Weed control and removal is a constant battle for many farm and property owners. It can be very expensive too, it has been estimated by the CSIRO that the average expenditure on weed control, including herbicide and non-herbicide practices, is $113/ha which can represent a substantial investment for those with larger properties. That’s why it is important to not only keep on top of your weed problem, but also to know how to effectively control and kill the specific weeds that impact your property. Gorse is one very prevalent weed that can be difficult and expensive to control for my land owners.
What is gorse?
Gorse (Ulex europeans) is a noxious weed that can grow rapidly and spread easily, and once it is established, gorse removal can prove to be very difficult.
Gorse is a major weed problem for many agricultural properties and can greatly reduce your land’s value. This weed is notorious for invading all pasture types and significantly reducing grazing capacity. Gorse competes with young trees and shrubs and hinders the growth of native understory species and a long-term effect of this weed’s presence is that the soil can become more acidic and lose nutrients.
Gorse seedlings are often eaten by livestock but mature plants have spines that can cause injury to them. Dense infestations of gorse can restrict movement of livestock and provide a haven for pests such as foxes and rabbits. Additionally, gorse is highly flammable and is a significant fire hazard.
Gorse control methods
Effective gorse removal and control requires a sustained and long-term effort. There are four tried and true measures that are recommended for the control of noxious weeds like gorse:
Application of herbicide
Applying herbicide is a common and effective weed control method, but there are factors you need to consider, including the weather conditions and proximity to areas like native vegetation, vineyards, organically grown crops, waterways, and other sensitive areas.Often more than one herbicide application will be needed to kill all the weeds in a large infestation, and you must always read and adhere to the directions provided on the product label. Enlisting the help of a weed spraying contractor is beneficial for many landowners.
Cultivation can be useful for treatment of weed seedlings and regrowth, but is only recommended as an addition to other control methods as cultivation itself is not effective enough to completely eradicate weed infestations. Over-cultivation can also contribute to soil erosion and breakdown of the soil structure in many soils.
Physical removal of the weed aims to remove the entire plant from the soil, reducing the above-ground plant-mass before follow up weed control methods are carried out. This can be achieved by hand or, for larger weeds, removal by machinery, like tractor and chain, bobcat, or excavator. It is important to ensure that all root systems are removed, to reduce the chances of re-infestation.
Mulching is an effective way to inhibit future weed growth, as covering the ground with mulch stops the seeds of noxious weeds from germinating due to lack of sunlight.
Additional gorse removal resources
Because gorse is such a prevalent and invasive weed in Australia, there are government-supported initiatives in place to support farmers and landowners in controlling this noxious weed. The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) was formed in 1999 with the aim of reducing the impact of gorse in Victoria. They source funding from across government to support community-led activities to reduce gorse in local areas and can provide actionable advice, gorse management resources, and support to individual landowners, groups, and the wider community.
The VGT offers an annual VGT community grants program which provides funding to eligible groups needing assistance for the control of gorse, including their Small Community Grants Program provides funding for up to 50% of costs (up to $5,000) for landholders to undertake gorse control on individual properties.
Making the right choice for your gorse removal needs
Gorse removal can be a very complicated, time-consuming, and even dangerous process. If you are looking for additional help for your gorse weed control needs, get in touch with the weed control experts at Rencon Air & Land. Our state-of-the-art equipment and know-how means we know how to effectively remove your gorse infestation and can reduce the chances of re-infestation through smart and effective gorse control methods.
To learn more about what we can offer, call us directly on 1300 RENCON (736 266).