City of Subiaco - Plant pathogen and weed management
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Plant pathogen and weed management

nullThis page contains information about how the city controls weeds and manages dieback, a plant disease common in jarrah and banksia trees.

Plant pathogens

The city’s Plant Pathogen Management Plan 2015 – 2019 outlines strategies to protect and preserve our natural surrounds from infection from diseases such as dieback, honey fungus, canker disease and sphaeropsis blight, all of which exist in the local area, and have no available treatment to eradicate.

Many plant pathogens occur naturally in soil and plants, and are an important part of functioning ecosystems. However, the above diseases cause the decline and death of susceptible plants, and have the potential to severely impact the city’s urban forest and the significant environmental, social and economic value of this asset.

The diseases are spread by movement of infected soil or plant matter, root-to-root contact, or by water or wind.  Wounds from poor pruning techniques, and the impact of abiotic stress factors such drought, can increase a plants susceptibility to infection.

The plan outlines a long-term approach to building and maintaining healthy ecosystems to improve the resilience of susceptible plants to infection, as well as implementing equipment hygiene control measures, best practice urban forest management techniques, and increasing community awareness. The plan applies measures that will be applicable to any emerging plant pathogen within the city.

How you can help?

The diseases also affect native and ornamental plants in home gardens.  They can be unknowingly introduced to the area through common gardening practices such as contaminated plants or greenwaste.  You can help by:

  • Using soil, gravel, potting mix and mulch by purchased from suppliers that have a high pasteurisation standard as demonstrated by compliance with the Australian Standard for Compost, Soil Conditioners and Mulches (AS 4454), or the ISO 9001 Quality Management System.  The use of raw greenwaste from tree lopping companies is discouraged, as mulch that has not been composted and pasteurised increases the risk of new disease outbreaks
  • Buying plants from nurseries accredited under the Nursery Industry Accreditation Scheme Australia (NIASA).  Plants from road side stalls or stock sitting on nursery floors is at higher risk of carrying dieback.

The city has dieback treatment kits available for hire by local residents.  For further information, please Parks and Environment Services on 9387 0942.

Weed control

The City of Subiaco undertakes weed control of road reserve areas throughout the municipality, including footpaths, kerb lines and traffic islands. The chemical used is Roundup Biactive, a non-selective herbicide. Residents are notified of the impending weed control via an advertisement in the Post Newspaper. Residents can choose to have their property placed on an exemption list; however the area adjacent to their place of residence must remain weed-free.

Weed control is undertaken only in appropriate conditions. Weed control will not be undertaken in wind conditions exceeding 15 kilometres per hour, when it is raining or rain is imminent, or in temperatures exceeding 35 degrees. Signage is displayed on vehicles during the spraying operation, to advise the public that spraying is taking place.

Kerb lines

Weeds growing over the kerb are controlled using herbicide. Where kerb lines are edged and maintained, these properties are not to be sprayed. Where weed growth exceeds 150 millimetres in height, the weeds are removed manually. Where cars are parked preventing close operation of the vehicle, hand application using the extent of the hose reel is required.

Footpaths

Weed control along footpaths is not to exceed 10 millimetres beyond the outside edges of the footpath. Where footpaths are edged and maintained, these properties are not to be sprayed. Where weed growth exceeds 150 millimetres in height, these are to be removed manually. Where cars are parked preventing close operation of the vehicle, hand application using the extent of the hose reel is required.

For further information on weed spraying, fill in an online enquiry form or call the city on (08) 9387 0942.