African boxthorn weed war

News article |

African boxthorns have been a target species in key locations across the Murraylands and Riverland this winter, with district staff mapping and controlling the pest plant to reduce the numbers.

Posted 30 September 2020.

A coordinated effort has controlled African boxthorns from more than 800 kilometres of roadsides and 100 kilometres of railway tracks during the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board’s district winter weed program.

Roadsides have been targeted, particularly focusing on heavily infested areas and those with remnant native vegetation.

District staff have been mapping the declared weed to help identify the priority locations and coordinate control by staff, landholders, councils and contractors.

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board district managers Hannah Spronk and Kylie Moritz praised the efforts of staff.

“It’s been a team effort by district staff to enable us to complete control for so many African boxthorn. While out and about the staff took advantage of the opportunity to locate other pest plant species that may be targeted in future programs,” Ms Spronk said.

If left uncontrolled, infestations are able to overrun areas and provide shelter for pests such as foxes and rabbits, and a home for fruit fly.

Declared under the Landscape South Australia Act (2019), the most effective time to control African boxthorn is during the cooler months while the plant is actively growing.

Many plants will be taking advantage of the recent rains and will be looking green and healthy which is the perfect opportunity for control.

Herbicide application by foliar spray, chemical applied neat to the freshly cut stump or mechanical removal of the plant with machinery are all successful control techniques.

Ms Moritz said it’s not too late to tackle those remaining prickly pests on your property or roadside. There are a number of control methods suitable for different situations.

For advice on identification and control options, or assistance with other pest plant and animal issues, landholders are encouraged to contact their local Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board office at Murray Bridge phone: 8532 9100 or Murraylands and Riverland Landscape and National Parks office Berri phone: 8580 1800.

This project is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from landscape levies.

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