Week beginning 28/03/16.
First project with the Scenic Rim council. Lions Park Canungra. Target species were Castor Oil on the SW bank of Canungra Creek where this weed has dominated this eco system for years. Dense, the site was a monoculture excluding the varieties of Ipomoea and Glycine vines that climbed through the canopy.
It was apparent within the first 10 minutes that loppers and folding saw weren’t going to cut it for this site. These Castor Oil were 10m tall with some basals the width of dinner plates. It was two days of intense chainsaw work. It was hard going as the vines prevented the Castor Oil from falling, each plant had to be cut and manually separated.
Along the creek bank the Castor oil was leaning over the water. Dragging the Castor oil out of the creek and over the bank with vines entangled throughout the branches was extremely taxing. Would put it up there with some of the hardest labour to date.
But the end result was great. Seed source as been removed. Seed bank on the other hand… very present. Been seeding for years, more than ten. Juveniles present in high density and will be for a very long time. This site will require constant maintenance.
Recommended that treatment of this site begins no later than February each year to prevent seed dispersal. Given the lack of native species foliar spray is ideal but surveying this site prior to treatment is also recommended. This site would benefit with conservation revegetation. Seedlings planted on this site, particularly pioneer species to form a canopy would prevent or reduce the amount of Castor Oil seeds from germinating. As for the banks, riparian species such as Lomandra longifolia, L hystrix, Melaluleuca viminalis, Lophostemon confertus, Ficus coronata etc would really contribute to the integrity of the bank.
Further information on the Castor Oil Plant can be found at the following link: