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Climber weed kills native bush


thumbnail climbing-asparagusClimbing asparagus is one weed that just ruins the native bush. While it climbs, it winds its way around tree trunks and stems, stopping their growth and causing weak points where the tree will break in a wind. Not content to kill the big trees, it also smothers the ground and any small seedlings trying to come through. A real forest killer.

Climbing asparagus has small berries in late spring and the seeds are happily dispersed by birds.

This doesn’t happen overnight though. Back in the days of the first baches from Waipu through to Mangawhai it was a popular garden plant, providing a soft green backdrop for more colourful flowering plants. Owners could leave it for months at a time and it would still survive.

The latest drought has made much of it look dead, but it’s just waiting for the autumn and winter rain to burst into life and begin its devastation again through spring and summer.

Fortunately you can help stop this plague. Weed Action Piroa Brynderwyn is asking residents to keep an eye out for climbing asparagus in their gardens and properties and take action to destroy it. Check around your neighbourhood too. Why not form a group to ‘find and destroy’ it in your area?

Climbing asparagus plants have a ‘crown’ where the stems join the roots. Small plants and infestations can have the crown cut out and hung in the tree at any time of year.

If you have a large area, then herbicide is much quicker and easier. During autumn and winter in coastal areas is the best time to control with herbicide. At this time of year, Weedbusters recommend glyphosate at 10mls per litre of water with no penetrant if you need to spray against tree trunks. In spring and summer you will need to double this rate. Make sure there will be no rain for 24 hours after treatment.

§ For more information or some herbicide call Weed Action co-ordinator Sara Brill on 022 010 4092 or email at sarabrill30@gmail.com

A smothering vine, once established climbing asparagus can expand rapidly.

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