help with lantana

Any questions or comments you have about Natural Sequence Farming processes. These could include general questions or ones about your personal problems.

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avinashi
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help with lantana

Post by avinashi » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:50 pm

Oh, what a weed she is! I don't know what machine can help here. the slope is steep and we consider using mountain climbing gear attached to a tree to access it. The lantana appears to be 10 to 20 m high and a thicket all the way. The Byron Bay shire suggest we could aerial spray it with glycophosphates, and do it often because it could re-grow. The local landcare group give discounts on glycophosphate as their ambrosia.
Some areas are gently sloping. Perhaps if we hand cut it with a brushhook to see what's below we could later slash with a tractor to maintain a possibility of other plants emerging.
Any ideas, please?
Avinashi
I am a student

Shirley Henderson
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Location: Thirlmere

Post by Shirley Henderson » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:29 am

Avinashi,
This lantana may be the only thing holding your slope together.

If you spray it what will happen next?

What observations have you recorded there?

Is wildlife using it as habitat?
Are birds or insects breeding there that may be displaced?
What other plants grow there?
Is it providing shelter from the sun or extreme weather conditions?
Is it keeping out unwanted pests such as goats?
Is it protecting wildlife from predators?
Is it feasable to begin a plan of spraying in such a difficult place that will require you to return again and again creating disturbance?
Do you expect natives to return and flourish there?

All these questions and more need to be posed before interfering with an established eco system be they populated with native or introduced plants.
What is it that you want to achieve?
Kind regards
Shirley

avinashi
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help with lantana

Post by avinashi » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:26 pm

Dear Shirley
Thank you for asking the obvious questions.
Oh yes you are right, all of those good things happen in the lantana. Small birds and marsupials breed and shelter, big birds eat the seeds, pythons and wallaby's travel through it, the water dragon hides in it. It is definitely the only thing holding the soil together, and there are flooding rains a'plenty.
But biodiverse it is not. No other plants grow where it grows and it is climbing up to the top of nearby trees on their sunny sides. I would like to grow crops that I eat, maybe graze some cows or chickens, I would like to plant some bananas, red cedar and white cedar amid other rainforest trees (not eucalypts). We have pockets of magnificent rainforest and there are lots of seeds in the area so I do expect native plants to return if they can get to the soil.
I would only remove the areas of lantana where I have other uses, eg a track to the creek which at present is impassible, or where I have a hope of planting some other plants and maintaining their tenure. The vast steep inaccessible areas can remain privately covered in lantana which seems 20m deep.
I have gathered a general plan from my reading and talking with Peter that I should mulch but not remove roots, put piles of cut lantana uphill from the rest of it. When I hear about thistles I am envious because they can generally be slashed with a tractor or whippersnipper. Neither of these can penetrate my jungle. The only ways I think of are lots of sweaty manual cutting and returning to it frequently, hopefully with a machine second time around when one can see the rocks below. I want to try manual cutting and leaving of roots if that's what Peter reckons. The alternatives are poisioning or removed by hand. Fortunately I don't need to make money from the land but unfortunately I'm not there all the time either to maintain my advances.
I am a student

duane
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Post by duane » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:32 am

I would be taking both Peter's advice and Shirley's but not the advice of the Byron Bay shire suggest we could aerial spray it with glycophosphates.

The lantana loves sun and at 20m in places sounds like that is what its chasing.

Do as you have suggested and
put piles of cut lantana uphill from the rest of it
. Doesn't sound like the easiest solution but as Malcolm said "Life's not meant......."

Shirley Henderson
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 4:03 pm
Location: Thirlmere

Post by Shirley Henderson » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:34 am

Hello again Avinashi,
It sounds like you have your work cut out for you. It’s good to hear you are taking the slow approach, only removing lantana when you need to use the land for other purposes. This is also how I approach my bush regeneration tasks. In thickets of anything it is best to only remove what you need to (such as your pathway to creek).
The forum is also very informative for others to watch and learn and we can all learn from each others experiences. It would be great if you could post some photos. Can I ask some more questions about your plans and property to generate further discussion?
How big is your land?
Can you describe it?
What are the food plants you want to grow?
I’m sure you have discussed all this with Peter but just some general information for the rest of us because we will be curious about your successes or failures.
(According to Adam Muyt author of ‘BUSH INVADERS OF SOUTH-EAST AUSTRALIA’; Lantana (a large plant) can produce several thousand seed each year and viability is less than 50%. )
Keep in mind that all that seed is also waiting to germinate once exposed to the sun. I would suggest any removal of the lantana should be immediately replaced with the plants that you want. Focus on what you want not what you don’t want. Continually prune back from the areas you are working on to allow your wanted plants to grow and shade out germination of lantana.
I would also use the method of cutting lantana close to base (crown) so the top dies off leaving the thickets and branches to become defoliated and still leaving in place the habitat to a degree. Then you will be able to observe what will begin to germinate underneath once the soil is exposed to light and other weather conditions.
If you can’t be at your property to work on a regular basis then it may be best practice to only work in small patches so that you are not inundated with pressing new tasks.
Fast growing decidous trees would be a great start to shading out the lantana and changing the soil conditions but I am not sure if that is what you want. Are you after a rainforest or a farm?
Shirley :)

avinashi
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help with lantana

Post by avinashi » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:33 pm

Dear Duanne and Shirley
thank you both very much for your encouraging replies. I am next on the land in June, but taking in your words of wisdom I am 'focusing on what I want'. I am organising to get some phragmites to plant around the dam to improve it's water quality. I am getting help with cutting the lantana on the way to the creek so I don't feel it is an impossible task I take on alone. Friends tell me about other people nearby who don't use poisons so I hope to meet them when I next visit.
ABOUT OUR LAND
I will take some superb pictures of lantana paddocks, and also of our georgeous rainforest creek, our blue quandong figs with buttress roots, the verdant, fecund, enormously alive and growing environment that has brought me and my family to this place.
Our land is 23 acres. The west is the creek area and is very steep, east is flatter. It is half a km from the top (south) to the creek which is our boundary. We rise to 400m and fall steeply to 260m in 110m above the house. This area has many large remnant rainforest trees. This area we will attempt to regenerate as bush. Below that was once a dairy flat, falls only 140m in 350m. This is our lantana paddock. The block is around 200m wide, east to west. We have a creek on our west where we have a small dam, around 10m dia. We take water via a pipe in a small pond higher than this into a tank near the dam. The dam and our tank overflow close to where the original creek fell, and would rejoin the original watercourse. This creek joins a bigger one at the north end of our land. We are proud that our stream is free all the way to the ocean and we get native bass coming up to breed.
I am a student

matto
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:20 pm
Location: victoria and southern nsw

Post by matto » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:38 pm

Just posted this link somewhere else too.
http://healersbydesign.blogspot.com/201 ... -dust.html

duane
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Post by duane » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:30 pm

Matt

thanks for that link.....the info on the mycorrhiza fungi is telling.

While Lantana is seen by many as a highly noxious weed, apparently it has one hugely rewarding quality - its roots are a universal host of mycorrhizal fungi, which form a hugely symbiotic relationship between a plant's roots and the fungus. The mycorrhiza in the soil provide the fungus with relatively constant and direct access to carbohydrates supplied by the plant, and in exchange the fungus makes minerals and nutrients available to the plant's roots. Mycorrhizal fungi are a hugely important component of any healthy soil, especially in forests, but are often missing from our depleted soils.

nik
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Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:19 pm

Post by nik » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:49 am

Hey Avinashi

I live in the Nimbin area and have the perfect way to deal with lantana - pigs. they love lantana they will eat it down to the ground and root up the roots. the way to do it is cut a small area perimeter with a brushcutter and put in an temp electric fence. put pigs in with water and away they go, you will need to give some additional food. at the end of it you get a fresh cleared and manured area that you reseed with what ever you want there and you get bacon and pork into the bargin. the key is not to make the area to large and then move the pigs on to the next bit and seed straight away with cover crops or plantings. works a treat and you haven't poisoned or broken your back.

Nik

:D

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