MEDIA RELEASE: Tropical Soda Apple - The Holiday Is Over

Council wishes to advise that the seasonal conditions through summer and autumn have created a prime opportunity for the increased germination of Tropical Soda Apple, and landholders are asked to be vigilant in ensuring that their land is free of the plant. Tropical Soda Apple, a high risk weed for the north coast area, is an aggressive, prickly shrub that readily invades riverside and pasture areas.

Justine Graham, North Coast Local Land Services Regional Weds Coordinator, said, “While many land managers may have undertaken weed control prior to autumn, the rate and amount of germination brought on by any moisture means that places where the weed has occurred before and new areas where it might spread will need to be inspected as a priority.”

Tropical Soda Apple fruits quickly following rain and produces a large number of viable seeds which have the potential to spread and geminate rapidly. Infestations impact agricultural land, forest, riparian zones, roadsides and parks, displacing native or existing plants. Seed is spread through cattle movement and baled grass, by flood, as well as by other animals that eat the fruit such as deer, pigs and birds.

This is why Soda Apple is a high priority for control across the state and particularly in the North Coast region.” Justine said.

Council’s Assistant General Manager Engineering Services, Paul Gallagher, said “The importance of controlling this weed is highlighted in last year’s release of stringent control requirement for all land managers under the Biosecurity (Tropical Soda Apple) Control Order 2017 and the listing of this species as an eradication target for the North Coast region in the North Coast Strategic Weed Management Plan 2017 - 2022.

Landholders are asked to be aware that allowing this plant to go to seed, or controlling it and not removing the fruit is a breach of the control order, as is the movement of stock or fodder off infested properties without suitable quarantine actions in place.

Restricting livestock from grazing and moving through areas with Tropical Soda Apple will help reduce spread, as will regularly checking cattle handling facilities, cattle camps and yards for seedlings and new infestations. 

The Control Order also specifies that individuals must report occurrences of this weed within 24 hours of detection. If you believe you may have Tropical Soda Apple on your property, please contact Keegan Noble, Site Leader Green Space and Invasive Plants Inspector at Nambucca Shire Council on 0417 484 306 or via email: Keegan.noble@nambucca.nsw.gov.au for further advice on the best methods of control.

MICHAEL COULTER
GENERAL MANAGER

DATE: 5 JUNE 2018


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