Invasive Weeds & Pests

 View Only

MCCL’s Green Cestrum Control Program covers 30km, reaches the Hunter River junction

By Pauline48 posted 21-02-2020 21:08


After three years (stages), MCCL's Green Cestrum Control Program (GCCP) to encourage local landholders to control Green cestrum will reach the junction with the Hunter River. Situated in the Upper Hunter region of NSW, and surrounded by Wollemi National Park, Martindale Creek's catchment is under the community care of Martindale Creek Catchment Landcare (MCCL). Covering over 30km of the lower portion of the creek, the Program has enabled landholders to have contract control works undertaken through MCCL funding, while providing free 5L drums of chemical to other farmers each year.

Above: Green cestrum in flower.

Partnering with major funders Muswellbrook Shire Council and Hunter LLS, MCCL has also worked with other authorities to create this catchment-wide, community driven project. Upper Hunter Weeds Authority have been incredibly supportive of our efforts, providing advice and supporting field days and private identification enquiries. NPWS manage the neighbouring Wollemi National Park, and have brought their control activities for Green cestrum into line with MCCL's project.

Above: Heasds together, Stage 1 preparation by Hunter LLS, Muswellbrook Shire Council and MCCL Below: NPWS set up ready for aCommunity Information Day

Why Green cestrum, you ask? Green cestrum is a dreadful weed. It is responsible for many stock deaths, often especially during drought when cattle and other stock that would normally avoid it are willing to eat anything green – which is often ONLY Green cestrum. Green cestrum is also an invader of natural habitat, out competing native that fill the same role in the landscape. Being a fruiting woody weed, it is readily spread by fruit-eating birds and other animals, so is easily spread across farms and the bush, and especially the creek line.

Landholders are provided with free chemical each Stage, unless that year they have free contractors. This helps our local farmers with financial costs towards spraying this weed, while also encouraging the actual works to take place. It also fosters the participation of all landholders in the control program, working as a whole catchment to treat these weeds at the same time. Neighbours working together can achieve great things! Identification and chemical application information is provided with each Stage's giveaway.

Above: Supporting local businesses and farmers, MCCL has given away about 50 x 5L drums of chemical. Dave from Denman Dapkos (now Denman Rural), Steve and Marion from Martindale

What next? While we have completed one full length of the creek with contractors, and effectively three lengths of the creek by local landholders, this weed is in the landscape across the local and wider region, and is easily spread back by seed and the existing seed bank sprouting, so vigilance is required. MCCL will continue to seek funds to support local control works of this weed, and will continue our efforts to educate newcomers to our beautiful area as to this and other weeds and their best control options.

Above: Tim has been our contractor Team Leader, and has done a wonderful job working with the communityon our behalf Above: Just what we have been looking for - a dead Green cestrum! Below: Just to be sure you know what it looks like, another Green cestrum in flower.

#landcare #dosomethingreal