Use weed mats to protect planted trees

How is the evidence assessed?

Study locations

Key messages

  • One replicated, controlled study in Hong Kong found no effect of using weed mats on thick-leaved oak seedling height.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, controlled study in 1999-2002 in a degraded tropical forest in Hong Kong (Lai & Wong 2005) found no effect of using weed mats on thick-leaved oak Cyclobalanopsis edithae seedling height. Seedling height was similar in control and weed mat treatments after 37 months (control: 58; weed mats: 57 cm) and after 44 months (control: 83; weed mats: 85 cm). Fifteen oak seedlings were planted in each of four replicates (rows) of each control (no treatment after planting) and weed mats (0.4 × 0.4 m hessian cloth around each seeding) treatments. Seedlings were planted in June 1999 and observed for approximately 3.5 years.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Agra, H., Schowanek, S., Carmel, Y., Smith, R.K. & Ne’eman, G. (2020) Forest Conservation. Pages 323-366 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.


Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Forest Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Forest Conservation
Forest Conservation

Forest Conservation - Published 2016

Forest synopsis

What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

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