28 June, 2023

Get ready for fireweed season

SOMERSET Regional Council is getting ready ahead of fireweed season and is encouraging residents to do the same.

Get ready for fireweed season - feature photo

Fireweed is a fast-spreading invasive restricted plant that can have a significant impact on local farmers, is poisonous to horses and livestock and is considered a high priority weed to control.

Pest Management Working Group member Deputy Mayor Helen Brieschke said managing invasive plants such as fireweed helps protect the region’s farms.

“Local landholders have been doing a great job to minimise the impact of fireweed, but it’s an ongoing battle,” Cr Brieschke said.

“One fireweed plant can produce anywhere between 5,000 and 30,000 viable seeds, which mostly fall within about five metres of the parent plant. A light breeze is enough for seeds to become airborne and massively increase the number of plants in a small area.”

Seedlings appear between March and June, growing quickly to produce bright yellow flowers in six to eight weeks, before starting to die back in spring to early summer as the weather warms up. Seeds are easily spread by wind, stock, in pasture seed, hay, turf, mulch and with stock transport.

Smaller infestations can be hand removed by using gloves to limit contact with the skin and placing in a plastic bag to go into the bin. Larger infestations can be sprayed with herbicide to limit the risk of spread. 

Council offers a chemical subsidy for the control of fireweed. For further information phone Council on 5424 4000.

See the Queensland Government website for more information about this invasive restricted species bit.


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