Multiple Hastings River landholders must be commended on their willingness to stop the spread of Cockspur Coral Trees around our river systems. The project run by Hastings Landcare took a landscape approach to controlling this high priority weed. Twelve landholders have taken part so far and work carried out by a local contractor. The project is funded by North Coast Local Land Services and the Department of Primary Industries Weeds Action Program, and supported by Port Macquarie Hastings Council and North Coast Regional Landcare Network.
Weeds don’t stick within property boundaries and will quite happily spread from property to property. The willingness of landholders to be involved was a crucial factor in this projects success. Hastings Landcare Coordinator Steve Allwood says, “We had a very diverse group of landholder from third generation farmers, a large company, crown lands, council managed land, new landholders and hobby farmers. When everyone gets involved we can stop the spread of Cockspur Coral Trees in their tracks”. Participating landholder Ray Ward says, ‘Being proactive and controlling these trees means that seeds can no longer spread to other people’s properties and liaison with Hastings landcare and PMHC was fantastic’. Like weeds, a community based, landscape approach to weed control is not limited by property boundaries.
As far as weeds go Cockspur Coral Trees are up there on the list! They have hook like spikes, they choke out wetlands and waterways and they spread easily. Cockspur Coral Trees in the Hastings region are placed in an Exclusion Zone. According to the North Coast Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan, ‘the plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land’. PMHC Biosecurity Officer Matt Bell says, “There are not that many Cockspur Coral Trees in the Hastings so now is our chance to act and stop the spread early, we don’t want to give this weed a chance to take over our waterways”.
Without weed management now, Cockspur Coral Tree has potential to become a major weed in our wetlands and waterways. If you think you may have Cockspur Coral Trees on your property don’t hesitate to call Hastings Landcare on 0467 864 465 or PMHC Biosecurity Officer on 0407 279 465 for help and advice.