What is a Weed?
A weed is classified as an invasive plant growing outside of its native environment which causes some sort of adverse impact to its surroundings. The majority of weeds have been brought here from overseas but some weeds are native Australian plants growing outside of their natural range.
Whatever the plant’s origin, when given the right environmental conditions it can become a weed. Weeds can have devastating effects on their surrounding areas.
It is important to reduce the spread of environmental weeds by more effective management of invasive plants. In doing so, it will help reduce the high cost of chemical control and reduce the amount of time and energy lost in management of weeds in productive land for food crops, grazing land and forestry.
The first step in weed control is to adequately identify them in order to determine what of type management is required, remembering that prevention is the most effective method of control.
Are you creating a weed problem in your area?
Are your garden plants ‘jumping the fence’? Garden escapes are said to be the main source of environmental weeds. Homeowners have a responsibility to protect the natural environment.
Here are some simple ways to enjoy gardening without creating problems outside of your garden fence:
- Recognise and remove plants known to be weeds and destroy them responsibly according to local council regulations.
- Replace problem plants with non-invasive alternatives.
- Employ good garden practices such as removing spent flowers and seeds from plants to avoid involuntary spread.
- Do not dump green garden waste in your neighbouring or public space as many plants can regenerate and become a nuisance.
- When transporting green waste please remember to cover your load so that seeds or cuttings don’t fall out.
- When purchasing new plants for the garden read labels to establish good characteristics such as drought tolerance and non-weedy habitat.
Many noxious weeds varieties are widespread throughout the Griffith Local Government Area. Council and State Government have laws which require the control of noxious weeds on properties including the adjoining road reserves.
Please click here to view a Noxious Weeds Declaration Document for the Griffith Local Government Area.
Ways to Control Weeds
Manual weed removal involves digging up the weed including the roots. The benefits of this removal are that it can minimise the disturbance to the site.
Mechanical removing requires the weed to be removed by machines. Examples of mechanical removal are: slashing, mowing, bulldozing, mulching and cultivation.
It is important to remember that if mechanical removing is not done properly it can actually be a vector to the further spreading of weeds. It is important that all machines are cleaned after each use to avoid the spread of noxious weeds.
A good cover of desirable vegetation prevents weeds establishing and can be used to out compete existing weed infestations.
Herbicides are chemicals that are applied to kill plants. Always read the label before applying chemicals as different herbicides require different safety precautions.
There are also different methods of applying herbicides to plants, which are;
- Foliar spraying - Scrape and paint
- Basal Bark Spraying - Stem injections
- Cut and Paint - Granular Herbicides
- Stem and leaf wiping
Fire can also be a useful tool in weed management. It is very important that burning is properly planned and permission needs to be granted by NSW Rural Fire Service.
Biological control agents are naturally occurring insect or plant pathogens. In the long-term bio-control, in combination with other weed control methods can aid control of wide spread weeds infestations.
Notice of intention to carry out weed & pest control activities
During the year, Griffith City Council conducts weed and pest control spraying of back lanes, nature strips, reserves, roadsides and other council managed property throughout the Local Government Area, with the following herbicides and pesticides: Glyphosate, Grazon, Brushoff, Kamba M, Lawsban, M.C.P.A. Seasol. Garlon. Sprayseed. The program is conducted every three months and public notification issued every months. If you wish to obtain further information about the proposed spraying program, please contact Council's weeds officers on (02) 6962 8100.
The legal requirement to control this weed is as follows: the growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread and the plant must not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed. Infestations in Griffith, on crown land and private properties alike have spread at an alarming rate over the past 10 years.
Council has targeted infestations on Scenic Hill over the past two years with the result that infestations have been reduced to outbreaks from excavated sites and small plants missed during initial excavations. Infestations on roadsides are being targeted for removal or treatment on an ongoing basis, with several roadsides already cleared of prickly pear.
Prickly pear can be controlled by mechanical excavation, manual removal, herbicide treatments, deep burial, cut-stump application or a combination of these techniques; these control measures will need to be continued for a period of at least three years to be effective. Compliance for noxious weeds can be enforced under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993. Landholders with infestations can contact Council's Weeds Officers to discuss suitable control options. Call 6962 8100.