First Ever Weed Management Plan for Athel Pine

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) today released the Weed Management Plan for Athel Pine, following extensive consultation with key stakeholders.

Weed Management Branch director Geri Lee said Athel Pine (Tamarix aphylla) is a Weed of National Significance (WoNS) that causes significant harm to the environment.

Ms Lee said the outcomes and options identified in this new plan represent a vital step forward towards Athel pine’s control and management in different parts of the Territory.

This harmful weed is a Class A/C weed* throughout most of the Territory, except that part south-east of Alice Springs along and near the Finke River where it is a Class B/C weed.

The Plan describes several management and eradication techniques that can be implemented by landholders responsible for combating and controlling Athel pine on their property.

“Athel pine is one of Australia’s worst weeds because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, economic and environmental impacts,” Ms Lee said.

“It was introduced to Australia in the 1930s as a drought tolerant shade tree, growing up to 15m tall, expanding across much of Australia in the 1970s following significant rain events.

“The development of the Plan was initiated via a request from the Alice Springs Regional Weed Reference Group who represent a cross section of the community who discuss and determine outcomes for weed issues in the Alice Springs region.

“I’d like to thank the many stakeholders, particularly pastoralists, who have helped us develop an approach that recognises and builds on historical work in the Finke and looks to avoid similar infestations in other inland waterways.

“It’s important that we take a more proactive approach to control and management of outlying plantings where they pose risk and that’s why DENR has committed to implementing a permit system that will allow some historic and culturally significant trees to remain until the risk can be assessed in detail.”

Go to www.nt.gov.au/environment/weeds to obtain a copy of the Weed Management Plan for Athel Pine (Tamarix aphylla), call 89994567 or email weedinfo@nt.gov.au

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Last updated: 28 November 2017