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Weed of the Moment: Sycamore

posted 15 Dec 2017, 19:47 by Kenneth Dixon   [ updated 15 Dec 2017, 19:47 ]
We’ve made great progress on getting old man’s beard under control in Pinehaven.  Thanks to all who have helped.  

I’d like to draw your attention to another pest plant that is very common around here: sycamore.  It’s a medium-sized tree, a member of the maple family.  It has smooth grey bark and bluish-green leaves shaped like the leaf on the Canadian flag.  It produces yellow/reddish winged “helicopter” seed capsules containing two seeds.  There are some mature examples beside the library.

Sycamores produce many long-lived, well-dispersed seeds that can germinate and flourish under shade, so it can invade existing vegetation, including bush.  It is very aggressive.  It releases toxins into the soil through its roots to stop other plants growing near it.  This means it can take over bush areas by excluding native plants.

One redeeming feature is that it makes superb firewood.  If you have sycamore growing on your place - and the chances are that you do - you might consider cutting them down and putting them through your wood burner.

Control:
Small ones can be pulled or dug out.  Leave them somewhere to dry out before disposing of them - don’t put them in your compost.  Large trees can be either drilled and poisoned, or cut down, but if you cut them down you MUST poison the stump to prevent regrowth.  Detailed instructions can be found on: www.weedbusters.org.nz - go to Weed Information and look for Sycamore.

If you want advice feel free to contact Chris Cosslett on cosslett.hunter@pinehaven.net.nz