ONE Tree Hill residents are being urged to take early action against an invasive weed as spring approaches.
The wild artichoke is a large flowering weed that can grow up to one metre high and spread over large areas of land if not controlled.
It degenerates pasture by competing with other plants for nutrients and water, while rigid spines covering the plant deter grazing animals.
Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (AMLR) held an information session on Saturday at One Tree Hill Fodder and Rural Supplies to educate residents on how to stop the weed’s spread.
Natural Resources AMLR Northern District Manager Tony Fox said the problems the weed can cause should be of concern for landowners.
“They can be a real problem, and around the One Tree Hill area and other areas around Gawler they’ve become a little bit entrenched,” he said.
“When it gets blown into things like the South Para River, and the lovely natural environments there, it starts to really challenge the natural flora.
“It’s impacting on neighbours and creating work and responsibilities for them, so they’ve got to spend their own time and money working on it – it’s not an acceptable thing.”
The weed is a declared plant under the Resources Management Act, meaning it is a landowner’s responsibility to control its spread.
Prevention measures for wild artichokes include the use of herbicides and removing the plant and roots from the ground.
Mr Fox said preventing the spread of the weed isn’t hard. “It’s not a hugely difficult weed to control…you just need to put a spray on it and under a few years you can have your whole property under control,” he said.
“Also, you can dig it out if you have small infestations, but it’s really about making sure the plant doesn’t go to seed each year.
“Once the plant has seeded the seeds drop to the ground, the wind blows them, and you’ve got a fresh germination next year.”