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Weeds invade public space

By 26 November 2012 23

st johns wort

The yellow flowered plants which have taken over the Glenlock Interchange former horse paddocks and also some of our roadsides are not lovely seasonable wildflowers but the declared pest plant StJohns Wort.

This weed has a ‘must be controlled’ and ‘protect priority sites’ status in the ACT yet ACT Government has allowed it to florish adjacent the Black Mountain Reserve, the Aranda Bushland Reserve and the National Arboretum at Glenlock.

It is phytotoxic to wildlife and some domestic animals.

Private landholders in the ACT and NSW are required to control it, the ACT Government leaves it to florish in public spaces.

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23 Responses to Weeds invade public space
#1
Gungahlin Al9:39 am, 26 Nov 12

I’m not sure if it applies to this location, but the LDA and TAMS commonly use straw in an “el cheapo” hydromulching of exposed areas after earthworks. Nothing wrong so much with that, except that they appear to use very low-grade straw, as opposed to “clean” straw – that is, guaranteed to be low on weed seeds. This is easily available from farms that do cropping, but they often use crops as ways of reducing weeds – we need to stop buying straw from that situation.

Through Harrison, the introduction of Patto, Wort, Capeweed and a whole grab bag of other common farm weeds has just been appalling as a result.

(Note to self: talk to Shane about cracking down on this problem.)

#2
EvanJames9:39 am, 26 Nov 12

The ACT government’s total neglect of this duty is a disgrace. The public areas on Pialligo Ave, espcially near Sutton Road, there’s more Wort than grass. Wort is hard to kill (only a few herbicides will kill it, but Roundup/Glyphosate actually will) and spreads by runners, so you have to keep hitting it. And they’re just letting it rip.

It’s a bad weed for graziers, as the OP says, it gives animals who eat it photosensitivity (they get badly sunburned), and also they get depressed to the point of not eating.

Mind you, the way ACT government has been ignoring blackberry infestations over the years, it’s not surprising. You’d have thought that while they were murdering all the willows on the Molonglo, they’d have taken the opportunity to kill the blackberries next to them. Nope.

It’s frustrating when governments and councils ignore problems like Wort and other bad weeds, as every year they get worse and worse. One year’s weeds = 7 year’s seeds.

#3
johnboy9:40 am, 26 Nov 12

Out at Uriarra Crossing this weekend (great fun for dogs) some of the hills were completely golden with wort.

#4
bundah10:20 am, 26 Nov 12

They need to pull their finger out and nip it in the bud before it becomes a serious problem.

#5
switch10:49 am, 26 Nov 12

bundah said :

They need to pull their finger out and nip it in the bud before it becomes a serious problem.

Don’t worry. It’s an environmental issue, so the Lord Mayor will fix it.

#6
Chop7112:25 pm, 26 Nov 12

The Lord Mayor should release free range chickens and grannies with whipper snippers on the problem.

#7
Chop7112:26 pm, 26 Nov 12

Chop71 said :

The Lord Mayor should release free range chickens and grannies with whipper snippers on the problem.

while wearing “I like Canberra” T-Shirts

#8
FXST011:01 pm, 26 Nov 12

Where are the Greenpeace ‘heroes’ with their whippersnippers. Tell them it’s GM wort.

#9
Kim F1:17 pm, 26 Nov 12

It is pretty rampant on Red Hill as well.

#10
GardeningGirl2:58 pm, 26 Nov 12

So that’s what it is. “Must be controlled”? It sure is flourishing.
Some consistency would be good. One year they’re out spraying everything, including every kerb on all residential streets and every bramble on all the hills and sometimes doing roundabouts twice because the dye fades and they apparently forget it was just done a fortnight earlier, then another year they seem to be doing very little apart from the crushed granite islands on main roads and meanwhile the brambles on the hillsides are regrowing. Same with European wasps, first there were pamphlets in the letterboxes saying ring the government if you see any, then when I did ring a few years later they said we’re not interested any more and you’ll have to ring a private pest controller, last I heard they were interested again. A sensible consistent approach would be good, and if they’re actually importing the problem in cheap mulch that’s ridiculous!

#11
troll-sniffer3:59 pm, 26 Nov 12

Been cycling around the northside quite a bit this last fortnight and have noticed the profusion of a yellow everlasting daisy type of ‘weed’ that is I believe a native. Lots of it on Mount Ainsliwe as happens every so often.

Just saying, so all the bandwagon jumpers with little botanical knowledge but itchy typing fingers don’t start reporting ‘St Johns Wort’ where it ain’t, if you know what I mean.

#12
pepmeup4:35 pm, 26 Nov 12

The act gov just ups rates not services, look at your foootpaths ect or any public space it will be run down and neglected. what a shame

#13
andym6:31 pm, 26 Nov 12

troll-sniffer said :

Just saying, so all the bandwagon jumpers with little botanical knowledge but itchy typing fingers don’t start reporting ‘St Johns Wort’ where it ain’t, if you know what I mean.

Big difference between the native daisies and this stuff. But if your not sure pick a leaf off, they are only small and hold it up to the light. If you see little white dots then its Wort. The dots are the oil or whatever that they extract. I guess its so prevalent after a few good years rain, but on the other hand so are the natives – Tugg Hill is carpeted with natives flowers at the moment.

#14
2620watcher9:44 pm, 26 Nov 12

EvanJames said :

Wort is hard to kill (only a few herbicides will kill it, but Roundup/Glyphosate actually will) and spreads by runners, so you have to keep hitting it. And they’re just letting it rip.

Starane is the best to use. It’s selective (unlike Glyphosate), so it only kills certain weeds (including St Johns Wort).

The key is that every year you leave it is another 5yrs of sead head left in the ground. So commit to spraying and do it for 5 seasons.

#15
LSWCHP9:46 pm, 26 Nov 12

I took the kids out for a walk through Goorooyarroo nature reserve north of Gungahlin a couple of weeks ago, and there was Patterson’s Curse starting to pop up. Coming from a farming family I hate that stuff with a passion.

#16
Mr Evil11:08 pm, 26 Nov 12

Guys, guys, guys: why is this such a big issue?

I really don’t understand your preoccupation with such trivial issues when there are children in Thailand having their human rights trampled on every day, and the ACT Government isn’t doing a damn thing to prevent it from happening.

Jon Stanhope wouldn’t have forgotten the children of Thailand like this!

#17
EvanJames11:35 pm, 26 Nov 12

troll-sniffer said :

Been cycling around the northside quite a bit this last fortnight and have noticed the profusion of a yellow everlasting daisy type of ‘weed’ that is I believe a native. Lots of it on Mount Ainsliwe as happens every so often.

Just saying, so all the bandwagon jumpers with little botanical knowledge but itchy typing fingers don’t start reporting ‘St Johns Wort’ where it ain’t, if you know what I mean.

The sticky helichrysum is pretty different from St John’s Wort, although from a distance it’s a similar yellow. Close up though, it’s a daisy, quite different. it’s having a good year too, but as you say is a native, and it’s native to this area so not feral.

For the record, St John’s has a fern-like foliage, a soft grey-green, the stems are reddish, and the flowers are multiple heads of quite delicate yellow soft flowers. when the flowers die back, it’s making the dreaded seed. Pulling it out is pretty useless, as it spreads by runners (and seed), and they just lurk in the soil until next early spring. A systemic herbicide is best.

#18
EvanJames11:39 pm, 26 Nov 12

2620watcher said :

EvanJames said :

Wort is hard to kill (only a few herbicides will kill it, but Roundup/Glyphosate actually will) and spreads by runners, so you have to keep hitting it. And they’re just letting it rip.

Starane is the best to use. It’s selective (unlike Glyphosate), so it only kills certain weeds (including St Johns Wort).

The key is that every year you leave it is another 5yrs of sead head left in the ground. So commit to spraying and do it for 5 seasons.

I’m using Grazon currently (or the cheaper re-branded Woody stuff… Triclopyr and Picloram). Cost a bomb but it’s effective and selective, unlike the cheaper Roundup/Glyphosate which just kills everything green (useful for serrated tussock though). I’m planning to start using Starane when the Grazon’s finished, so-as to cycle through different chemicals so the St Johns doesn’t get resistant.

Also, Metsulferon works on it when the plants are soft and new, in late winter/early spring. It’s slow, but it seems quite effective. No good when it’s got the woody stems and flowers though.

#19
EvanJames11:40 pm, 26 Nov 12

LSWCHP said :

I took the kids out for a walk through Goorooyarroo nature reserve north of Gungahlin a couple of weeks ago, and there was Patterson’s Curse starting to pop up. Coming from a farming family I hate that stuff with a passion.

Patto’s is going full bore. The rosettes for killing were already big and developing during winter, and come spring the flowers just exploded. Once they flower, the seeds are already there unfortunately.

#20
Holden Caulfield9:55 am, 27 Nov 12

St John’s Wort looks to be having a merry old time on the hill near the intersection of Hindmarsh Drive and Canberra Avenue in Fyshwick too.

#21
Thumper10:22 am, 27 Nov 12

Weed control is extremely expensive so don’t expect the government to do anything about it soon.

Much easier to knock down willows and denude lake and river banks in the name of the environment.

#22
EvanJames2:21 pm, 27 Nov 12

Thumper said :

Weed control is extremely expensive so don’t expect the government to do anything about it soon.

Much easier to knock down willows and denude lake and river banks in the name of the environment.

Not to mention those magnificent cottonwood things that surrounded historical Duntroon oval. I guess that’s more important than preventing pastureland being competely wrecked by voracious weeds. They’ve NEVER tried to control blackberry, it’s rampant everywhere surrounding the city.

#23
GardeningGirl2:59 pm, 27 Nov 12

EvanJames said :

Thumper said :

Weed control is extremely expensive so don’t expect the government to do anything about it soon.

Much easier to knock down willows and denude lake and river banks in the name of the environment.

Not to mention those magnificent cottonwood things that surrounded historical Duntroon oval. I guess that’s more important than preventing pastureland being competely wrecked by voracious weeds. They’ve NEVER tried to control blackberry, it’s rampant everywhere surrounding the city.

They control blackberry. I’ve often seen signs warning not to eat because it’s been sprayed (at least I have out round Cotter). Doesn’t seem to stay controlled though cos it always seems to be there. I rang once to find out what they were using to hose a thicket of something (similar but not blackberries) over the back fence and they insisted it was “Zero just like you use at home”. If true no wonder they’re not getting anywhere. Or perhaps they didn’t want to admit they were using stronger stuff so close to housing. Whatever, it didn’t work, the thicket grew back. Meanwhile I use to wonder when they were going to get rid of the pampas grass visible from Hindmarsh Drive and the Parkway. It never ever looked to be sprayed (I reckon a bulldozer would’ve been more effective anyway for that particular situation). Isn’t pampas grass considered a noxious weed now too? But at least the riverbanks are bare, a conspicuous show of how the government is right on top of the situation.

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