Kloof Conservancy - alien busters

2016-06-14 06:00
 Photo: supplied Brazilian pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius).

Photo: supplied Brazilian pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius).

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

By Mieke van Tienhoven
MOST Upper Highway residents are aware of the more obvious invasive alien plants, such as bugweed and Lantana, which pop up in the garden or disturbed areas all the time.

However, many people do not know that the Brazilian pepper tree (Schinus terebinthifolius), an ornamental tree or large shrub, is also highly invasive. In late summer and autumn, the bunches of bright red-brown berries, resembling peppercorns, are very obvious. The dark green leaves are divided into smaller leaflets, with lighter green veins that are quite prominent.

It is an evergreen tree that can grow to 6m in height, and it was used as a hedging plant on roadsides. It is now listed as a Category 1b invader in KwaZulu-Natal, and thus should be removed and destroyed to prevent its further spread.

Sadly, it lines many of the coastal roads and highways, particularly the N2 North Coast road, where it has replaced the indigenous vegetation. It is a particular problem in wetlands and riverine areas, and in the USA is considered the worst invader plant in the swamps of the Florida Everglades. In the Upper Highway area it is found in many gardens, as it provides year-round shade.

Old garden texts describe the pepper trees as useful in gardens where conditions were difficult, and water was scarce. These same features now allow the pepper trees to flourish in our often arid climate. A lovely indigenous alternative is the white pear (Apodytes dimidiata) or coastal silver oak (Brachylaena discolor).

Larger pepper trees can be cut down, but will regrow or coppice, so follow-up treatment is essential. Commercial herbicides are available to treat the base of the stem, but must be used according to the label instructions. Also take care to ensure that the seeds are not dispersed further. Seedlings should be pulled out by hand. Contact Mieke on amvantienhoven@gmail.com.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.