weed control

Can a reduced rate of herbicide benefit native plants and control ground cover weeds?

The use of herbicide to control weeds in natural areas can cause non-target damage to resident native plant communities and compromise native restoration goals. We tested 'full' and 'reduced' (half) rates of herbicide (rates based on previous glasshouse trials) on the ground cover weed species tradescantia (Tradescantia fluminensis), plectranthus (Plectranthus ciliatus), and climbing asparagus (Asparagus scandens) to determine whether the reduced rate would cause less non-target damage to natives and achieve sufficient control of the weeds.

Aerial glyphosate application reduces grey willow (Salix cinerea) canopy cover, increases light availability, and stimulates kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) growth

Grey willow (Salix cinerea) is widely established in New Zealand’s remaining swamps and fens, and in many areas has replaced endemic kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) forest. Conservation managers need to know how to restore willow-invaded wetlands to a resilient natural state, but knowledge on how to achieve this goal is limited. We planted kahikatea seedlings into an intact stand of grey willow and into areas where the herbicides glyphosate or triclopyr had been aerially applied to control willow ~1.5 years earlier.

Scotch broom facilitates indigenous tree and shrub germination and establishment in dryland New Zealand

It is common practice in New Zealand dryland areas to chemically or mechanically control invasive woody weeds, including Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius). Such weed control is not always effective in achieving the often implicit aim of advancing the restoration of indigenous woody vegetation. We used a field experiment on a braided river terrace on the Canterbury Plains to test how five different management treatments of broom cover affected the germination, survival and growth of six indigenous tree and shrub species in a dryland setting.

Experimenting with methods to control Tradescantia fluminensis, an invasive weed of native forest remnants in New Zealand

Tradescantia fluminensis, commonly referred to as ‘tradescantia’, is an invasive weed of canopydepleted forest remnants. Previous research suggests that a reduction of tradescantia biomass to ~80 gm-2 (~40% cover) is compatible with native forest regeneration. I assessed herbicide application, hand weeding and artificial shading as methods for the control of tradescantia in two lowland podocarp/broad-leaved forest remnants in the lower North Island of New Zealand.