What is defoliation in agriculture


Defoliation is the removal or loss of leaves from a plant, bush, tree or area of land. Plants can lose leaves through defoliation naturally if exposed to drought, insect pests, grazing animals or disease. Or defoliation can be a tool used intentionally for agricultural purposes either by using chemical or manual methods.

Defoliation is the removal of above ground plant material. A few ways that defoliation can be accomplished is by mowing, burning, grazing, hail, frost, or applying herbicide. In many cases defoliation is done intentionally.


What is defoliation in plants?

What Does Defoliation Mean? When a plant undergoes widespread and unnatural loss of its leaves it is described as defoliation. This is a plant disease and condition which is usually harmful to the plant’s health.

Why do forage plants need defoliation?

For maximum production, a forage plant must be able to regrow or continue to grow. Defoliation management means removing plant material so that the growth meristems needed for various plant functions are left intact. Massive leaf defoliation removes the opportunity for photosynthesis and most plant functions decline.

What is the impact of defoliation on grass?

Describe the impact of defoliation on grass plants. Defoliation is the premature removal of grass parts, usually leaves, by cutting or grazing. Cutting grass by mowing is usually a clean, uniform cut. Grazing animals are selective and do not defoliate plants uniformly or evenly.

What happens when a tree is defoliated?

While severe defoliation can reduce radial growth, cause top-kill or tree death, foliage-feeding insects can also increase the overall long-term health of a forest. Suppressed or diseased trees are usually more vulnerable to mortality during outbreaks of defoliators.


What is meant by defoliation?

Definition of defoliate transitive verb. : to deprive of leaves especially prematurely Black spot, which looks like its name, attacks leaves. Left untreated, it spreads and multiplies, and can defoliate the plant.—

What is the purpose of defoliation?

Defoliation definition From the root word “foliage,” defoliation is the process of removing leaves from plants. The goal of defoliation is to encourage more abundant yields in a shorter period of time while increasing the overall energy efficiency of the plant.

What causes defoliation in plants?

Defoliation is defined as a widespread loss of leaves or stripping of leaves on a plant. There are many things that can cause this, such as grazing animals like deer or rabbits, insect infestation, disease or chemical run off from herbicides.

What is forest defoliation?

Defoliation is the removal of all or part of the foliage from the tree. Forest insects are the primary agents that can cause defoliation. They produce the widespread, noticeable defoliation that forest landowners, foresters, and the general public can easily recognize.

What is defoliation in grass?

Defoliation is the removal of above ground plant material. A few ways that defoliation can be accomplished is by mowing, burning, grazing, hail, frost, or applying herbicide. In many cases defoliation is done intentionally.

How do plants respond to defoliation?

Root growth stops quickly after defoliation and fine roots may die (Luo et al., 1995; Jarvis and MacDuff, 1989). Respiration and nutrient uptake also decline quickly after defoliation. These responses, however, may be tempered by the age of the plant and availability of resources.

What is another word for defoliate?

What is another word for defoliation?devastationdestructionravageswreckageruinationannihilationdecimationdemolishmentexterminationextinction60 more rows

Which one is used for defoliation of forest trees?

2, 4-Dichlorophenoxy acetic acid is used for causing defoliation of forest trees.

What is defoliation in cotton?

Defoliation is the application of chemicals to encourage or force cotton leaves to drop from the. plant in order to harvest the crop in a timely manner. Defoliation is a balancing act between. killing the leaves and not affecting the leaf.

What is defoliation in bonsai?

Bonsai defoliation involves cutting all, or some, the leaves of a tree during the summer. In doing so you force the tree to grow new leaves, leading to a reduction in the size of leaves and an increase in ramification.

What are some reasons for deforestation?

Direct causes of deforestation are agricultural expansion, wood extraction (e.g., logging or wood harvest for domestic fuel or charcoal), and infrastructure expansion such as road building and urbanization. Rarely is there a single direct cause for deforestation.

Why does defoliation decrease radial growth?

Because foliage-feeding insects reduce leaf area, photosynthesis is reduced during defoliation. This, in turn, leads to a decrease in the rate of radial growth. Most people are familiar with the annual rings of spring and summer wood growth that are visible in cross-sections of the trunk and branches of trees.

What causes defoliation in turf grass?

Defoliation in turfgrass is caused primarily by caterpillars (Lepidoptera) and also a few weevils or billbugs (Coleoptera). Both caterpillars and weevils have chewing mouthparts and are mostly foliage feeders. Turf-feeding caterpillars fall into five groups: cutworms, webworms, armyworms, loopers, and a skipper.

How does insect defoliation affect trees?

Effects of insect defoliation on tree health vary considerably depending on the species of tree, how much foliage is consumed, and the general health or vigor of the tree. In addition, the timing of the defoliation and the age or location of the affected foliage can also influence the severity of impact.

Why do azaleas lose leaves?

Defoliation can be a serious problem, and there are several reasons why evergreen azalea plants could lose their leaves. Almost any type of stress could be responsible, such as lack of water, fertilizer injury, disease, and ethylene pollution. Leaf abscission caused by ethylene is most likely to occur in a cold storage unit that might have some ethylene-producing material in it, such as apples or leafy vegetables. Inadequate lighting (intensity or duration, or both) in a cooler when the temperature is over 40°F will almost always cause leaf abscission. Low relative humidity, lack of water in the medium, and excessive air movement can also cause the foliage to abscise. Leaf burn will precede abscission in some instances, such as excessive fertilizer or diseases, but green leaves can abscise if the causes are ethylene, low light, or lack of moisture.

What causes leaf abscission?

Leaf abscission caused by ethylene is most likely to occur in a cold storage unit that might have some ethylene-producing material in it, such as apples or leafy vegetables. Inadequate lighting (intensity or duration, or both) in a cooler when the temperature is over 40°F will almost always cause leaf abscission.

Why do leaves abscise?

Low relative humidity, lack of water in the medium, and excessive air movement can also cause the foliage to abscise. Leaf burn will precede abscission in some instances, such as excessive fertilizer or diseases, but green leaves can abscise if the causes are ethylene, low light, or lack of moisture.

Do conifers die from defoliation?

Unlike hardwood trees, conifers produce only a single set of buds in mid to late summer and cannot reflush in response to defoliation. Conifer trees that sustain complete defoliation will die and moderate to heavy defoliation increases the vulnerability of conifers to bark beetles and other secondary pests. Conifer forests killed by defoliating insects or associated secondary pests can be highly susceptible to wildfire, especially when conditions are dry. Some conifer feeders, such as jack pine budworm and yellow-headed spruce sawfly ( Pikonema alaskensis ), feed more heavily on needles at the top of the tree than in the middle or lower portion of the canopy. This can result in top-kill – a condition in which the tree survives and continues to grow radially, but the leader and upper whorls of branches die.

What is defoliation in cannabis?

Defoliation, as the name suggests, is a foliage-removal technique used by experienced growers, consisting of careful removal of specific leaves from the cannabis plant. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to stick to simpler trimming techniques before employing defoliation.

Why is it important to not defoliate plants?

Beginner growers should not attempt to defoliate their plants because it takes a great deal of understanding the anatomy of the plant paired with knowledge of the overall growth process. If done improperly, you risk overstressing and hurting your yield.

What does lollipopping a plant mean?

Lollipopping the plant means to remove most of the bottom growth that is lacking light and leave everything at the top untouched. Basically, you can remove most of the foliage in the lower end of the plant while leaving the end buds to grow denser.

Can you defoliate cannabis plants?

Remember, defoliation is not a technique that should be used for first-time or inexperienced growers. If you get a little too snip-happy, you may end up stressing your plant out beyond repair. Anyone considering defoliating their cannabis plants should already have thorough knowledge and experience with other important aspects of growing cannabis.

How does defoliation work?

Defoliation is the process of removing certain leaves on the cannabis plant, with the intention of exposing other leaves to more light. The idea is simple, the more light that hits the leaves, the more energy the plant can consume. However, the process of removing leaves can potentially jeopardize the life of your plant and is therefore somewhat controversial in the cultivation community.

What is defoliation in cannabis?

Defoliation is an advanced trimming technique which involves the careful removal of leaves from the cannabis plant. Defoliation should not be confused with basic trimming techniques and is recommended only for highly experienced growers.

Why is it important to defoliate early in the flowering stage?

It’s important to defoliate early in the flowering stage to let the buds receive as much light as possible. This also allows the plant to focus all of its energy on growing buds rather than growing more leaves. Generally, you want to follow the same procedure as you would if you were to defoliate during the vegetative phase. Be sure to avoid defoliating late in the flowering stage.

What happens if leaves are laying on top of buds?

If leaves are laying on top of buds and preventing them from receiving light, it may be wise to remove those.

Is defoliation a technique?

Defoliation is not unique to cannabis cultivation, it is a technique that has been used in agriculture on crops like cotton for many years. The technique differs slightly by plant but the concept is the same, removing foliage from the plant.

Can you defoliate a cannabis plant?

Depending on your desired effects, you can also choose to defoliate your cannabis plant during a certain phase of its life cycle. Defoliating at different stages of the life cycle will produce a wide range of results in your plant and you need to carefully weigh your options before proceeding.

How to tell if a plant is defoliated?

To know whether your plant is defoliated, simple signs on leaves include chewing from insects and animals, signs of disease like spots, mildews and molds. Also, check for the possibility of chemical treatments around the area where you plant.

What is it called when a plant loses its leaves?

When a plant undergoes widespread and unnatural loss of its leaves it is described as defoliation . This is a plant disease and condition which is usually harmful to the plant’s health. Various reasons can trigger defoliation and the causes range from grazing animals, insect infestation, high winds, excess heat, drought, frost, chemicals, and diseases and beyond.

Why do plants lose leaves?

Plants generally go through photosynthesis using their leaves, and due to the lack of leaves, defoliated plants are unable to undergo photosynthesis. This lack of natural process that creates nutrition can impede the growth of the plant and cause it to be malformed.

How & why defoliation improves yields

Green-fingered people all over the world work hard to grow the best plants and improve the quality and quantity of their yields every single day.

What is defoliation?

Defoliation is the removal or loss of leaves from a plant, bush, tree or area of land.

Why defoliate cannabis plants?

When people talk about defoliation as it relates to cannabis plants, it’s often about maximising yields (because who doesn’t want that right?!) 😉

Can defoliation create a better growing environment?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… when you grow indoors, managing your environment is everything!

The function of leaves & the science behind defoliation

Right, it’s time to dive a little deeper into the purpose and function of leaves and the science behind defoliation. 🤿

The benefits of defoliation

By now, you’ll know there’s a number of plus points to defoliation, but lets touch on the benefits one more time:

Are there any disadvantages to defoliation?

Yes… but any downsides are more often than not a result of grower error and overzealous defoliation done wrong that in turn causes problems.

What was the main use of defoliants in the Vietnam War?

After WWII, the main employment of CWs is recorded in 1961–1972 when the US Army used defoliants. The herbicide Agent Orange was used during the Vietnam War and led to the injury of more than one million Vietnamese and Americans. Agent Orange (a mixture of 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy acetic acid) contained the chemical contaminant dioxin as an impurity which caused many deaths on both sides. There were other herbicide mixtures such as Agent White (2,4-D and picloram) and Agent Blue (cacodylic acid). The biological effects of dioxin were described by Sofronov et al. (2001). The first major operation of this type was conducted over the Ca Mau peninsula in September–October 1962. The area sprayed with defoliants during 1965 had been five times larger than in 1965 and in 1967 ten times larger. The scale of the use of defoliants was roughly in proportion to the overall involvement of US troops. In 1970, herbicides and defoliants were used in tens of tons, especially 2,4,5-T. The area sprayed enlarged from 23 km 2 in 1962 to 22,336 km 2 in 1969. The area exposed to spraying was assessed to be 58,000 km 2 and the number of people exposed was assessed to be more than one million including more than 1,000 deaths. In addition to defoliants used to destroy vegetation concealing the North Vietnamese, the USA used tear gas for clearing tunnels and bunkers. The irritants CS, CN, and DM were reported to be used. The total CS procured was approximately 7,000 tons from 1963 to 1969.

What is phenoxy defoliant?

Phenoxy defoliants, 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T have been used worldwide in forestry and agriculture. The phenoxy herbicide Agent Orange, composed of equal parts of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, received a lot of attention after its large-scale use in Vietnam by the U.S. military during the war years of 1962–1971. The phenoxy herbicide 2,4,5-T has not been manufactured since 1983. The contamination of these compounds with the dioxin TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p -dioxin) in commercial preparations has further confounded the effects noted. TCDD is found to be extremely teratogenic in laboratory animals: it has a very low teratogenic minimal effective dose of 1–10 μg/kg in susceptible strains of mice ( Pearn, 1985) and effects such as hydronephrosis and cleft palate have been noted ( Couture et al., 1990 ). While results from Agent Orange exposure are largely inconclusive, the litigation history may be obtained in previous reports ( Schuck, 1986 ).

What is def used for?

DEF is an organophosphate chemical used as a cotton defoliant to facilitate mechanical harvesting. Recommended application rate is ∼1–2.5 pints per acre per year applied as a diluted spray. Two products containing DEF as their active ingredient include DEF 6, manufactured by Bayer Corporation, and Folex 6 DC, manufactured by Amvac Chemical Co. Used for pest control in industrial agriculture (tends to be more toxic agents), organophosphates of low to intermediate toxicity are used to control ectoparasites on farm and companion animals and humans (head lice), and for home and garden pest control.

Does wheat cause adactyly?

An increased risk of circulatory/respiratory defects, musculoskeletal/integument defects, and poly-/syn-/adactyly was seen in high-wheat verses low-wheat regions among 43,634 births, where utilized wheat acreage served as a surrogate for chlorophenoxy herbicide exposure in a record linkage study ( Schreinemachers, 2003 ). Male offspring in high-wheat regions were almost twice as likely to have circulatory/respiratory defects compared to male offspring of low-wheat regions. And female offspring had an elevated risk of musculoskeletal/integumental defects. In the Ontario Farm Family Health Study exposure to phenoxy herbicides during the first trimester was generally not associated with increased risk of spontaneous abortion ( Arbuckle et al., 1999 ), however, a possible role of preconception (possibly paternal) exposures to phenoxy herbicides in the risk of early spontaneous abortions is suggested. Increases in risk of early abortions (< 12 weeks gestation) were seen for women living on farms that used phenoxy acetic acid herbicides in the 3 months prior to conception ( Arbuckle et al., 2001 ). In Minnesota, spring miscarriages were elevated among the spouses of male pesticide applicators who had applied one or more of the following herbicides: sulfonylurea, imidizolinone, or a mixture consisting of chlorophenoxy herbicides, sulfonylurea, and benzothiodiazole ( Garry et al., 2002b ).

Why You Should Learn Cannabis Plant Defoliation Techniques

There are a couple reasons to defoliate your cannabis plants. Defoliating your plants will help you minimize LARF, or underdeveloped buds that don’t get enough light or air. In addition, defoliating sends hormonal signals to your plant to make it grow bigger and heavier.

When Should I Practice My Cannabis Plant Defoliation Techniques?

It’s important to make sure defoliate your plants at the right time. For example, if you wait for too long into your flower cycle to defoliate, you may find your marijuana plants have already developed LARF or infections. That’s why it’s important to know the best times to prune your plants and stick to your schedule.

How Much Cannabis Plant Matter Should I Remove When Defoliating?

There are a couple schools of thought here. One technique, called “schwazzing,” involves removing every fan leaf from your plant. This technique is commonly used in gardens with lots of plants that are all close together. It’s one of the only ways you can create adequate air flow if you have more than four cannabis plants per four-square-foot area.

The Proper Way to Remove Marijuana Leaves

You might think that it’s silly to ask how to remove a leaf from a plant. You just take it off, right? Wrong, bucko. Some people like to use pruning shears to cut the stems of the fan leaves. However, this is not what you want to do.

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What is desiccation of potatoes?

Desiccated potato plants prior to harvest. Pre-harvest crop desiccation refers to the application of an agent to a crop just before harvest to kill the leaves and/or plants so that the crop dries out from environmental conditions (“dry-down”) more quickly and evenly.

How does desiccation improve crop growth?

Plants that have naturally reached the end of their maturation may be mingled with plants in earlier stages of growth; controlled desiccation evens that out. This also increases uniformity of moisture content in grain, which has positive economic benefits in the storage of the grain and the price of the grain.

Why is desiccation important?

Crop desiccation can improve the efficiency and economics of mechanical harvesting. In grain crops such as wheat, barley and oats, uniformly dried crops do not have to be windrowed (swathed and dried) prior to harvest, but can easily be straight-cut and harvested. This saves the farmer time and money, which is important in northern regions …

What are the two groups of agents that are used in desiccation?

Active agents. In agricultural parlance, desiccation is divided into two distinct groups: “true desiccants” and pre-harvest systemic herbicides. True desiccants are not chemical desiccants, rather they are contact herbicides which kill only the parts of the plant they touch.

How does glyphosate kill plants?

Glyphosate works by poisoning the shikimate pathway which is found in plants and microorganisms but not in animals. Specifically, it inhibits the EPSP synthase enzyme which is required for plants to make certain amino acids. Without these, metabolism in the plant collapses. In addition, shikimate accumulates in plant tissues and diverts energy and resources away from other processes, eventually killing the plant over a period of days to weeks.

What are the advantages of desiccation?

Several additional advantages of desiccation have been cited: harvest can be conducted earlier; weed control is initiated for a future crop; earlier ripening allows for earlier replanting; desiccation reduces green material in the harvest putting less strain on harvesting machinery.

When was glyphosate used in wheat?

In the UK, glyphosate began to be applied to wheat crops in the 1980s to control perennial weeds such as common couch which was very effective and meant that sowing of the next crop could occur sooner.


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