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Nasty weed re-emerges in the Bay of Plenty

Nasty weed re-emerges in the Bay of Plenty

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27 Oct 21 Biosecurity News

Nasty weed re-emerges in the Bay of Plenty

A Maketu, Bay of Plenty, orchard manager is working closely with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) and their contractor to eradicate a weed which produces hundreds of extremely sharp seeds, able to penetrate footwear and vehicle tyres.

Native to South Africa, Spiny Emex (Emex australis) has been present in New Zealand for more than 100 years but has remained very localised to parts of the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay. It typically grows on light, sandy soils in coastal areas.

Spiny Emex appears similar to a small-leaved dock. The three-cornered seeds are formed at the base of leaves and along leaf stems. They are extremely sharp.

The Maketu kiwifruit orchard was badly infested after an area of soil was moved into hollows when the orchard was developed. BOPRC contractors and orchard staff have been intensively digging out and destroying plants, and more than a tonne of fresh plants have now been removed.

Orchard staff check their footwear before leaving the orchard. Contractors and staff carefully check the tyres of vehicles.

KVH visited the site this week and was impressed by the dedication of the orchard manager, working with BOPRC, to ensure that everything possible is being done to prevent any further spread of this weed.

If you live in the Bay Of Plenty and think you have seen Spiny Emex on any site, or any kiwifruit orchard, contact 0800 STOP PESTS (0800 786 773) or email BOPRC. If you’ve seen the weed in any other area, contact your local regional council or KVH.


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