Pest plants targeted

The Limestone Coast Landscape Board is targeting the control of feral olives in the Padthaway area to complement the work already undertaken by landholders. Under the Landscape South Australia Act 2019 feral olives on roadsides and properties are declared for control.

Olives for domestic, public amenity or commercial purposes can be planted providing they are maintained and controlled. Feral olives are highly invasive to native vegetation, degrade habitat for native wildlife and the oil-rich trees burn with great intensity creating significant bushfire hazards. Unpicked olive fruit can be spread by animals and the resulting seedlings are extremely invasive.

The targeted control program for feral olives directly engaged 19 landholders in the Padthaway area and encourages landholder responsibility and awareness of the compliance requirements of owning an olive plant. Despite the significant challenges with this weed, Limestone Coast Landscape Board Landscape Operations Team Leader Deb Lang commended the efforts already undertaken by landholders targeting the control of feral olives.

“The feral olive control work undertaken by the community will still require persistent follow up to treat seedlings and regrowth in future years,” she said. “We are working directly with landholders to treat feral olive infestations on their properties and to implement responsible maintenance.” “In South Australia, domestic olive growers are legally required to reduce feral olive spread by ensuring trees do not fruit either by pruning before seed set or by ensuring all fruit is harvested.”

Landholders are also encouraged to consider their choice when purchasing an olive tree given the maintenance required in their management and the alternative native plant options that offer similar aesthetic qualities and the added benefit of habitat for native wildlife. For more information or advice on pest plant and animal management in your area contact a Limestone Coast Landscape Board Landscape Officer in Mount Gambier on 8735 1204 or Keith on 8755 1620.

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