Volunteer weed control
Control of environmental weeds is an ongoing role of Bush Society volunteers. They keep coming back from seeds in the ground and seeds brought in by the wind and by birds. Many of these seeds come from surrounding properties so controlling pest plants in your backyard is a very important way to look after the bush. In the image above volunteers are removing monbretia and putting this into a large weed bag where it will compost down over a few years.
Contractor weed control
The scale of the weed issue is beyond the scope of volunteers. The Bush Society has been funding contractors to control pest plants in areas of the park for many years. This includes golf course blocks as well as the main valley. More recently Auckland Council has funded ecocontractors to control a small suite of weeds like climbing asparagus.
Environmental weeds come in all shapes and sizes from the tiniest moss like Selaginella to huge unwanted self sown Australian rain forest trees – fine in Australia, but not fine when they start growing and replacing our native vegetation. The main culprits are Acmena smithii (monkey apple), Acacia longifolia (Sydney golden wattle) and Pinus pinaster (maritime pine).
As a result of this the Bush Society has been slowly removing problem trees from Centennial Park. We have removed all the large fruiting monkey apple trees in the park, including 50 around the golf course and about 30 in the vicinity of the tennis club.
We have also felled about 50 pines in the main bush and wattles within and around the edge of the bush. We have an ongoing consent to remove 3 pines per annum from the bush. This pine reduction program started in the 1980’s when large numbers of self sown pines were ring barked by the Bush Society. The main valley would be a pine plantation today had it not been for the farsightedness of the early volunteers. In tandem with this program we have planted many thousands of native and some non native plants, most of which are doing very well.