Weeds

A weed is defined as a plant growing where it shouldn’t – and they can be surprising here, even native.

  • weeds generally compete vigorously with native plants for water, nutrients, light, habitat and pollinators
  • they can affect animal biodiversity by eliminating or reducing food supplies, habitat and nesting sites
  • most pest plants do not invade undisturbed habitat, but they often prevent native species regenerating in disturbed areas. The worst are those that are prolific and have a tendency to form a monoculture. Some natives, particularly vines, are early colonisers (they are among the first to re-colonise cleared areas), and have a tendency to inhibit other regrowth and therefore biodiversity – essential for a healthy ecosystem
  • management priorities in relation to weeds should be areas you want to regenerate; waterways; roads, which will act as a weed vector; as well as areas where a monoculture is establishing
  • many weeds are escapees from our gardens.  We choose them because they are low maintenance in this environment but can have a tendency to get out and compete with native vegetation.  Oil palms and jackfruit for example pop up in very remote areas of the rainforest, perhaps distributed by Cassowaries.  Other common ones include coconuts, Singapore daisy and lantana.  Try to keep your garden well confined to the home area, by using dedicated garden beds and avoiding plants that self-propagate
  • the most important thing you can do is to prevent the introduction or further spread of weeds by being vigilant in the garden
  • contain your gardens in beds
  • avoid plants that self-propagate
  • don’t spread compost or garden soil outside of garden beds
  • avoid introducing soil from other areas, which may contain seeds
  • do not place plant waste in or close to the forest
  • use indigenous plants in outdoor ponds – they are going to overflow in the wet season and anything in them (including fish) will make their way to the waterways
  • if you are planning to revegetate a cleared area, use natives to the area.  In the end they will be lower maintenance than anything else
  • revegetation is a great way to control weeds in the long run, though you will need to actively control them while your trees get established
  • herbicides are fairly indiscriminate and can kill surrounding vegetation if used incorrectly.  Always read and follow the manufacturer’s directions
  • Queensland Government provides a comprehensive resource for the identification of weeds here: Weed Guide 
  • the Douglas Shire Council Pest Management Plan provides an overview to the priority weeds that the Council will develop their work plans around