Saturday, February 18, 2017

New Area being cleared

Cabbage Tree Seedlings before clearing
There is quite an extensive area south of the pond and east of the stream on the wet gully floor that a house owner who lived on the gully had cleared of willows and done some sparse planting. They sold their house and moved from the area about two years ago. This area has since been overrun with the swamp grass Glyceria maxima putting considerable pressure on the existing plantings of natives. We decided to put together a rescue package that would control the Glyceria and return the area to native flora suitable for the swamp conditions.
Glyceria thrives in wet sunny conditions. We have found that by thick planting Manuka at one metre spacing we can shade out the Glyceria. It becomes very weak in the shade. We then under plant the Manuka with shade tolerant natives which will eventually grow up through the Manuka restoring the area to a good native wetland mix.

and after clearing
We are at the stage where we have cut down the Glyceria, freeing the existing native plants, some of which were bent in two, and will bring the Glyceria under temporary control by spraying with glyphosate (you may know it as Round Up). This looks as though it kills it but does not have a permanent kill and soon comes away again. The next challenge will be to get enough Manuka plants for the area. In reality we will probably have to do in it blocks over a number of seasons.

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