Does the reaction of inflorescences and flowers of the invasive Prunus serotina ehrh. to various herbicides give hope for elimination of this species from Polish forests?
The North American Prunus serotina Ehrh. is an invasive neophyte widespread in Polish forests. Due to the negative impact of this species on native vegetation, the most effective methods of its removal from the stands have been searched for. Our research aimed to determine whether herbicides that were applied in spring 2020 influenced morphological features of inflorescences and flowers of P. serotina in the next year of vegetation (i.e., 2021). So far, the effects of herbicides used were analysed in the same year, no later than a few weeks after their application. The experiment was carried out on the research area of 2.7 ha located in the Zielonka Forest near Poznań in Poland (N 52.5330, E 17.1015). The response of 39 P. serotina trees to six different herbicides, containing sulfonylurea derivatives, glyphosate and phenoxy herbicides was investigated. The chemicals were applied directly to the tree, to the holes made in the trunk axis. The plant material included inflorescences from 10 control trees and 29 trees treated with different herbicides. Nine morphological inflorescence and flower features and three ratios were analysed. In total 200 inflorescences and 1000 flowers were measured. Statistically significant differences between inflorescence and flower features collected from trees treated with different herbicides were demonstrated. The largest ranges of values of the studied features were found in inflorescences and flowers collected from the control trees (C-WI, C-DWH). The greatest variability of the studied features was found for C-DWH. Compared to the control trees the reduction in inflorescence size, as well as the smaller number of flowers, were recorded in the trees treated with different herbicides, irrespective of an active substance content. The use of six different herbicides-with different active substance contents to control P. serotina proves to be effective.