Hawkweed Control Guide

Do's and don'ts of hawkweed control

Hawkweed

Do's

  • Plan your control program, this will save time and money in the long-run;
  • Consider the impact of your control methods on off-target species, especially if herbicides are used;
  • Ensure machinery and equipment is washed down between sites or prior to contractors leaving site;
  • Carefully time your use of herbicide for best results (see the Herbicides for Hawkweed Control for more information);
  • Coordinate your control program with neighbouring landholders where your weed problem crosses property boundaries;
  • Revisit and regularly inspect the site and ensure follow-up is undertaken;
  • Use a combination of different control methods; and
  • Establish vigorous pasture (or native species) after removal to reduce re-infestation.

Don'ts

  • Don't introduce hawkweed to hawkweed-free areas (e.g. by failing to wash down machinery and equipment between sites);
  • Don't start your control program without first planning your approach;
  • Don't allow hawkweed to flower and set seed before treatment;
  • Don't rely on one attempt at removal - follow-up is essential;
  • Don't rely on just one control method.

Spread of hawkweed

  • Orange hawkweed spreads by runners over short distances and by seed over larger areas.
  • Seeds have minute barbs which enable them to stick to hair, fur, feathers, clothing and vehicles, and be carried long distances.
  • Seeds can be dispersed by wind and water, and in dumped garden waste and contaminated soil. They may also be spread by snow clearing and road maintenance machinery.
  • 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 hawkweed.

Physical removal

  • Small infestations of hawkweed can be removed by digging out the shallow-rooted rosettes.
  • Ensure the whole plant, including all roots and runners, are removed, as plants quickly regrow from fragments if any pieces of runners or roots are left behind.
  • Be careful when removing flowers and seedheads so that seeds are not accidentally dispersed. Flower and seedhead material should be burned.
  • Mowing can prevent seed production by removing flowering stems. However repeated mowing can stimulate growth of runners and worsen an infestation.

Cultivation

  • Establishing a competitive, well managed pasture or lawn area can reduce the size and impact of hawkweed infestations.
  • On cropping land, establishing a competitive crop can control hawkweed, especially where herbicides are also used in the cropping system.

Chemical control

  • Under an off-label permit issued by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), there are herbicides registered for the control of hawkweed in Tasmania. See Herbicides for Hawkweed Control for more information.
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