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Invasive weeds are destroying our native plant communities. This invasion is transforming  the natural landscapes that make New Zealand unique. It's also killing the native animals that depend on those habitats.  

It's happening in our wetlands, coastal dunes, shrublands and bush. The process is too slow to see but never stops. Time lapse photos can reveal the relentless progression of weed invasion.

If we are to preserve our natural landscapes and native species, we need your help.

If you identify weeds, either on your property or anywhere in the South Hokianga, please fill in the form and let us know.   

See images below for the more common weeds in South Hokianga, or check the comprehensive weed identification guides listed below.

The SHGG meets regularly - check the events calendar for the next meeting.

Weed identification guides
Like any plant, different weeds are identified by their characteristics. Plant identification guides can be used to help identify which weed you are dealing with. Once you know what it is, you can easily find out how to control it. 

Use these websites to identify and learn more about different weeds:

2. Ask the following questions:

what will happen if you do nothing? Is that acceptable?
is it possible to kill the weed?
can the re-growth be managed long term?
what is the likelihood of the weed growing again?
where are the sources? 
what measures can be taken to avoid re-invasion? (You may need to work with your neighbours.)
how are the weed seeds dispersed e.g. wind, water or by birds?
how does the weed reproduce – by seeds and/or cuttings (vegetative)?
how long does the weed take to mature and produce seed?
how quickly does the weed establish and grow?
what conditions does it like to grow in e.g. lots of light, little light or in frost areas?
Native plant questions:

is there a native plant seed source? If not you may need to consider replanting natives. Is this an option?
in gardens use native species or exotics that are not likely to become weedy.

The purpose of environmental weed control is not only to kill weeds but also to restore forests, shrublands or wetlands, and to help protect threatened plants and animals.

Weed control is a long-term commitment. Most weeds re-invade very quickly after control, so it is important that your weed control is well planned. It is better to do a small area effectively and go back the next year, control any re-growth, then move on to a new area. You need to pick a battle you can win.

Weeds need to be controlled sooner rather than later. Once weeds are established and become bigger and are dominant, removal and restoration becomes more difficult and more expensive.

Before you decide whether or not to control weeds, collect some information and ask lots of questions. 

1. Gather the following information:

what native plants and wildlife are present
what weeds are present
the impacts the weeds are having on the native plants and wildlife. Not all weeds are created equal. Some weeds will be more of a problem than others.
Assess whether the weed is really a problem or whether killing it will make matters worse. Avoid ‘over clearing’ as weeds thrive in disturbed sites. The weed that re-invades could be worse than the weed that is there now.

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