Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Poison a Privet a day

Robertson is enjoying a warm day, today -with clear skies, at least in the morning, a few clouds are building... Anyway, the warm air has brought out the perfume (or is it an "overpowering, pungent scent") of Privet bushes. This is hell for asthmatics and Hay Fever sufferers.

These shrubs are prominently visible now, with masses of tiny white flowers. They grow along creeks, around roadside edges, and even spread into the rainforest. They are very invasive weeds. Generally, they are weedy shrubs, but some grow into tall trees, in Robertson.

There are 2 main types, the Small-leaved Privet, (Ligustrum sinense), and the Large-leaved Privet, (L. lucidum) which tends to grow much taller. Both are introduced plants, originally used as hedging plants, but they produce huge crops of small black berries which the birds love, especially Silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis) - those litttle green birds with a white ring mark around their eyes. In Robertson, they will also be eaten by Currawongs and Bowerbirds.

Anyway, as the plants are in flower now, and are easily spotted and identified, I recommend pulling out any small Privet bushes growing on your property (and I have not yet achieved this myself, I confess). Large plants can be cut down, and the cut painted with concentrated "RoundUp", as soon as the cut is made. Apparently it is important to paint it straight away. Really large plants are successfully killed by drilling a series of small holes (1/4 inch or 6mm) with a cordless drill, and pouring small amounts of RoundUp into the hole, if you have either a small container with a fine tip, or a little trigger pump spray, set onto "jet" (not wide spray), and just trickle some into the holes. Always were rubber gloves when dealing with herbicides.

By killing Privets now, you are saving another year's crop of seeds, and masses of potential new weeds.

A minute ago, it was raining heavily. Now it has cleared off again. That's Robertson for you.


ah said...

So it is privet between my study window and Steve's garage, right?
I'll see if I can find a saw. This will give me a full view of the Marina petrol station in all its glory...

Denis Wilson said...

Anni. You can prune it as a hedge, and cut the flowers off now - and stop all these poor Sneezers from suffering. Well, if everybody did it...
The back of Steve's Servo is not madly attractive, I admit.