Many of the weedy species that are invading and damaging our natural areas are ornamental plants that have ‘jumped the fence’ from gardens and gone wild. It costs councils, government departments and private landowners millions of dollars, and volunteers and community groups thousands of unpaid hours, to control these weeds every year.
If left to grow they smother native bush, take over back yards and de-stabilise our native ecology. They can also harbour rats and some can be a health issue for us. Are these pest weeds taking over your backyard or neighbourhood? It’s time to flush ‘em out! Actually spring and autumn are best, but NOW is always better than NEVER.
Auckland Council’s Proposed Regional Pest Management Plan may soon require people in some areas to remove defined pest plants from their property. Urban Ark wants to take the lead and start freeing neighbourhoods of invasive pest plants right away. Talk to your neighbours about getting a team together to clear your street of our worst offenders (see below). Your local group may already be keen weeders, and if not you could start their weed removal wing. Check out our main weeding groups below.
Learn how to identify pest plants. There are lots of resources both here and on the web.
- If you think you know what it is, search for it on Auckland Council’s Pest Plant Search page.
- Consult the Forest & Bird Weed Control Guide
- use the iNaturalist app to tap into the knowledge of specialists
- Visit the weed specialists, Weedbusters
Take the Weedbusters’ Weed Quiz. And then do it again. You’ll be a weed expert in no time!
Our worst offenders
Check out advice on the worst offenders (mostly from Auckland Council):
- Blue Morning Glory
- Bushy Asparagus
- Climbing Asparagus
- Moth Plant
- Rhamnus (Evergreen Buckthorn)
- Tradescantia (Wandering Willie)
- Veldt Grass
- Wild Ginger
- Woolly Nightshade (Tobacco Weed, Flannel Leaf)
Some of our groups have a particular focus on weeding and native planting. Click on the following links to join their efforts:
- Friends of Oakley Creek Te Auaunga work along central Auckland’s longest stream from Mt Roskill down to the mouth at Waterview.
- STEPS operates along Waitītko / Meola Creek from the slopes of Ōwairaka / Mt Albert to the sea at Te Tokaroa / Meola Reef.
- Forest & Bird Auckland Central are weeding and planting in Bullock Track Bush beside Western Springs Stadium.
- Friends of Maungawhau plant and weed on the slopes of Maungawhau / Mt Eden.
- Oakley Loop Group are restoring a bend in Te Auaunga / Oakley Creek near the southern entrance to Waterview Tunnel.