SPLATTER GUNS READY: There is a new weapon in the fight against African Box Thorn.
SPLATTER GUNS READY: There is a new weapon in the fight against African Box Thorn. Michael Nolan

New method to control African Box Thorn

AFRICAN box thorn is a nasty weed.

It's a bramble of thick woody thorns with short sharp leaves.

Birds love its fruit and can't help spreading its seeds across a paddock.

Until recently box thorn was a pain to control.

Staff members from the South Burnett Regional Council's natural resource management department have developed a new method to kill the plant.

This method is now used across the state as the new best practice.

Until now land holders have used a foliar quick spray unit to dispense a high volume of Round-Up.

This method was time consuming, expensive and was only effective for about a month each season when the weed was actively growing and in flower.

The new method uses a splatter gun to douse the plant in Round-Up.

Rather than coat the leaves in a fine mist it soaks the plant with a higher concentration of of poison at a lower dose.

The plant absorbs the herbicide systemically leading to the a faster death.

Importantly, the new method has been shown to be effective for a longer period of time and giving land holders a full three months for when the plant is susceptible.

A gas powered splatter gun can be worn on a landholder's back, making it easier to access hilly and scrubby country.

Staff from Natural Resource Management trialled the new method through the 2014/2015 season and submitted their findings to Biosecurity Queensland last year.

The department has accepted the findings and will be introducing the method in area around Western Downs and south-west Queensland where the weed is prevalent.

This same method has proven effective for killing lantana and groudsel.

Landholders looking to use this new method can find it by searching for the permit number 81752 on the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority website or calling the department on 0262104701.

Splatter gun kits can be hired from the South Burnett Regional Council by calling 41899100.

South Burnett

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