Feathertop Control Guide

Do's and don'ts of feathertop control



  • 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;
  • Get in early - for new infestations, eradicate before the plants reach the flowering stage: once plants begin seeding, control becomes more difficult and expensive;
  • Carefully time your use of herbicide for best results (see Herbicides for Feathertop 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't introduce feathertop to feathertop-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 feathertop to flower and set seed before treatment;
  • Don't rely on one attempt at removal - follow-up is essential; and
  • Don't rely on just one control method.

Spread of feathertop

  • Feathertop produces seed, but few seedlings survive and establish. Local spread is by yearly rhizome growth which increases the size and density of colonies.
  • Long-distance spread occurs when fragments of rhizome are moved during cultivation and road-grading activities.

Avoid the introduction of feathertop

  • Feathertop is usually spread by small fragments of rhizome being picked up and moved in soil on machinery and tools.
  • All machinery and tools used around feathertop should be carefully cleaned to prevent fragments of rhizomes being transported from the site to other areas.

Physical removal

  • Small feathertop plants can be removed using a spade or mattock.
  • Ensure all soil is removed down to the level of the deepest rhizomes, as rhizome material left in the soil will quickly regenerate.
  • Larger plants may need heavy machinery such as an excavator for removal of the whole plant. Again, all soil down to the deepest rhizomes must be removed and piled in an area that can be easily monitored for regrowth.
  • Excavation can be used to reduce the size of an feathertop infestation, allowing easier follow up with cultivation or herbicide.


  • Feathertop can be controlled through repeated cultivation until all rhizomes are exhausted. Continue to cultivate until the feathertop ceases to regenerate.
  • A single cultivation will only spread rhizome fragments to clean areas and create more infestations.

Chemical control

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