Skip to content

Volunteers vs weeds at Boolcoomatta

Joanna Axford
Published 15 Oct 2017 by Joanna Axford

In September we had an amazing group of 11 volunteers make the long trek to our Boolcoomatta Station Reserve to help with vital weed management. The group were focused on our long-term management strategy to control the African Boxthorn and Pepper Trees in the beautiful Oonatra Creek system.

It was Reserve Manager Kurt Tschirner’s first large working bee at Boolcoomatta. He said it was fantastic largely due to the brilliant group of hard-working volunteers. The group had come from around Australia to help out, some were regulars and others were visiting Boolcoomatta for the first time. After settling into the restored Shearers' Quarters the group worked together for two weeks removing emergent African boxthorn and Pepper Trees.

Said Kurt: “It was a sterling effort by the volunteers who covered 87 hectares of the Oonartra flood-out nailing 630 Pepper Trees and 2,934 Boxthorns using the cut stump/ herbicide technique. The area was strategically chosen to build on and complement previous control efforts and great headway has been made over the years. Despite big days and numerous boxthorn scratches the volunteers stuck to the task and did so in good humour. I thank them, and look forward to the next one”.

The African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum) is a large perennial spiny shrub. It's a priority weed in the South Australian Arid Lands region (Declared Category 2 Plant under the Natural Resources Management Act (2004)). It's a problem throughout Australia and is listed as a Weed of National Significance. Originating in southern Africa it was introduced by Europeans as a hedge plant and is now a widespread declared weed.

Like many weed species its dispersal mechanisms are incredibly effective. It can fruit at any time of the year and large plants produce thousands of berries with 20-70 seeds per berry (yikees!).

The Pepper Tree (Schinus molle) is also a priority weed in the South Australian Arid Lands region. This large evergreen tree was introduced by Europeans from South America for shade. Pepper Trees can form dense thickets in swamps and along rivers excluding native vegetation and using valuable ground water. While this tree is not currently declared the South Australian Arid Lands NRM Policy (of which Boolcoomatta is part) 'is to MANAGE sites infested with Pepper Trees'.

We would not be able to implement our weed strategy on Boolcoomatta Station Reserve without the support of our amazing volunteer community. Thanks to all that attended and contributed hard-yakka help.

Kurt chainsawing a Pepper Tree with David Adams standing Kurt chainsawing a Pepper Tree with David Adams standing
David next to a large Boxthorne at Oonartra Dam David next to a large Boxthorne at Oonartra Dam
Kurt chainsawing a Boxthorne, with volunteer Leon Anesbury pushing the tree away before applying the herbicide Kurt chainsawing a Boxthorne, with volunteer Leon Anesbury pushing the tree away before applying the herbicide
Volunteer Andrew Weightman cutting the smaller boxthorne before applying herbicide Volunteer Andrew Weightman cutting the smaller boxthorne before applying herbicide
Leon applying herbicide Leon applying herbicide
Tony Geyer keeping a tally of the weeds removed and their location Tony Geyer keeping a tally of the weeds removed and their location
Volunteers Meredith Geyer & Janet Rannard weeding Volunteers Meredith Geyer & Janet Rannard weeding
The wonderful 'weeding crew' in the field: Staphanie, Jeanne, Tony, Meredith, Janet, Jana & Leon (absent - Keith Gooley who was checking cat traps) The wonderful 'weeding crew' in the field: Staphanie, Jeanne, Tony, Meredith, Janet, Jana & Leon (absent - Keith Gooley who was checking cat traps)

Related stories

Buckrabanyule landscape. Photo Stu Heppell.

BUSHTRACKS 14/01/2022

Beyond the cactus

Together with Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Custodians we are walking to Dhelkunya Dja (heal Country) at one of Victoria’s most heavily infested Wheel Cactus sites.

Read More

BLOG 15/09/2020

Weed management at Tarcutta

This year has been a volunteer year like no other. As we slowly begin to move back into our new normal, our volunteers are able to move back into the field in their home states. Volunteer Stephen Gye has written about his recent trip to our Tarcutta Hills Reserve to help with weed management.

Read More

BLOG 28/08/2020

Removing Paterson's Curse

With its vibrant purple flowers, Paterson’s Curse is often mistaken for a native wildflower but is in fact one of the most conspicuous weeds in paddocks and roadsides throughout Australia. Supposedly named after the Paterson family of Cumberoona, New South Wales - who planted it in their garden in the 1880s – the weed is now highly competitive in disturbed land, competing with agricultural crops and pastures, and unique and fragile native species. It was introduced to Australia from Europe.

Read More

BLOG 26/08/2020

Siaming solo in 2020?

Annual 'siaming' at Yourka Reserve took on a whole new look in 2020. This year, for the first time in 11 years, we faced the daunting prospect of siaming solo. With travel restrictions in place to prevent the spread of covid-19, it was impossible to recruit a team of volunteers to help with the annual survey and treatment.

Read More

BLOG 08/04/2020

Buffel grass surveys

In 2018 and again in 2020 Dave and Sue Akers travelled to Pullen Pullen Reserve - our Night Parrot sanctuary - as volunteers to undertake buffel grass surveys.

Read More

BLOG 30/03/2020

Winning the war on weeds

Long-term volunteer and renowned 'King of Cactus', Ian Haverly, describes how we're winning the war on Goonderoo Reserve's sword cactus infestation.

Read More

BLOG 30/10/2019

Plucking weeds from the wildflowers

Charles Darwin Reserve has once again celebrated its annual spring weeding session. A group of enthusiastic weeders donned their armor and attacked the inevitable, but diminishing crops of Patterson’s Curse, Double Gees and Brassicas.

Read More

BLOG 04/10/2019

Weeds working bee at Boolcoomatta

In the second week of September 2019 I took the long road across the Barrier Highway and out to South Australia for 12 days of African Boxthorn control on Boolcoomatta Station Reserve.

Read More

BLOG 06/02/2019

Weed control at Wunambal Gaambera

Uunguu Rangers have been doing weed control for many years and their hard work is paying off.

Read More

BLOG 19/10/2018

Woody weeds at Reedy Creek

The dry winter experienced by much of Queensland, including Reedy Creek Reserve, has had at least one positive outcome - perfect conditions to stomp into the swamp. In this often-difficult-to-access country there were some woody weed outbreaks that we needed to address. This past September their time was up.

Read More

BLOG 26/09/2018

The king of Sword Cactus

I'd like to introduce you to Ian Haverly, committed Bush Heritage volunteer and undisputed King of Cactus up here in the northern region.

Read More

BLOG 08/02/2018

Gorse & thistle on Tassie's east coast

Tasmania's east coast was hard to beat as a location for a working bee, so maybe our volunteers got more than a little inspiration from the stunning location. Our team of nine volunteers removed over 800 thistle plants and seedlings, hundreds of gorse plants, and helped with erosion control and South Esk Pine monitoring. Volunteer Helen Tait explains how our working bees are not just about hard work.

Read More

BLOG 30/10/2017

Killing cactus at Goonderoo

Volunteers play an important role in weed control projects across the country. On Goonderoo Reserve in Central Qld, the target species is Sword Cactus (Acanthocereus pentagonus) a tall, columnar cactus that reaches a height of 2-7m. Sword cactus is multi-stemmed and highly spiky. It has the ability to form dense thickets and will dominate a vegetation community to the exclusion of many other plant and animal species.

Read More

BLOG 15/10/2017

Volunteers vs weeds at Boolcoomatta

In September we had an amazing group of 11 volunteers make the long trek to our Boolcoomatta Station Reserve to help with vital weed management. The group were focused on our long-term management strategy to control the African Boxthorn and Pepper Trees in the beautiful Oonatra Creek system.

Read More

BLOG 09/07/2017

Long-term weed management

Bush Heritage volunteers have been running an amazing weed removal effort at Charles Darwin Reserve in Western Australia for around 10 years. The Charles Darwin weeds working bee is run twice a year by volunteer leader and weed expert Janet Dufall.

Read More

BLOG 24/05/2017

Paddy Melon picking at Hamelin

Volunteer Richard McLellan can now add 'Paddy melon picker' to his qualifications after spending a week at Hamelin Station Reserve in Western Australia for some annual leave and a bit of volunteering.

Read More

BLOG 18/05/2016

A weed herbarium for Hamelin

Valued volunteer Charlie Nicholson has provided important help in the West for over 10 years. Charlie's just completed his second stint at Hamelin Station Reserve helping us prepare a weeding manual for volunteers. We're extremely lucky to be able to tap into Charlie's knowledge of the region and his great knowledge of plants and weeds of the Rangelands.

Read More

BUSHTRACKS 21/09/2015

Battling buffel to protect our desert jewel

Bon Bon Station Reserve in South Australia is a true outback marvel, an expansive landscape dotted with shimmering salt lakes, red dune sands supporting mulga trees, open ironstone plains studded with stately myall trees and stunningly beautiful expanses of pearl bluebush. Our challenge is to protect it from invasive Buffel Grass.

Read More
Loading...
{{itemsInCart}} Items - {{formatCurrency(grandTotal)}}