Gorse Control and alleopathy

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Shane
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:01 pm
Location: Penguin Tasmania

Gorse Control and alleopathy

Postby Shane » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:44 pm

I am currently studying environment and land management, I've also read Peter's book
"Beyond the Brink", which is sometimes at odds with what I am being taught...
I'm particularly interested in the control of Gorse. In Tasmania this plant is taking
control of large tracts of land, often rendering the land unusable unless a lot of work
is undertaken to remove it, which is costly and time consuming…
I think I am beginning to understand that the land it grows on is degraded is some way
so I’ve developed an interest in why exactly Gorse grows where it does, and although I have only been
observing this plant for a short while, I've noticed it does some strange things in
the presence of vigorous native plant growth. I'm Wondering in particular if Gorse
is subjected to allelopathy as discussed in Beyond the brink.

Has anyone experimented with Gorse control using an allelopathic approach?

Julian
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Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:57 pm

Postby Julian » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:36 pm

When I first read Peters Books, I thought Peter hasn't come across Gorse as this seems like the Ultimate Weed. It can spread via Seed, Roots and pieces of plant, and the seeds last forever. But after thinking about what Peter says, if it was that good it would have taken over the world. I would suggest treating it like any other plant, as a free source of mulch and slash it (If it is too advanced they have these mulch machines that chew it us and spit it out) Rake it into contour lines. and let the cycle begin.

Shane
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Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:01 pm
Location: Penguin Tasmania

Gorse Control and alleopathy

Postby Shane » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:52 pm

Thanks Julian, My plan is to spread a couple of bales of hay above the
affected area (small test site), followed by a row of finely mulshed gorse
then see what happens. Other research I have seen also suggests spraying the area with urea to stimulate grass growth, I understand the reasoning but I'm not sure of the result... Anyway I'll do the test and post the results.

Stringybark
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Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:24 am
Location: Wagga Wagga. NSW

Postby Stringybark » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:57 pm

Great idea Shane.
Get the camera out and give a pictorial account of your trials.

duane
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Location: Central Coast, NSW
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Postby duane » Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:19 pm

Hi Shane

Gorse and Spanish Broom are two plants which are members of the Leguminosaea Family.

They are incredibly important plants: WHY?? Because of the following reasons:[list]
*they are primary colonisers
*they are N fixers
*also one is great at accumulating P and the other Ca
*the have one of the most efficient mechanisms for photosynthesis as every part of the plant can photosynthesize
*they are great plants for restoring disturbed and badly eroded landscapes

After willows, they are some of Peter's most important regenerative plants.

Shane said:
I am currently studying environment and land management, I've also read Peter's book
"Beyond the Brink", which is sometimes at odds with what I am being taught...
I'm particularly interested in the control of Gorse. In Tasmania this plant is taking
control of large tracts of land, often rendering the land unusable unless a lot of work
is undertaken to remove it, which is costly and time consuming…
I think I am beginning to understand that the land it grows on is degraded is some way
so I’ve developed an interest in why exactly Gorse grows where it does, and although I have only been
observing this plant for a short while, I've noticed it does some strange things in
the presence of vigorous native plant growth. I'm Wondering in particular if Gorse
is subjected to allelopathy as discussed in Beyond the brink.


Before everyone in Tasmania spends a lot of $$$ and effort why not observe what positive impacts this plant is having instead of the conventional reaction which is to obliterate it when it could be a friend and not a foe.

In the 19th Century when the chinese goldminers wrecked a landscape looking for gold they planted gorse and broom to recover the 'ground zero' diggings. Left long enough. without disturbance. the land recovered. Yours will too!!

I suspect that much of the land you are seeing with gorse has had some serious negative impact and if you view it as a plant trying to restore and regenerate a degraded ecosystem then you will start to see how Peter Andrews reads these indicators.

Hear is something to read - in PDF format

Shane
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:01 pm
Location: Penguin Tasmania

Postby Shane » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:22 pm

Thanks duane,
The Gorse plant is definitely a power house there’s no doubt about that. My interest is not so much in how to eradicate, but to understand it. I understand that the land it grows on maybe degraded in someway
and I’m hoping to establish what the links are. In Tasmania we never used to have a problem with Gorse we do now, over recent years its presence is literally exploding across the landscape, and this year in
particular I have notice a prolific increase in it’s presence , particularly in native forest areas.
I’m only a recent student to all this, but having read Peters books, has really opened my eyes to the possibilities of NSF.

duane
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Central Coast, NSW
Contact:

Postby duane » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:29 am

Shane commented:
In Tasmania we never used to have a problem with Gorse we do now, over recent years its presence is literally exploding across the landscape, and this year in
particular I have notice a prolific increase in it’s presence , particularly in native forest areas.


Like a lot of introduced plants, gorse is an opportunist. The inherent nature of the gorse plant would tell us it was designed by the natural forces of evolution to fill a space in an ecosystem. Nature does nothing unnecessarily.

So you need to ask yourself the question: what is it that has changed in the landscape that is allowing the gorse plant to colonise especially if its going into 'undisturbed' (my word) native forests?? I suspect that if the forest was intact and in balance ecologically, this would NOT happen. On the edges maybe, but not within the forest canopy itself (unless of course these are plantation areas).

If there has been a severe unbalance occurring in the landscape then the gorse is simply trying to correct that situation. Maybe if you use the presence of the gorse to indicate that there is a problem in that area and then look past the gorse to see if you can find out what has happened previously....removal of biodiversity, alleopathic eucalypts, mining, ploughing, monoculture plantings, fertilizer overuse, herbicide spraying, damage by cattle and sheep etc etc etc???

Its important to remember that the gorse is primarily working for Nature. Use it as an INDICATOR plant ie what's it telling you about the landscape AND two, the gorse is trying to put the landscape back into balance and equilibrium.

Shane
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:01 pm
Location: Penguin Tasmania

Postby Shane » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:55 am

Yep, That sums it up nicely... Thanks

Shirley Henderson
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Location: Thirlmere

Postby Shirley Henderson » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:45 am

HI Duane, I am sure that reading what this (Gorse) means is of great benefit but to who. I am not a sceptic about Peters work, I think his knowledge is fantastic. In regard to Gorse and others, if they are working to restore the landscape, I think this is great for people such as Shane and myself who would like to see a healthy balance restored. Diversity is key. This is terrific for us Bush restorers and Conservationist but how is it beneficial to farmers. Their work relies on clearing to farm. Even without clearing, constant disturbance is necesary for farming so how can they let Gorse grow in huge areas if they need the land to farm? What can farmers do about this and still make a profit from their land to survive the tough times. If hey have to wait for Gorse to go through a process how can they survive in between.
Shirley
ps Avid supproter of PA but always full of questions.

duane
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Contact:

Postby duane » Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:25 am

Much of this question is about time and space.

If the farmer has 100 acres to farm and has 100 acres full of gorse he has only three options as I see it.

One is to walk away and get another living.

Two is to spend lots of $$$ to clear the gorse (and try) and fix the problem thru the conventional means

Three
is to rethink how he farms and work with Nature rather than against the powerful forces of Nature.

If he continues on with way with No 2 he is only going to be left with two choices....i.e., 1 or 3.
Last edited by duane on Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Shirley Henderson » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:18 am

So what is option 3

farm 50% leave 50%
I like that Idea

But that is 50% loss to farmer in production I guess
But a percentage of saving in labour, costs and lifestyle. I guess the farmer has to work that one out for themselves, (or read back from the brink) is that what you are saying?
Shirl

Stringybark
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:24 am
Location: Wagga Wagga. NSW

Postby Stringybark » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:42 pm

Shirley, this is my take on gorse.
As far as I can remember, I have only seen it growing on grazing land. Anywhere that conventional cultivation can be undertaken, the machinery can deal with it easily enough. There is a good chance that fertilizers have been applied on cultivation country as well, making for less than ideal growing conditions for gorse.
I have seen gorse growing on hilly country that has quite likely been grazed with minimal inputs for decades and so would have the fertility removed over time.
If I had 100 acres and it was all covered in gorse, I would look to get into it with a small machine, or (because I am poor) with a brush cutter and slash along the contour manually. Creating several windrows to speed up the repair process. Goats will graze the plant, so an income could be produced from them. If this 100 acres was all you had, you would need other income to survive. but with some thinking outside the square, you could possibly get the place to pay for itself. Perhaps clear an acre and place the slash on the up hill side and grow some intensive market garden type crops?
I look at places with bad weed problems as opportunities for those in the know.


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