Call to control cotoneaster
The voluntary coordinator of the Wagstaffe Ridge Local Land Services weeding project, Dr Helen Monks, wants Peninsula residents to be on the lookout for the weed cotoneaster this summer.
Cotoneaster is a woody weed which flowers from September through to February.
Species include franchetii, pannosus, lacteus, glaucophyllus, horizontalis and buxifolius.
Stems on the perennial woody but straggly shrub are reddish.
Leaves are furry, have a mid-green upper surface and a silver lower surface, always occurring in groups of three.
Flowers are small, white, often insignificant, densely clustered and highly attractive to bees.
Fruit are numerous round red to orange berries, visible in autumn and winter.
Seeds are spread by fruit-eating birds.
Thickets of the weed appear under tall trees, on roadsides and elsewhere displace local plants and shade the soil.
The weed causes native habitat to be lost and helps other weeds invade.
To lessen effort over time, control work has been scheduled in autumn and winter before flowering.
Dr Monks said residents could remove seedlings by hand if they could get all the roots out cleanly.
"If the roots are too tough, cut the stem close to the ground and paint with herbicide," she said.
"Stems of large plants can be injected with herbicide (or slice lengthwise through the bark to the sappy layer and paint with herbicide).
"Any plants with seeds should have the seeds clipped off directly into a bag, prior to cutting and poisoning.
"Bag any that fall to the ground.
"Put the bag contents into your green bin.
"Leave any plants without seeds upside down so their roots dry out and the plant will die.
"Always follow up after a few months to remove any germinating seedlings."
Media release, 21 Nov 2017
Helen Monk, Wagstaffe