Bridal creeper Control Guide


Do's and don'ts of bridal creeper control

Bridal Creeper

Do's

  • Get in early - large infestations are very difficult to eradicate;
  • Pull out or poison new infestations as soon as they are detected and before they flower;
  • For large infestations, plan your control program, as this will save time and money in the long-run;
  • Check an infestation regularly over several years in case of regrowth from remnants of the root system;
  • Follow-up control including hand-removal and/or herbicide where necessary;
  • Dispose of any removed material carefully - root material can survive being dried for long periods, and seeds should not be composted or mulched;
  • Use a dye marker with the herbicide to minimise missed plants and prevent over spraying.

Don'ts

  • Don't leave new infestations to establish - get in early and eradicate;
  • Don't rely on one attempt at removal - follow-up is essential to eradicate an infestation;
  • Don't let it seed;
  • Don't dump bridal creeper material - rhizome and root material can re-sprout and form new infestations;
  • Don't compost or mulch root material as rhizome fragments can reshoot.

Spread of bridal creeper

  • Bridal creeper is spread by seed, as well as vegetatively via rhizomes and tubers.
  • Long distance spread of seed occurs when birds eat the sticky fruits and deposit the seeds substantial distances from the parent plant. Seed can also be spread when the sticky fruits adhere to animals, clothing and machinery. Dumping of garden rubbish containing bridal creeper seeds or roots also spreads the weed.
  • Local spread of an infestation occurs when the expanding mat of tuberous roots send up new shoots, and where rhizomes are severed and the fragments are moved during roadworks.
  • Bridal creeper can establish even among healthy native vegetation where soil and litter is suitable.

Avoid the introduction of bridal creeper

  • Many infestations of bridal creeper derive from ornamental garden plantings.
  • Avoid planting bridal creeper in your garden, and encourage other gardeners to do likewise, and to remove the weed if it is already present in their garden.
  • Never dump bridal creeper material, or use the material for garden mulch as the weed can re-sprout from rhizome and root tuber material.
  • See the Washdown Guidelines for Weed and Disease Control for detailed information on how to wash-down equipment and personnel to reduce the chance of spreading bridal creeper.

Physical removal

  • Slashing the stems and leaves of bridal creeper before late winter flowering may prevent fruit production, but will not eradicate an infestation.
  • Single bridal creeper plants or small infestations can be carefully dug out and burned before they flower. Ensure that all the root system is removed to avoid regeneration from rhizomes and tubers.
  • Physical removal of established bridal creeper infestations is virtually impossible due to the extensive mats of tubers.

Grazing

  • Sheep grazing can provide some control of bridal creeper under trees in remnant vegetation, woodlots and shelterbelts.

Burning

  • Fire can be used to assist in controlling larger infestations of bridal creeper.
  • Burning in late summer and early autumn can remove all understorey vegetation and improve access for later spraying.
  • As well as improving the effectiveness of herbicide application, fire may help to destroy bridal creeper seed and the dense tuber mat.
  • Always follow up burning with other control methods, such as hand removal of single plants and/or herbicide application.
  • Note: Great care is needed when using fire. Appropriate conditions, equipment and experienced personnel are essential. The landowner is responsible for ensuring that all planned burning can be contained and is conducted in a safe manner. Prior to any planned burn being undertaken, the landowner must inform all relevant authorities and obtain all relevant permits. The Tasmania Fire Service is the responsible authority for granting fire-permits.
  • Consultation with vegetation specialists is also recommended as fire can have both positive and negative effects on native vegetation. Timing, extent and heat of the fire all require consideration.

Biological control

  • Biological control is the use of a living species, usually an insect, mite or disease, to control a weed;
  • Biological control will not eradicate bridal creeper, but can be used in conjunction with other control methods;
  • Biological control agents that have been released in Australia include the bridal creeper leafhopper, a rust fungus, and a leaf beetle.
  • For more information on biological control programs in Tasmania contact the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.

Chemical control

  • A number of herbicides are registered for use on bridal creeper in Tasmania. See Herbicides for Bridal Creeper Control for more information.
  • Herbicides are best applied winter/early spring when bridal creeper is actively growing.

    Important Disclaimer
    To the extent permitted by law, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (including its employees and consultants) excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using information or material (in part or in whole) contained on this website.


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