Stop them at the source

Invaders in the bush

Weeds are simply plants growing in the wrong place. In bush or grassland, this means any plants which are introduced to the area. Because weeds are often fast growing, weeds can spread quickly and out compete local native plants. This is especially true in disturbed areas close to suburbs as the most common  cause of weed invasion is from garden escapees. Native plants in these areas are already under stress from pressures such as bushfire hazard reduction and recreation. This makes them even more vulnerable to being overcome by weed invasions.

Local plants are an important source of food and shelter for wildlife. They are also important in helping to keep our environment healthy, for example by filtering water along creeks and rivers. Losing local plants because of weed invasion affects the whole environment.

Your backyard

Many of the weeds invading our bush areas have escaped from gardens, by spreading their seed through the wind, on boots and in pet fur. Weeds can also be spread by berry eating birds, or by being dumped with garden waste.

Many weeds are already listed on the NSW declared pest plant species list, available from the NSW Department of Primary Industries – http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/   Other plants, which are only recently becoming recognised as weeds, have not yet officially been listed.

What can I do?

  • Avoid plants that are known environmental weeds. As an alternative, many plants have varieties that do not spread.
  • Slowly replace weed plants already in your garden. Ask your local nursery for alternatives which will not spread into nearby bush areas.
  • Volunteer with a Landcare group to help control weeds in your local park or reserve.
  • Keep dogs and cats from roaming freely in reserves. Weed seeds can easily be caught in fur and carried through bushland.