Weed interference reduces yield of coppiced tea tree (
J. G. Virtue, B. G. Sutton, G. J. Murtagh and R. D. Cousens
Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
40(8) 1157 - 1164
AbstractThe effects of weeds on the oil yield of tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia (Maiden and Betche) Cheel, were examined in 6 field experiments. Tea tree is grown in plantations as a coppice crop, being annually harvested for its leaf oil. Plots were maintained with and without weed control between successive harvests. Weed interference significantly reduced leaf biomass yield of regrowth tea tree in 5 of 6 experiments, with a mean yield loss of 25%. Yield losses ranged from 9 to 47%, and these were correlated with weed biomass remaining at harvest. Weed interference did not significantly affect leaf oil concentration, or its chemical composition.
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