WEEDS

The aim of this blog page is to increase the awareness of the potentiality of invasive plants that are growing in the Obi Obi Valley and nearby areas.

Mature eucalyptus with maderia vine growing to within meters of the tip of the tree.

For a long time now, invasive plants have existed in the Obi and Kidaman areas, but with a change in land use, new varieties are emerging. A reduction in the dairy industry and an increase in absentee ownership have changed maintenance practices, providing new areas for plants to multiply. This has allowed established plants to increase, and for new species to spread into the valley. New varieties of tropical grasses are bigger and faster growing, allowing them to more easily replace existing pasture. This will mean an increase in the fuel carrying capacity, resulting in a greater risk of hotter, faster fires. Tall, dense grasses will affect biodiversity by changing the habitat for some native animals. It would seem that there has been a reduction in Echidna in some parts of the valley. Hardy exotic vines are migrating from domestic gardens into forested areas. Moving as seed via birds and animals and as a result of human activity, vegetatively along roadways and down creeks, invasive weeds are becoming established and supplanting the existing native vegetation.

In 2005 a major study by the CSIRO, called “Jumping the Garden Fence” reported that of the 2700 plants categorized as weeds, 1800 have come from gardens.

Introduced plant populations are expanding. Nationally, about 15% of all plant species in Australia are not native, and about half of these invade native vegetation, ( Australian National Botanic Gardens report).

Dense water weed in the Obi Obi creek

The establishment of the Baroon Pocket Dam has dropped the average height of the water in the creek, reducing the size of the ponds and greatly lessened the cleaning flushes of flood water coming down. This has resulted in a massive increase in weed density which has greatly affected the character of the Obi Obi Creek.

There are three classes of declared plants under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002, Queensland. These plants are targeted for control because they have, or could have, serious economic, environmental or social impacts.

Class 1- plants not commonly present in the State and, if introduced, would cause an adverse economic, environmental or social impact. Class 1 plants established in the State are subject to eradication.

Class 2 – plants are established in the State and have, or could have, an adverse economic, environmental or social impact.

Landowners must take reasonable steps to keep land free of Class 1 and Class 2 plants.

Class 3 – primarily environmental weeds where the plants are established in the State and have, or could have, and adverse economic, environmental or social impact.

There are many web sites with more detailed information on the invasive plants listed here. Adding “invasive weed” to your search term and searching within Australia will bring up sites devoted to weeds.

Not all the invasive plants that are established in our area are listed here. Many have been here for a long time and are well known to all.

This Blog has been written from the perspective of residents of the valley with an interest and experience in gardening, but without farming or related technical expertise. Corrections and additions to this blog will be appreciated.

See the pages below for information on

2 – Vines. 3 – Grasses. 4 – Herbs. 5 – Ground covers. 6 – Bulbs.

7 – Shrubs. 8 – Palms. 9 – Trees. 10 – Aquatic plants.

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