Gorse weed being targeted at Merton
18 April 2016
Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity officers recently conducted inspections on Merton properties as part of the Isolated Gorse Program.
The Isolated Gorse Program targets gorse in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, where the weed is not well established, in order to prevent its further spread.
Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Officer Kate Cunnew said around 200 infestations have been identified across the Goulburn Broken Catchment, which include Mansfield, Lima, Barjarg, Strath Creek, Merton, Highlands, Mangalore, Longwood, Violet Town and Toolamba.
"While these infestations are generally isolated and quite small, they have the potential to spread further into clean areas of the catchment. However, if persistently controlled, these infestations can be contained and even eradicated over time," Ms Cunnew said.
"The program has been running since 2008 and every year biosecurity officers target one or two areas to conduct inspections to ensure that land owners are continuing their control programs.
"This year we targeted the Merton area with inspections of known sites as well as conducting surveillance along the margins of the infestations to ensure that the infestations had not spread.
"Forty five properties were inspected and nine Directions Notices requiring control works were issued."
Ms Cunnew said gorse can take over pastures and dominate native vegetation, as well as provide shelter for pest animals such as rabbits and foxes, which may ultimately result in reduced property values.
"Gorse or Furze (Ulex europaeus) is an invasive weed which can impact heavily on agricultural production and environmental values. It is a dense and spiny bush which can grow up to three metres tall with bright yellow, pea-like flowers."
Ms Cunnew said in Victoria the plant generally has two peak flowering periods, one between March and May and another between July and October, but can flower at almost any time of the year.
"All land owners 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."
Ms Cunnew said options for controlling gorse included treatment with a herbicide registered for gorse control, mulching, physical removal or cultivation. 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.
For more information about gorse and invasive plant management visit Agriculture Victoria or call the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Categorised under: Agriculture,Biosecurity