Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals

Weed interference reduces yield of coppiced tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

J. G. Virtue, B. G. Sutton, G. J. Murtagh and R. D. Cousens

Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 40(8) 1157 - 1164
Published: 2000


The 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.

© CSIRO 2000

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