Weeds are simply plants that are not wanted at a particular place or time. They are often not native species (alien or invasive) and they thrive in the excellent conditions that man has cultivated to improve the growth of the forest.
Weeds compete for resources with newly planted trees and in some cases are the single most important factor preventing successful establishment. Methods of weed reduction can be cultural or chemical (herbicides). Herbicides are usually harmful to the environment, but cultural methods are usually very labour intensive and expensive.
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