Local News

Tropical Soda Apple

Invasive weeds being tackled in bushfire areas with recovery funding

Clarence Valley Council has been awarded $142,550 in funding to tackle persistent weeds invading areas that were severely affected by last summer’s bushfires in the Clarence Valley.

Weed species being targeted include Giants Rats Tail Grass, Sporobolus pyramidalis and Tropical Soda Apple, Solanum viarum, an aggressively invasive, perennial shrub that grows to 1-2m.

Peter Birch, Manager for Open Spaces and Facilities said, when the fires tore through the landscape it invariably left the soil bare and vulnerable to invasion by opportunistic weeds.

“The funding from North Coast Local Land Services under the NSW Government Bushfire Stimulus Recovery Project, will enable us to assist landholders to tackle some of the worst weeds in bushfire affected communities,” said Mr Birch.

“We will be controlling infestations of Tropical Soda Apple (TSA) in Glenreagh, Kangaroo Creek, on private properties and other priority sites.”

“Dubbed the ‘weed from hell’, TSA it is a prickly, thicket forming nightmare for landowners. It is critical that we make inroads into controlling this weed before it becomes more widespread.”

“Additional funding from North Coast Local Land Services will be allocated to follow up inspections in control areas and spent on advising landholders on how to best deal with it.”

“Giants Rats Tail Grass will be treated in the Ewingar area. This tall, flammable grass invades pasture, replacing more productive grasses.”

“It forms dense tussocks that replace native plants and increases the risk of fire.”

“Landholders are still struggling to recover from the devastation of last years fires and the last thing they need is to have a new battle on their hands with invading priority weeds,” said Mr Birch.

A free 2021 – No Space for Weeds calendar, has detailed information about weeds in our area and control techniques. Look for it at your local rural store.

Further weed control information can be found if you go to the NSW WeedWise website: weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au