Howick continues battle against weeds

Are moth plant and rhamnus weed out of control in your backyard?

The Howick Local Boardis once again running a programme encouraging people to remove and dispose of moth plant and rhamnus from their properties.

Howick Local Board wants you to help it win the battle to rid the community of these invasive weeds next month with the return of its weed disposal bin and swap day.

The bins will be located in on Bells Rd in Lloyd Elsmore Park from 3 to 15 April. On 14 April between 9am and 1pm at the same location, you can exchange the weeds for a ‘friendly’ plant to go in to the garden.

The local board’s environment work programme lead, John Spiller, says the weeds smother gardens and native plants, so removing them is a high priority.

“They also grow very fast and over the four years we’ve run the programme we’ve collected several large last skip bins so it’s an ongoing battle.”

The avid conservationist says that the project is helping to raise awareness of the weeds which are often mistaken for less dangerous plants.

“Moth plant in particular is such a danger to our environment, as the pods can contain up to 1000 seeds each. When dry, the pods split and wind can carry the seeds more than 20 kilometers away,” Spiller says.
“We run this to give people a place to dispose of the weeds and to raise awareness but every year we get calls asking for us to remove them form their property, which is not the council’s job.  If people do notice the weeds on council parks they can report it through the call centre (09 301 0101).”
Strategy on pests 
The local board is looking to develop an overarching pest management strategy that would include this programme as well as new ones to rid the area of rats and other pests. It is also considering creating pest-free areas in the local board area.
How to remove the weeds
The best ways to remove these weeds from your property are:

  • Dig out the plant including the root system
  • Cut and treat the vine or stump with herbicide
  • Hand-pull the tree or vine from the ground when the ground is wet or damp.

Find out more about how to identify and dispose of pest weeds in your garden.