A Good News Story
Barry Ryder watched as his Tobacco Weed forest grew and grew.. then he started dealing with it and got help from Landcare including funds. And the Tree Tobacco forest is … well, let’s say it’s under control and disappearing.
Like a bad cold infecting the household, weeds infect the rest of your land and that of your neighbours if not dealt with in time.
This creates extra work that you don’t need. Like Barry, join a Weed Neighbourhood, or start your own.
What Weed is that?
Take a photo and tell us the location.
Weeds of late Autumn and Summer
We can help work out what you can do with most weeds and know where to get information. Far better to act now than just leave it because it is all too hard.
Big furry leaves. Smells. Some people allergic. Spreading rapidly in Emerald. Grows very fast to several metres high. Blackbirds love the fruit.
Pull out seedlings (up to 1metre). Cut and dab trees up to 10cm in diameter. >10cm drill and fill trees
- The most difficult weed to control! Requires frequent attention but not necessarily a lot of time.
- Mark edge of infestation with stakes so you remember how bad it was when you started.
- Work in from edges VERY carefully getting all the bits out of the ground as even tiny bits grow again.
- BAG all trad and dispose of in green bin (you can leave in sun in black bag and it will turn to soil after a year but risk is the bag will also get holes in it and trad will spread.)
- Also remove trad from around plants that may be growing in the site. And, very importantly, get it out of the creek as floodwaters wash the trad down the creek infecting new areas.
- It is useful to mark where you get up to each time.
- OR get a good contractor or ask Mel if Landcare has some volunteers.
If it’s up a tree then get it! This is where it flowers and has fruit and the blackbirds eat the fruit and spread the seeds with their droppings. In one house near a tree with vast amounts of ivy we saw over 200 seedlings in just one year.
Cut and paint the stems going up the tree on BOTH the ones going to the ground, and the ones going up the tree. This little beastie is amazing as it gets food and water from the bark of the trees so just cutting it’s feet/roots off doesn’t kill it.
Dig all bulbs out especially in early stage before it multiplies. Dump in bin. Won’t compost.
Work Smarter Not Harder
You can cut your workload by over 50% by using the right techniques and timing when dealing with your weeds.
Help is only as far as a phone call. And there are many sources of information. The worst thing you can do is leave it yet another year!
Get help today – even if you feel like you are asking a stupid question! Acting now will save you time, work and money: Email Mel.
Is this a Weed?
Call Mel, our Neighbourhood Facilitator: 0434030164. Send us a photo
Don’t know how to deal with the weed? Ring/email Mel. Don’t let that weed go to seed. Watch out for flowering and get the weed BEFORE it goes to seed.
Four landcare households are neighbours though the entrances to their properties are separated by 10 kilometres. They met ‘down the creek’. In total they manage over 50 hectares and their land includes one of the creeks that flows from Emerald area towards Cardinia Dam.
What are they?
A weed neighbourhood is a group of properties whose owners work collaboratively on particular weeds.
Supported by Mel, our Neighbourhood Facilitator, each owner agrees to manage their property for the particular weed. There is often funding to help. Mel also works with government to get them to remove the weeds from public land.
Where are they?
Do you live in one of these areas? Want to hear more of what is happening? Email Mel, Neighbourhood Facilitator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Start your own Neighbourhood
Want support to work on weeds on your property and think some of your neighbours want to as well?
Email Mel, Neighbourhood Facilitator at email@example.com
Who is our Neighbourhood Facilitator?
Mel Komisarczyk has a background in land management including Waterwatch Facilitator in Mildura and manager with a weed contractor in the Dandenongs for many years. She has also worked with Landcare and as an ecological consultant.
Why don't they do their weeds?
The story so far...
This was the plaintive cry from many when weeds spreading over the hill and along the creeks in and around Emerald. The change from ‘farmer’ to ‘tree changer’ was taking its toll as residents who might love the surrounds struggled to know how to manage their land and find the time to do it.
Johns Hill Landcare set out to answer the question.
In partnership with Cardinia Council we researched what were barriers/incentives to landholders doing their weeds. We tested the research findings in a pilot and confirmed them. A long-term program is underway based on findings: skilled facilitator creates and supports Weed Neighbourhoods providing appropriate information and financial incentives.
The results have been presented at several forums: Victorian 25th Anniversary of Landcare Conference in Melbourne in 2011, Weed Society Conference in 2012, Cardinia Shire Councillors in 2013, Biodiversity Across Borders in 2015 (Poster) Conference.
Similar work with residents was happening in other areas of the Dandenongs. A What Works? workshop for practitioners was held to compare results and agree on key strategies. It was agreed that neighbourhoods, skilled facilitators were very important along with access funds.
This research is the basis of Johns Hill’s strategy for tackling weeds both on private land in Weed Neighbourhoods, and on government land.
“For those of us who love the hills and the joy of what is around us, we are truly blessed, but take a closer look, and like myself you will find a silent creeping enemy, in my case five enemies!
Blackberry, ragwort, holly, pittosporum and enemy number one: TREE TOBACCO. We have a beautiful waterway at the bottom of our property, and the above mentioned enemies were in full attack, and winning the war, if not for the advice of a brilliant arborist (Cameron Ryder) (that would be my son); his advice was to get in touch with the shire, and that is where the start of the demise of the enemies started, thanks to Mel Komisarcyk and her team from Landcare, watch this space.”
A Weed Neighbourhood – Weed Action in Progress - A story from Mel.
Ever seen a forest of tree tobacco? Well a group of neighbours in Emerald did and wondered what it was. According to one resident, when they first arrived at their property there was only a couple of tree tobaccos and they spread substantially over a number of years. He attributed it to favourable conditions in around the creek and “one year’s seed is seven years weed”.
Another resident was looking from his house toward the creek and saw how fast the native vegetation had disappeared being a wall of light green trees.
Neighbours started talking and identified the weed as tree tobacco and started working on reducing tree tobacco, AND blackberry AND pittosporum on their properties.
When I first visited the tree tobacco forest, I was truly impressed. I was impressed with the amount of tree tobacco (I have never seen it that large) and how enthusiastic the landholders were in both working together to remove the tree tobacco and how much progress had already been made. Weeds know no boundaries and spread wherever they wish and so had the enthusiasm and passion of the surrounding community.
Now, with the Dandenong Ranges Environment and Bushfire Reduction grant that Johns Hill Landcare has received, Landcare has been able to provide some support to Barry and neighbours by contracting Weedsmart (local weed contractor) to help treat tree tobacco.
Neighbours – including Councils - working in collaboration on targeted weeds is efficient and effective. Landcare supports neighbours to do this with our Weed Neighbourhood program. Barry and neighbours are now the Seaview Plus Weed Neighbourhood. We have five Weed Neighbourhoods so far. While we are focusing on larger properties don’t let that stop you talking with me know if you think you and your neighbours would like some support to remove weeds.