Palm trees are tropical or subtropical trees with large fan-like foliage growing from a single point or feathery foliage that has oppositely arranged leaflets on a common axis. Palm trees generally are intolerant of cold temperature, but certain palms are hardy of low temperatures and suitable for colder areas. Young palm trees are likely to be bothered by weeds, and selective herbicides offer a fast and safe weed control option. Selective herbicides affect only the targeted plants, causing minimal damage to desired plants.
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Trifluralin is recommended by the University of California Extension as a selective herbicide for use in ornamental trees and plants, which includes palm trees. Trifluralin is sold under a variety of trade names and is a pre-emergent herbicide that is applied to the soil before the germination of the weed seeds. The chemical controls a wide range of annual grasses and broadleaved weeds in fruit and nut trees and grain crops. Trifluralin retards the growth of the roots and shoots of any newly germinating weed seeds.
The University of California Extension recommends oryzalin as a selective herbicide in palms and other ornamental trees. Oryzalin, sold under different trade names, is a surface-applied, pre-emergent herbicide that effectively controls broadleaved weeds and annual grasses in nut and fruit trees, vineyards and established ornamental plants. The chemical controls weeds before they grow by stopping the germination of weed seeds. It is available in aqueous suspension, dry flowable and wettable powder formulations.
Oxadiazon is a selective herbicide for weed control in a wide range of ornamental plantings, according to the University of California Extension. Oxadiazon is used as a pre-emergent or early post-emergent herbicide for ornamental shrubs and trees. Oxadiazon does not leach readily to groundwater sources unless used in very porous soil. The chemical is sold under different trade names and has been widely used since its registration in 1978. Severe exposure to oxadiazon is likely to cause eye and skin irritation. As with other pre-emergent herbicides, oxadiazon controls the weeds before germination of weed seeds.
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