Serrated tussock and integrated weed management

Serrated tussock integrated weed management aims to achieve long term control by actively targeting the plant's vulnerable ecological features and by reducing its ability to continue to spread.  the key principles to keep in mind are:

  • early intervention
  • prevent establishment and spread
  • develop a plan utilising appropriate management tactics.

Serrated tussock plants are most vulnerable as young seedlings and preventing seed-set in adult plants stops the formation of tens of thousands of seeds.  Therefore the most effective techniques will target these featurs, for example, maintaining ground cover for competition and chipping prior to flowering.

Basic principles to consider for the integrated management of serrated tussock are:

Seed bank management

  • Reduce the amount of seed going into the seedbank.
  • Minimise disturbance to the seed bank, which may reduce the germination rates of serrated tussock seed.

Target young serrated tussock seedlings

  • Seedlings are small, slow growing and vulnerable to competition.
  • Reduce seedling survival by minimising care ground cover and increasing the levels of desirable vegetation.

Prevent seed-set in adult tussock plants

  • Reduce the occurrence or severity of seed rain into your own and neighbouring properties.
  • Reduce new seed being added to the seed bank.
  • Serrated tussock seed bank will be depleted over time.

Prevent/reduce weed seed spread

  • use prevention strategies such as mesh fencing, shelterbelts and vehicl hygiene in managing serrated tussock.
  • Regularly monitor areas at high risk of invasion, such as fence lines.
  • Quickly eradicate new, small and outlying infestations.

Actively increase ground cover and competition

  • Ensure there is always competition for young, vulnerable serrated tussock seedlings.
  • Prevent initial establishment of tussock populations.  A good vigorous pasture of grassland cover is less likely to be infested by serrated tussock.

Regularly monitor, follow up and review treatments

  • make an integrated weed management plan.  Diligently implement the plan, emphasising diverse treatments that kill adult plants or stop them from setting seed.
  • Incorporate serrated tussock management into daily property activities.

 

Factors critical for success

  • begin when infestations are small and manageable or during periods of drought.  Letting it 'get away' will increase the time and expense of getting serrated tussock back under control.
  • Rotationally graze and manage vegetation levels accordingly - overgrazing and set stocking can leave bare patches of ground and provide room for tussock to re-emerge.
  • Long term commitment. This means any paddock where control has been undertaken needs to be followed up every year after initial treatment.

When deciding which particular treatment or combination of treatments to use, always choose the treatment that will cause least amount of damage to desirable vegetation and the environment.