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Controlling Weeds

The good news...  

Only the most degraded environments lose all their native plants. 

A l

one wattle can support insects, birds, fungi and even mammals. 

In places that appear to be a waste of privet and lantana a few native trees and stunted seedlings of native plants may be waiting to be rescued. By 

removing the weeds in their root zone, they can take on new vigour. They will sow their seeds and grow new plants in the spaces from where the weeds were removed. The progress is incremental, and birds and butterflies that depend on the natives will progressively come back. It's well worth the effort to control weeds! 

Not so good...  

Plants introduced from other continents are rarely food for native wildlife. Few native insects feed on introduced plants. Unless we control them, such plants often become environmental weeds.

If the weeds take over, native plants and therefore wildlife disappears in proportion. The 50 or so local butterflies need specific native plants to feed on. Without them, the butterflies and many other specialised insects just disappear.  


Some of the weeds that we control are:

privet(s) & camphor laurel (introduced from China)

tradescantia (from S. America)

non-native grasses (from the Americas, Europe & Africa)

blackberry (from Europe)

Brazilian fireweed (from S. America)

lantana (from S. America)

thistles (from Europe)

If you need to identify a weed, try this useful site

Obnoxious Weeds

There is a small pervasive plant
Identified by Tradescant
(the botanist to Charles the First)
Which now has gone from BAD to WORST.

There is another, somewhat bigger,
Which grows with equal speed and vigour.
Lantana comes up by the millions,
So "Thanks for nothing, you Brazilians".

The Privet, most reviled of weeds,
Has devious ways of spreading seeds
Which never fail to germinate
And grow at an astounding rate.

The Camphor Laurel seems to be 
A harmless and attractive tree.
But don't be fooled by this disguise:
Just cut it down, if you are wise.

Blackberries, having taken root,
Beguile us with their luscious fruit.
Then very soon their thorny cane
Can only be removed with pain.

The Fleabane, Fireweed and Thistle
May seem to be "Not worth the whistle"
But they, along with Farmer's Friend,
Will all make compost in the end!
By poet and Public Officer, Ian Playford