Hub Site Update – AFBI Hillsborough – August 2023

28 September 2023

August 2023 – Hub Site Updates

  • All plots have been mowed apart from the miscanthus.
  • Wet conditions have not affected access to site.

Weed Control

  • Miscanthus (all plots) had a high presence of chickweed, soft thistles, and some docks so have been sprayed off with Envy (100 g/litre fluroxypyr + 2.5 g/litre florasulam).
  • Eucalyptus has a high grass presence, mowing has continued alongside spraying with Laser.
  • SRC Willow (all plots) mowed and sprayed with laser.
  • SRC poplar mowed and sprayed with Laser.
  • Fence lines are not being sprayed.

Growth Reports

  • Adverse weather conditions have affected our larger black locust plants. They are very top-heavy and strong winds have pushed many over at an angle and snapped a couple of stems. Hub site staff have had to go through and firm up the bases again. We would recommend in sites prone to strong winds, to put canes in and cord around the trees.
Black Locust has snapped due to high winds.

Black Locust has snapped due to high winds.


  • Some Sida have emerged, but it is very slow going. This could potentially be due to planting in wet conditions and then the ground getting very hard after drying up.
  • SRC Will. Var. Trial – Some full rows (will have to double check variety) have not emerged.
  • The wind has taken a couple of the SRF poplar plants. Also, a couple still seem to be dormant but not dead. we will note varieties and replace.
  • A few SRC poplar varieties have not emerged
  • Establishment in small black locust ca. 60% maybe less. Potentially drying out after planting, but also noticed a lot of slugs around the plants and insect/slug damage to leaves. We planted a few of the cut stems as the original supply of the small black locust was limited. These seem to have established well, avoiding the weed/grass and pests.
  • Post-Emergence herbicide applied -Envy (100 g/litre fluroxypyr + 2.5 g/litre florasulam).

Equipment and Infrastructure

We might get a wheeled strimmer, however, the smaller mowers we have go up the double rows of the willow.

Our plan is to roll the field and keep topping until after the demonstration event. Grass (some kind of PRG) is returning and will be better established than any seed we plant before the 28th of Sept. Hence, this will most likely be the tidiest option. We can harrow with a small harrow 1 – 1.5m around plots to keep the grass away. We aim to plant the grass borders after if necessary.

We had our own supply of electric fencing. This was put up around the SRC poplar as it was closest to the area where the rabbits are. Now that the plants are more established this has been taken down to allow easier access for mowing and spraying.

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