Reduce the amount of old man's beard and limit the locations that have it.
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Old man’s beard is generally now recognised as the most damaging alien climber in New Zealand. One plant can blanket an area up to 180 square metres. Old man’s beard is a vigorous climber that covers and strangles desirable trees and shrubs, eventually blocking out light and killing them. Native bush is particularly vulnerable and large areas can quickly become dominated by this pest.
A native of Europe, old man’s beard was introduced to New Zealand as an ornamental plant. Since then its spread in the Waikato has been recorded across the region, mainly in the King Country, Taupō and Hamilton. There are scattered sites in the Waikato, Waipa and Hauraki districts.
New infestations can come from garden waste dumped in the countryside. The seeds of established plants spread by wind and water, and stem sections sprout and reroot wherever they touch the ground.
Native clematis (10 species). Note, old man’s beard should not be confused with any native species of clematis, which only have three ‘leaflets’ per leaf (old man’s beard has five leaflets per leaf).
Old man’s beard is an erect summer annual growing to 2.5m high but more usually about 1m high.
Waikato Regional Council is responsible for the control of old man’s beard. If you think you’ve seen it, call us.
Waikato Regional Council is responsible for controlling old man’s beard – do not attempt to remove it yourself. However, landowners/occupiers are encouraged to report old man’s beard on their properties and liaise with Waikato Regional Council in areas where control programmes are in place. Old man’s beard is also banned from being sold, propagated, distributed or included in commercial displays.
If you see these weeds on your property, do not cut or treat it. Call 0800 BIOSEC (0800 246 732) to report them to your local biosecurity pest plant officer.
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