Controlling gorse at the source
3 October 2016
Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Officers will be continuing their control program for gorse (Ulex europaeus) in the Goulburn Broken catchment, which has been running for over eight years.
Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Officer Greg Wood said inspections will be conducted on Barjarg and Lima properties as part of the Isolated Gorse Program in spring.
"Around 200 infestations have been identified across the catchment, including hotspots around Mansfield, Lima, Barjarg, Strath Creek, Merton, Highlands, Mangalore and Longwood," he said.
"While these infestations are generally isolated and quite small, they have the potential to spread further into clean areas of the catchment. If persistently controlled however, these infestations can definitely be contained and even eradicated over time.
Mr Wood said the program has been running since 2008 and every year staff target one or two areas to conduct inspections to ensure that landowners are continuing their control programs.
"Officers will be inspecting known sites in the Barjarg and Lima areas in addition to conducting surveillance in these areas to ensure the weed hasn't spread.
"We will inspect 40 properties in the Barjarg area and 24 in the Lima area this season and where control works are required Directions Notices will be issued.
"All landowners have a legal responsibility to manage declared noxious weeds such as gorse on their property to ensure these weeds don't adversely affect agricultural production or the natural environment," he said.
Mr Wood said gorse, sometimes known as furze, is an invasive weed, forming dense thickets. The spiny bush can grow up to three metres tall and has bright yellow, pea-like flowers.
"Gorse can take over pastures and dominate native vegetation, as well as providing shelter for pest animals such as rabbits and foxes, which may ultimately result in reduced property values.
"In Victoria the plant generally has two peak flowering periods, one between March and May and another between July and October, but it can flower at almost any time of the year.
"Options for controlling gorse include treatment with a herbicide registered for gorse control, mulching, physical removal or cultivation," he said.
"While gorse control can occur at any time of the year, care needs to be taken to ensure the method is appropriate for the situation, weather conditions and condition of the plant."
The Isolated Gorse Program targets gorse in the Goulburn Broken Catchment in areas where the weed is not well established in order to prevent its further spread.
For more information about gorse and invasive plant management, visit the Agriculture Victoria website at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/weeds/a-z-of-weeds/gorse or call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Categorised under: Biosecurity