Gorse (Ulex europaeus), familiar to most Tasmanians, is the southern region’s most devastating weed.
Gorse invades all land types, with native bush, streambanks and pasture some of the worst affected areas.
Gorse out-competes most other plants, prevents access to the land for stock and people, and creates a significant fire hazard due to its extreme flammability.
Gorse is an extremely spiny shrub typically growing to 2.5m tall.
It flowers most heavily from March to May, then July to October. Gorse bushes covered in bright yellow flowers are conspicuous this month.
A number of control options are available for gorse:
Good vehicle hygiene practices will prevent the spread of gorse into clean areas.
Cut and paint is effective on individual bushes and very small infestations.
Clearing with heavy machinery is effective in pasture or degraded sites.
Herbicide control is effective in a variety of situations.
Gorse seed is prolific in the soil and remains viable there for at least 25 years.
This means that any control program requires committed ongoing follow-up in the form of either cultivation/cropping, spraying, grazing or manual techniques.
Detailed information on gorse control is available in the Gorse National Best Practice Manual.