July 2022 report on the great work of our weed eradication team across three projects in the Clarence Valley.
- Trenayr – Eradication of Cat Claw Creeper at the Grafton Agricultural Research Station
- Hayards Crossing Traveling Stock Reserve, Orara Way – Privet infestation along the Orara Way near Bluff Bridge.
- Pillar Valley – Eradicating Lantana invasion in gullies on private land.
From our weed eradication team leader, Kurt, with images and additional comments by John.
After many years of effort (and many rounds of funding) the Clarence Environment Center’s (CEC) weed team has finally completed all primary Cat’s Claw work at the dry rainforest remnant on the Grafton Agricultural Research Station grounds at Trenayr.
Initially, our contract called for invasive weeds to be removed from around 4 relatively small patches of an endangered shrub, called Brush Sauropus. However, it soon became obvious that we were wasting time and funding, as the main threat was from Cat’s Claw Creeper, a highly invasive species that would recolonise the plot almost as quickly as we cleared it.
Fortunately, the Department of Environment’s Saving our Species team, who had contracted us to undertake the work, took our advice on board and raised the funding level accordingly, with a view to eradicating the weed from the entire 10ha remnant.
It has taken us 4 years to get to this stage, with guaranteed funding for next year, which will see only a small amount of serious follow-up work next spring. But Cat’s Claw is really persistent, and will need to be monitored, and weeded for years to come
Lantana, the other weed species being managed on the site is also on the decline with some great results (see the before and after pictures below).
This section of Lantana monoculture has now been replanted to rainforest and is recovering well, while the rest of Dry Rainforest at Trenayr is looking good, and in the words of team-leader Kurt, “is in good hands”.
Hayards Crossing Traveling Stock Reserve, Orara Way
With funding originally through our own federal member Kevin Hogan and subsequent bush fire recovery funding through Local Land Services, the team was tasked with attacking the dense Privet infestation along the Orara Way near Bluff Bridge. In this latest round, we’ve spent around two months manually removing the plants using cut and paint, stem-injection, and chainsaw removal techniques.
Recently the team was contracted by a private landholder in Pillar Valley to clear weeds, mainly Lantana, from along a large drainage line and supporting gullies. After several weeks of activities including track cutting, spraying combined with manual removal, the gully looks set to be substantially clearer of Lantana and other nasties.
Where once the Lantana was so dense, it was difficult to even walk through, the dead sticks that remain will eventually rot away and allow native shrubbery to re-establish in its place.
However, as always, follow-up in the short term is the key to long-term success.