Honey Locust Field Day

Martindale Creek Catchment Landcare held their first Field Day last Sunday, looking at control of Woody Weeds and focusing particularly on Honey Locust, Green Cestrum and African Boxthorn.

Sunday March 15 saw a good crowd attend MCCL’s first Field Day, with approximately 30 residents and visitors in attendance, including representatives from Hunter Region Landcare Network, Scone Landcare, LLS and GERSS.

The day focused on control Woody Weeds, in particular Honey Locust, Green Cestrum and African Boxthorn. Perry Brown from the Upper Hunter Weeds Authority presented the workshop. Perry provided attendees with an excellent presentation on noxious weed classes and the legal requirements for control of these weeds, followed by information on chemical control options and the legalities involved.

The three focus weeds are Class 3 Noxious Weeds in the Upper Hunter region and are pest plants of particular note in the Martindale Creek catchment area. A Class 3 declaration means that landowners or managers must fully and continuously control and suppress weeds with this listing, with the purpose of reducing the area of infestation and the negative impact of infestations. By their nature these weeds are difficult to control and need at least annual monitoring and treating. Class 3 noxious weeds are plants that pose a serious threat to primary production or the environment of an area to which the order applies, are not widely distributed in the area and are likely to spread in the area or to another area.

Following Perry’s talk, representatives of the LLS, Steve Eccles, District Coordinator for the Upper Hunter, and Nev Reis, Hunter Regional Landcare Facilitator, gave a short presentation on the services the LLS can provide to our members.

Local landholders and resident, as well as some visitors, then watched a demonstration by Perry on several options for control, with demonstrations on basal bark spraying, cut and paint, and granular herbicide application and the pros and cons of these as well as restrictions due to proximity to the Creek.  The Nev Reis of the LLS also demonstrated a mechanical removal tool, a Tree Popper, which is now on loan to MCCL for use by members. The final activity of the day was then to take a walk and see some examples of these weeds in situ, with discussion on other locally significant weeds and their control options, such as the pervasive Blue Heliotrope.

The official part of the day was followed by a lovely lunch under the shade of the pecan grove, with a BBQ provided by Peter and Jann Dixon-Hughes and salads and slices provided by members of the MCCL Committee. A great family day out was had by all, with many people commenting during lunch that they had definitely learnt a new method or identified a weed which had them troubled.

Martindale Creek Catchment Landcare would like to express our thanks to the LLS and Hunter Region Landcare Network for funding our Field Day, Perry and the UHWA for presenting the workshop, Brad and Sharon Franks for hosting the day in such a lovely spot on the beautiful Martindale Creek, and Peter and Jann Dixon-Hughes from LRB Direct for providing and cooking such delicious sausages for our picnic lunch.