Weed Workshops in the South

24th May 2023 |

Landcare Tasmania recently hosted two exciting training workshops aimed at building community capacity to successfully manage invasive weeds.

Landcare Tasmania's training workshops in Geeveston and Cygnet were a roaring success, full of valuable insights and a fantastic community spirit. We're grateful to all the incredible speakers and attendees who made these events so worthwhile. Remember, when it comes to weeds, safety gloves, strategic disposal, and proper control techniques are your allies! 

We had a blast and learned a ton of valuable information. Let's dive into the highlights and takeaways from the sessions in Geeveston and Cygnet. You can also read about the Woodbridge Workshop here.  We hope you learn a little from this workshop wrap-up!

The Workshops

Let's address an important question that Nicole King from SETAC asked before the Cygnet workshop had started: "What do you define as a weed?"

Cassie Strain, our knowledgeable speaker, provided a great answer: A weed is something that grows where you don't want it, even if it's a native plant from the mainland. So, location and context matter!

Cassie differentiated between environmental weeds (those that encroach upon disturbed areas or bushland) and declared weeds (identified under the Tas Weed Management Act).

Image: Plant ID can be subtle and tricky © Rowiina Howard

In Geeveston, the Friends of Franklin Forest stole the show with their enlightening talk about tackling gorse and other pesky weeds. We discovered some fascinating takeaways from their experiences working in a State forest. 

At the Cygnet Workshop, Desley Kippax from Port Cygnet Land and Watercare shared their remarkable journey of willow control around Cygnet. We were thrilled to hear about their successful initiatives, grant work, and the transformation of a once "disgusting" creek.  The flowing water and rehabilitated environment now provide a pleasant spot for Desley and her kids to enjoy. 

It was brought up that with any weed removal, it's essential to consider all the stakeholders in the landscape. Sometimes, convincing landholders to join in the regeneration efforts can be challenging - but worthwhile.

Image: Cassie makes woven baskets out of weeds... and sometimes wears them as a hat © Rowiina Howard

Key Take-Aways

Weed Disposal Tips

  • Double bag seeds and send them to the landfill to prevent their spread.
  • If cuttings won't resprout, it's okay to leave them on the ground.
  • However, shoots that can resprout should be handed in for proper disposal.
  • If you're lucky enough to have access to a biochar kiln, you can turn your weed cuttings into a sustainable and cost-effective soil supplement. Read more about this here.

Control Tips

  • Hand-pulling and the grandpa weeder are excellent methods for getting rid of those pesky roots.
  • Gloves are your best friends when dealing with irritants and toxic plants like foxglove, Paterson Curse, and ragwort. So, remember, protect your hands and keep those gloves handy!
  • The Bradley Method suggests replacing a weed by planting native species, thereby reducing habitat loss. 
  • For Willows: Filling & Drilling is the way to go!
  • For Spanish Heath: Cut & Paint, and don't forget to score the side for best results.
  • Timing is crucial when controlling weeds. It's best to target them when they are just flowering and avoid disturbing them during the seeding stage.

More Resources 

A special thanks to Cassie Strain who held 3 fantastic and informative workshops with us this month.  A big thanks also to the local Landcare groups Port Cygnet Land and Watercare, Friends of Franklin Forest and Kingston Beach Coastcare who shared their experiences with weeding in the area.  Thanks to our wonderful volunteers Rowiina and Belinda for assisting at these workshops. 

We are determined to continue building our capacity to care for the environment, one workshop at a time. Stay tuned for more useful training events from Landcare Tasmania as we join hands to protect and preserve our beautiful natural spaces. 


These workshops are supported by the Huon Valley Council, and are part of Landcare Tasmania's Landscape Restoration and Community Outreach programs funded by the State Government's Landcare Action Grants Round 6.