Support for Kahikatea Stands

(Published on 12th October 2017)

A group of Weedbusters recently travelled to Otorohanga to assist NZ Landcare Trust to plant missing understory species and control weeds in a covenanted kahikatea stand near the Waipa River. During the winter and spring the Weedbusters squad often help with planting native plants in the newly cleared areas.

Many fenced-off kahikatea stands in the Waikato region have weed problems, with Privet, tradescantia, Jerusalem cherry, and ivy some of hardest to control. Landowners may be keen to control these weeds, but often don’t have the time or labour to manage their areas.

A group of fit, enthusiastic volunteers can make a real difference in helping with restoration, which is one of the main reasons why the Waikato Weedbusting Squad (WWS) was set up. WWS works with Queen Elizabeth II National Trust to help clear weeds from various covenanted sites across the Waikato Basin.

“We are a mobile squad with the flexibility to visit different sites to assist landowners with weed control” says Jude Tisdall the coordinator for the group.  

“Weeding takes place two mornings a month - Mondays and Thursdays - to suit members’ availability. The work involves hand weeding, cutting and pasting with gel herbicide or spraying, whatever people are comfortable doing. There are usually eight to ten weedbusters at each session and members car pool wherever possible”. 

Seeds for the plants were sourced from the local area and were grown in the Tamahere Community Nursery, and included plants such as mahoe, karamu, flaxes for the edges, and other shade tolerant species for the interior. Tree privet is the main problem in this stand.

WWS members gain great satisfaction from seeing the results of their efforts and knowing they are making a positive difference in terms of restoring indigenous biodiversity. Other benefits include the camaraderie, keeping active and the opportunity to visit unknown bush remnants which wouldn’t normally be accessible.

The Squad always welcomes new members. If you’d like to lend a hand, be part of our active, friendly group or set up your own group in the Otorohanga area, as well as visit some beautiful bush reserves around the Waikato basin, please contact Jude Tisdall  021 947815.





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