Eliminating pest plants on Waitītiko

Yesterday STEPS and our friends the Freelance Moth Plant Removers had a third session in a large property at the top of the Waititiko Meola catchment.  Margaret and Camilla worked around the wetland; Jeremy and Oliver worked back along the watercourse (source of Meola Creek), and Jean, Keith, Sel, Neil, Shannon and Liz went along the western boundary to remove moth plant pods before they could burst. We hope we prevented millions of future plants!

  

The weeds had become entrenched since the gardener of many years moved on. Both moth plant (Araujia  hortorum) and woolly nightshade ( Solanum mauritianum) are listed as pest plants by Auckland Council.   We plan to soon finish off many woolly nightshades which are still there in order to provide the owner with a clear starting point for containing these weeds.  Unfortunately each araujia pod may have 1000 seeds and the ground will now be covered in seedlings for many more years.

The top of the catchment is a critical point for transmitting weeds down to the neighbours and wider catchment. This is the last of four large watershed properties to commit to managing weeds and we have been delighted by the enthusiasm of staff volunteers. Because we don’t want to repeat this effort here we now plan to work with the gardening management and team to prevent recurrences.

 

Thanks so much to Jean who organised us and provided photos;  and to Keith and those who brought gear; Shannon for materials and for joining us and of course our large professional gang who did all the work – the largest so far according to Jean!

“They also serve who only stand and watch admiringly”😃

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