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Ending the 2022 weed season on a high
ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary
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Ending the 2022 weed season on a high

Anyone who has battled weeds in their garden can appreciate the monumental effort of our Weed Team this summer season.  

Tasked with battling weeds across the 225-hectare sanctuary, the Weed Team is a hardy group of staff and volunteers. With such a huge area to cover, the team prioritises certain weeds to control each year. This year they targeted Spanish heath, blackberry, montbretia, broom, barberry, tradescantia, umbrella sedge and German ivy, some of which have earned a spot on Zealandia’s most wanted weed list – the Hateful Eight. 

Many of the weeds the team is up against are aggressive, fast-growing, and difficult to root out but eradication is crucial to the ecological restoration of the entire sanctuary. Watching this behind-the-scenes video shows how difficult locating weeds in the sanctuary can be.   

Adios, Spanish heath 

All known Spanish heath plants have been taken out – a whopping 1985 individual plants!  

This European shrub also goes by the name heather. It forms dense stands and prevents the establishment of native plant seedlings but has been stopped in her tracks at Zealandia. The Weed Team has removed tiny seedlings to sturdy trees.  

We will keep a kārearea/Nz falcon eye out for any sign of its return.  

Watch the Weed Team in action in this behind-the-scenes video with weeding expert, Summer. 

Bye-bye, barbarous blackberry 

A focus on blackberry this season saw 968 plants controlled! Blackberry forms dense thickets, particularly around Zealandia’s wetland area, and exclude native species from growing in the area. 

Watch the Weed Team’s effective method for controlling blackberry.  

Are you keen to help stop the spread of weeds? 

Targeting weeds in our own backyards creates spaces for native plants, invertebrates and birds to thrive and prevents them from being spread far and wide – including into Zealandia. 

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