Most people are aware that Lantana camara commonly known as Lantana is an environmental weed. It smothers small trees and shrubs and can climb and damage larger trees. Some people also, are rightly concerned that removal of Lantana will expose small birds and animals to danger. However, if we leave the Lantana it will spread, damaging more bushland, both eucalypt and rainforest. Lantana is not the worst bushland weed but it is widely spread and well known. Before clearing lantana it is best to focus on any remnant native vegetation freeing it of weeds so that native plants can flourish and provide you with seeds. Your remnant native plants are your most valuable as they are adapted to the area and are compatible with the local native wildlife.
If you have large areas of investation clear in a mosaic pattern. Local native plants that will provide protection and food for wildlife can also be planted. When they have grown sufficiently to provide some habitat the rest of the mosaic can be removed.
There are a number of methods of removal that can be used separately or combined.
For plants that have climbed up into trees, and are entwined with the tree branches, cut and separate the long canes from the main plant and leave them to rot. It may look untidy but pulling them out can damage the tree. Remove the rest of the shrub, digging or pulling out ALL the roots. This method uses no chemicals but care must be taken to prevent erosion.
The plant can be cut down to a stump with a brush-hook and left to re-shoot. When there is vigorous growth, a few weeks later, spray or paint on a solution of Glyphosate, using Glyphosate 360 or Roundup (using a dilution of 1 litre water to 15 mls. Glyphosate).
The plant can be cut across the main stem, below the branches, and a solution of 113 Glyphosate applied immediately to the cut stump. To leave more protection for wildlife, crawl under the Lantana (wear goggles), cut the main stem and any canes that have touched down, applying Glyphosate as above.
When using chemicals make sure that you read the label and follow the instructions. You may like to wear a dust mask for protection. Most situations will require follow-up weeding, no matter which method is used. There may be an influx of weeds and native plants together, colonising any bare ground - the weeds can be removed to help the young native plants....[To be continued]