Council targets weeds

WEED WATCHERS: Snowy Monaro Regional Council employees Colin Groves from Vegetation Management and David Tosh from Jindabyne Waste and Recycling.

WEED WATCHERS: Snowy Monaro Regional Council employees Colin Groves from Vegetation Management and David Tosh from Jindabyne Waste and Recycling.

Representatives of Snowy Monaro Regional Council were at the Bombala Show on Saturday giving out pamphlets and discussing the problem of certain weeds on the Monaro that are quick to establish and takeover.

Council’s Vegetation Management officer, Colin Groves said that African Love Grass, Serrated Tussock and Cape Broom were some of the weeds they were targeting.

“African Love Grass is an invasive species that is quick to take hold and has no nutritional value to livestock,” he said.

It is spread by seed, which is produced in very large amounts that falls close to the parent plant, but it may spread over long distance in contaminated hay, in soil or on vehicles.

Because stock avoid it unless there is nothing else to eat it rapidly replaces more palatable grasses in overgrazed pasture.

Serrated Tussock is another noxious weed to keep an eye out for.

It was thought to be introduced into the country in the saddle stuffing that was imported into Australia during the war.

The perennial tussock grass grows to about 50cm high and its seed is tiny.  It is spread by the wind or contaminated transport.

Serrated Tussock invades native vegetation, including grassland and open forest and has almost no nutritional value.

Another plant classified by council as being noxious is the Cape Broom shrub.

Brooms grown to about 1.4 metres high and flower in spring. The shrub has leaves that are composed of three leaflets. The flowers are yellow.

“The problem with Cape Broom is that it is quick to establish and it chokes rivers and creeks,” Mr Groves said.

“Early detection of these weeds is most important,” he said.

As well as taking action to remove weeds you need to look at what has contributed to the infestation and treat the causes as well as the weeds.

If you rely on simple spraying you may be embarking on an expensive spiral of increasing disturbance.

“Timing is crucial in weed control and you should remove the weeds before they produce seed,” Mr Goves said.

“Hand pulling, chipping or digging is the cheapest method of weed control for small infestations but it is time consuming; slashing or mowing can be used to delay production of seed.”

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