Physical:: Hand-pulling Melilotus alba is best done in the fall. In the spring the root crown must be removed when the ground is moist and before it begins to flower. Hand cutting stems just before flowering or on lower stems that dieback before flowering, usually does not resprout. Be sure to cut close to the ground (Cole, 1990). Prescribed burning is also used to contol white sweetclover (Uchytil, 1992). They must be burned in April of the first year which causes the seeds to germinate (Cole, 2006; DiTomaso et al, 2006). After the first burn seed germination is high (Uchytil, 1992) and there is a high density of M. alba (Curtis and Partch, 1948). In May of the second year when the plants are 1-2m high (Uchytil, 1992) they should be burned again which in turn kills emerging shoots before they seed. This procedure should be followed by two years of no burn (Cole, 1990).
Chemical: The herbicide 2, 4-D can be used to spot spray M. Alba. Herbicides are usually used for extremely disturbed sites (Cole,1990).
Biological: No biocontrol options have become available yet (Cole, 1990). Some considerations for biocontrol are the sweetclover weevil which damages the plant (Uchytil, 1992).
Location Specific Management Information
Management and control options: Hand pulling is recommended when the ground is moist in late-fall. Chemical control includes spot application of the herbicide 2, 4-D. Prescribed burning is also recommended (NPWRC, 2006a).
Management and control options: Burn annually about early May (for Minnesota) when second-year shoots are clearly visible (Uchytil, 1992).
Management and control options: A combination of an April burn followed the next year by a May burn was more successful in reducing white sweetclover than other burning combinations. Heavily infested paririe stands where this burning combination was conducted twice, separated by 2 years without burning, became almost completly free of white sweet clover (Uchytil, 1992).
3. DiTomaso, J.M., M.L. Brooks. E.B. Allen. R. Minnich, P.M. Rice, G.B. Kyser. Control of Invasive Weeds with Prescribed Burning. Weed Technology. 20: 535-548.
Summary: This describes how and when to burn different kinds of vegetation.
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