Tree Planting and Weed Control

Minimize off site soil and pesticide movement by following these guidelines.
General Guidelines:

  • Hand plant steep, erodible sites.
  • When planting slopes greater than 5 percent by machine, plant on the contour where practical and safe.
  • It is usually necessary to control competing weeds around the newly planted trees for 1-3 years.
  • Remove all trash and litter from the planting site and dispose of it properly.
  • Follow chemical site preparation guidelines to minimize undesire pesticide impacts.
  • Note: See the next section for additional chemical handling guidelines. 

Forest Chemicals: Don't spray chemicals directly on water.

Most water quality problems associated with pesticides and fertilizers are caused when they are spilled or sprayed directly on surface water. Use extra care when using chemicals around riparian management zones (RMZ) and wetlands.

The basic federal law regulating pesticides and their use if the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The Indiana State Chemist further regulates the use, handling, and application of pesticides. All pesticides are classified for "general" or "restricted" use. Restricted-use pesticides may be used only by or under supervision of certified applicators.

General Guidelines:

  • Read and follow all label instructions on chemical containers.
  • Maintain a spill containment and cleanup kit appropriate for the pesticide being used.
Report all spills to Office of the State Chemist:
(317) 494-1583 (pesticides),
(317) 494-1548 (fertilizers)

and the

Indiana Department of Environmental Management
(888) 233-SPIL (toll free) or
(317) 233-SPIL
  • Prevent chemical leaks from equipment.
  • Mix and load chemicals outside of RMZs, preferably in upland areas.
  • Calibrate spray equipment to assure uniform application of the correct amount.
  • Apply chemicals only under favorable weather conditions.
  • If it is necessary to utilize chemicals in RMZs, use methods that will prevent the chemical from entering the water (e.g. use spot treatment, frill, or stump treatment methods).
  • Use extra care when applying herbicides in areas where the chemicals will kill stabilizing vegetation on slopes, gullies and other fragile areas subject to erosion.
  • Rinse spray equipment and discharge rinse water only in areas that are part of the application site and outside the RMZ.
  • Dispose of chemical containers according to label instructions.

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