Declared weed taking advantage of cooler conditions
The declared weed African boxthorn will be taking advantage of the recent cooler weather and moisture. It will look green and healthy, which offers the ideal time for control as the weed is easily seen.
Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board, Riverland District Manager Hannah Spronk said the season change and different weather conditions dictate what plants grow and weeds are no different.
“African boxthorn remains a focus pest weed for control in priority locations across the region,” she said.
“Infestations left uncontrolled can invade roadsides and native vegetation. Their thorns can be rather nasty if you get to close, and the plants can provide shelter for pest animals such as foxes and rabbits and a home for fruit flies.
“While probably not their first choice, when there aren’t too many other options around the small red berries of the African boxthorn offer refuge for fruit fly. This supports the fruit fly to stay long enough in our environment to attack other fruit crops.
Roadsides and properties are a priority, especially any heavily infested areas and those with remnant native vegetation.
Each winter district staff work with landholders and contractors on control in priority areas, and while the majority of efforts are effective, there are always new plants sneaking into the landscape.
“Now is the time to follow up and do targeted control of any new plants or regrowth.
Ms Spronk said when District officers are undertaking field work, they are always looking for any declared weeds that may need control work.
”We are keen to work with landholders and encourage them to call us. We can provide advice and expertise to help them get on top of the problem.
Declared for control under the Landscape South Australia Act (2019), the most effective time to control African boxthorn in the Riverland is generally during the cooler, wetter months while the plant is actively growing. This will improve the uptake and effectiveness of herbicide if used, and will be easier to manually remove plants with damp soil.
For advice on identification and control options or assistance with other pest plant or animal issues, landholders are encouraged to contact their local Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board office at Murray Bridge phone: 8532 9100 or Berri phone: 8580 1800.
This District team is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the landscape levies.