Weeding aliens out

2016-03-08 06:00
Photo: supplied Trainer Wilbur Mahlamvu shows some of the features to identify a plant at last year’s course.

Photo: supplied Trainer Wilbur Mahlamvu shows some of the features to identify a plant at last year’s course.

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KLOOF Conservancy is pleased to announce that its awareness courses on invasive alien plants (IAPs) are back by popular demand.

Last year, 140 domestic gardeners and staff from companies such as Leitch Landscapes, Kirtlington Estates and the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus benefited from the courses offered in Zulu.

The next full day course is offered on Wednesday 9 March from 8.30am until 3pm at the Hillcrest Library hall on Delamore Road and the community is urged to attend.

According to Paolo Candotti, Kloof Conservancy chairman, IAPs are widely considered a major threat to biodiversity, human livelihoods and economic development.

He said that IAPs cost South Africans tens of billions of rand annually in lost agricultural productivity and resources spent on management.

“Many IAPs are products of unwise and unintentional plant introductions, but if new invasions are discovered before they are well established, eradication is possible and management costs can be reduced,” he said.

Two IAP - The Lollipop Climber and Himalayan raspberry - seem to be popping up in Hillcrest and Kloof and residents are urged to remove them from their gardens.

“The Lollipop Climber was first reported about three years ago, but unfortunately, we may be losing the battle as we are seeing it all over Kloof. We would dearly like to stop this plant before it enters Krantzkloof Nature Reserve because if we don’t it will become very difficult to control,” said Candotti.

“The Himalayan raspberry is a new invader which has appeared in the Hillcrest area and we would like to eradicate it before it spreads any further.”

Candotti said more often than not residents are unaware that illegal trees are growing on their doorstep.

“Having an illegal tree in one’s garden is a criminal offence and I urge the community to identify these trees and have them removed.”

To book for the course, contact Mieke on 082 678 4156 or amvantienhoven@gmail.com .

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