Willow removal from Yass River

Yass Landcare works over decades to remove willows from Yass River

Willow removal from Yass River

Yass Landcare works over decades to remove willows from Yass River

Community Participation -


The issue

The Yass Landcare and Friends of Yass Gorge President Ross Webster is the key driver behind improving water quality across the Yass River catchment.  Ross's latest project has seen the removal of numerous tonnes of Willow trunks, roots, branches and leaves from over 2kms of river frontage from the Hardwicke property which has Yass River frontage.  This project was only possible when the property changed hands to an environmentally aware landholder who welcomed the opportunity to work with Yass Landcare to remove significant willow infestations on their river frontage.


The solution

Persisitence, persistence persistence that is the solution to achieve willow removal from the Hardwicke 2kms of Yass River frontage.  This section of the Yass River was a willow island in a sea of cleared willows which had been replaced with native plantings of Eucalypts camaldulensis River Red Gums and a range of regional understorey plants. 

The Eucalyptus's were grown by the Yass Landcare Community volunteers however it took three separate plantings so get tubestock to survive flooding across this site.  Thus again persistence, persistence and persistence was required in relation to tubestock plantings.


The impact

The Hardwicke property can be seen by all drivers leaving Yass and driving towards Canberra.  Removal of willows from this site is a constant reminder to community members as to the benefits of willow removal.  


Willow removal on the Yass River first commenced in the 2000's when several Landcare members with Yass River frontage used to get together on a weekend to manually remove willow saplings and poison larger trees with an axe and poison.

From these small beginnings the Yass Landcare Group have secured funding over the last 20 years from Yass Valley Council, Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority and recently the NSW Environmental Trust and Wagga Local Land Services. 

Key learning - when taking on a project which involves exotic vegetation on riverways - long term persistence and regular follow-up is required.


Key facts

  • Persistance is key
  • Engaging Landholders with river frontage
  • Replace exotic plants with regional natives

Project Partners