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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
(610) 557-4132 TTY/TDD

You are here: NRS Home / Research Programs /Forest Disturbance Processes / Invasive Species / Technical Innovations to Reduce Impacts of Invasive Species
Forest Disturbance Processes

Technical Innovations to Reduce Impacts of Invasive Species

[photo:] Complete weed control system consisting of a standard four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle, spray boom with accessories, and newly-developed weed compaction roller system.Research Issue

Technology that is available to manage invasive species and increase productivity of short rotation woody crops (SRWC) is often too expensive, difficult to operate, cumbersome, and/or impractical. There is a need for technical innovations that help to achieve these objectives while meeting specific experimental needs. Such research and development is important for researchers and resource managers needing specialized equipment to foster more meaningful SRWC studies in the areas of invasive species management, production systems, ecosystem services, and genetics and tree improvement. 

[photos:] Two different views of the weed compaction roller system. Our Research

After nearly a decade and a half of design and construction, we are continuing to test and develop: 1) a weed compaction roller system for use with a four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle to flatten invasive weeds prior to herbicide application, 2) an observational system (rhizotron) for acquiring two-dimensional, horizontal root growth measurements over time without disturbing aboveground plant growth and without the need for destructive sampling of roots, and 3) an inexpensive, reliable, and durable monitoring station to be used with lightweight, compact data loggers.

Expected Outcomes

The combined outcome of these innovations is to reduce impacts of invasive species and enhance production of poplar plantations grown for energy, fiber, and environmental benefits. Our rhizotron and monitoring station are important for enhancing early establishment of the trees, while the roller supports proper control of invasive weeds that cause poor establishment rates, subsequent plantation failure, and substantial economic losses. Our roller system also has promise for agronomic settings, roadside ditches, and areas where native, localized flora and fauna are in danger of elimination from the landscape due to invasive species competition.

Research Results

LeBlanc Fisher, C., and Wiese, A.H. 2009. The crush and spray: a patented design for herbicide application with less waste. Native Plants 10:53-56.

Zalesny, R.S. Jr., Wiese, A.H., Bauer, E.O., Headlee, W.L. Jr., Hall, R.B., Mahama, A.A., and Zalesny, J.A. 2007. An inexpensive and reliable monitoring station design for use with lightweight, compact data loggers. Tree Planters’ Notes 52:32-35.

Wiese, A.H., and Zalesny, R.S. Jr. 2006. Unique technical innovations for short rotation woody crops research and development. In: Seventh Biennial Conference of the Short Rotation Woody Crops Operations Working Group: Short rotation woody crop production systems for wood products, bioenergy and environmental services; September 25-28, 2006; Pasco, WA. p 50.

Wiese, A.H., Netzer, D.A., Riemenschneider, D.E., inventors. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, assignee. 2006. Combination foliage compaction and treatment method and apparatus.  U.S. Patent No. US 7,121,040. Issued on October 17, 2006.

Wiese, A.H., Netzer, D.A., Riemenschneider, D.E., and Zalesny, R.S. Jr. 2006. A weed compaction roller system for use with mechanical herbicide application. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 23:66-69.

Wiese, A.H., Riemenschneider, D.E., and Zalesny, R.S. Jr. 2005. An inexpensive rhizotron design for two-dimensional, horizontal root growth measurements. Tree Planters’ Notes 51:40-46.

Research Participants

Principal Investigators

  • Ronald S. Zalesny Jr., USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station - Team Leader, Research Plant Geneticist
  • Adam H. Wiese, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station - Forestry Technician

Research Partners

  • Edmund O. Bauer, US Forest Service- Technician Emeritus
  • Richard B. Hall, Iowa State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Ames, IA
  • A. Assibi Mahama, Iowa State University, Department of Agronomy, Ames, IA
  • William L. Headlee Jr., Iowa State University, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Ames, IA

Last Modified: 03/22/2012