind the tractor. Method is called a stale seed bed.
Have seen several fruit tree flamers in use in North Central Washington in the 1990s. My recollections: All were one big nozzle mounted on the front of the tractor with a trailered propane tank. All the tractors had melted front end plastic body parts, not from escaped fires but from prolonged heat. The flamers wouldn’t damage plastic irrigation components at all but would melt plastic tree guards. The flamers worked excellent on broadleaf weeds, annual grasses so-so, perennial grasses barely. After a couple years of use the in row vegetation evolved into 100% perennial grasses, in the case here, quack grass. Organic growers had to resort to in row tillage eventually. I personally could see using a flamer in combination with tillage as an viable in row weed control alternative. Bill Fleming Montana State University Western Ag Research Center 580 Quast Lane Corvallis, MT 59828 From: apple-crop-boun...@virtualorchard.net [mailto:apple-crop-boun...@virtualorchard.net] On Behalf Of David A. Rosenberger Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2015 8:02 PM To: Apple-crop discussion list Subject: Re: [apple-crop] Weed Flamer I’ve never used a flame weeder, but I’ve been on a number of tours where they were either demonstrated or discussed. Folks who have actually worked with them are probably either retired or too busy to comment, so I’ve summarized my recollections from those tours below. If my memory is faulty, then hopefully someone submit corrections and some additional info. 1. Flame weeders seem to work well only on very small weeds/grasses (e.g., up to 3-6 inches tall) and therefore the flaming must be done frequently (about every 2 or 3 weeks?) in warm wet climates if no herbicides are used to inhibit seed germination. 2. As I recall, one group indicated that flame weeders actually work best if there is a bit of dew or moisture on the weeds: the flames heated the surface water to destroy the plants. Although the weeds didn’t look “burned” after the flamer passed, they were actually “cooked” and died rapidly thereafter. 3. At one very large apple and cherry operation in WA state where a significant portion of the acreage committed to organic production, the farm manager told our tour group that flame weeding “involved a significant learning curve.” In their case, as I recall, the learning curve included incineration of several tractors when flames got out of control. Seems that would be less likely under eastern conditions where we are unlikely to accumulate a lot of dry debris under trees, but then anything is possible. 4. Finally one warning that my Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother gave to me and my cousins when we were small: Boys who play with fire will wet their beds! ******************************************** Dave Rosenberger, Plant Pathologist, Hudson Valley Lab, P.O. Box 727, Highland, NY 12528 Cell: 845-594-3060 ******************************************** On Monday, June 1, 2015, Matt Pellerin <m...@treworgyorchards.com<mailto:m...@treworgyorchards.com>> wrote: I am interested in the concept of using a weed flamer as a burndown option in my apple orchard. Has anyone had experience using these with fruit trees? What would be the pros/cons? Thanks, -- Matthew Pellerin Agricultural Manager Treworgy Family Orchards 3876 Union St Levant, ME 04456 www.treworgyorchards.com<http://www.treworgyorchards.com/> 207-884-8354 _______________________________________________ apple-crop mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> http://virtualorchard.net/mailman/listinfo/apple-crop
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