Back to Latest News

 


News Article

Call Woody Weedbuster!
Nov 22, 2004
Author: Neil Mickleson, Horizons Regional Council

What an opportunity being able to call in someone who will help you to remove invasive weeds or regional plant pests from your garden!

Invasive weeds are one of the biggest threats to worldwide biodiversity as they are stopping the variety of native plants from growing naturally, affecting the soil and the bugs and birds that prefer living off native plants. Some New Zealand natives are weeds in other countries just as exotic plants are invading here.

Native plants have adapted for the conditions here over a period of time and other competing plants and bugs have sorted out an acceptable form of natural control. Recently introduced plants do not have the same competition keeping them in control so they can just take over.

In New Zealand, two thirds of our invasive weeds have come from garden plants escaping into the natural environment. These plants have been brought in for garden beautification and many are similar to our natives. New Zealand has a native clematis vine, which grows in the bush along with many other native vines which look beautiful in flower. But Old Manís Beard, which is an exotic clematis, has adverse consequences on our native bush because it covers and kills the plants that it grows on. The wind, floods, birds and feet carry the seed heads great distances so it can do a lot of damage in a short time.

Many plants like exotic jasmine, honeysuckle and banana passionfruit are not recommended for urban gardens any more as people have found out that though removed from their gardens they donít die easily and will just grow from any little bits. So the message is, ďdonít dump garden wasteĒ. It needs composting or taken to a green waste facility.

Horizons Regional Council in partnership with Palmerston North City Council and Weedbusters are wanting residents to be aware of invasive weeds and at present are campaigning to encourage anyone in the Palmerston North City boundary to contact 0800 WEEDBUSTERS (0800 933 3287) if they find an invasive vine, like Old Manís Beard in their garden. Not only will they help remove it but will also give advice on what to do with the weeds in the future. They are also removing these weeds from the river bank and it is hoped, with residents help in the urban area, that these weeds will be less of a problem for our local bush remnants.