Trialling Methods of Killing Wheel Cactus Plants
Early 2000’s: Barry McKnight – Injection gun and screwdriver
Barry McKnight, a landholder in The Nuggetty area, tried an injection technique already being used in areas of South Australia on Wheel Cactus infestations. He gave a demonstration of this injection method using a gun and screwdriver, to other interested local farmers and Landcare enthusiasts.
2000-2004: Ian Grenda
Ian Grenda, also a landholder in The Nuggetty area, trialled several new ways to kill Wheel Cactus because the gun and screwdriver technique was slow and tedious. He tried shooting holes in the lobes, shattering the lobes with a shovel and releasing the insect Cactoblastus as a biological control agent. However, none were successful.
2004: Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE Diploma in Conservation and Land Management
Jenny Baig and Brett Tyler, students in the Diploma of Conservation and Land Management, performed a trial to test the efficacy of surface spray of the herbicide glyphosate onto Wheel Cactus plants. They concluded that spraying with 2% glyphosate and 0.2% Pulse (a wetting agent) had an effect on the development of the plant but regrowth did occur and the plants did not die.
2005 and 2006: Ian Grenda – Spraying with Glyphosate
Ian Grenda had some success spraying Wheel Cactus with a mix of 2% glyphosate and 2% Pulse in overcast weather conditions, but still there was regrowth of the plants requiring further follow up control treatments. Ian found that the most effective and permanent killing of the plants resulted from direct injection of the herbicide glyphosate into all outer lobes.
Education and Public Awareness
There are regular articles published in local newspapers to educate and reinforce to the community the enormity of the Wheel Cactus problem in their immediate landscapes.
Interviews are also conducted on local radio programs highlighting the problems associated with Wheel Cactus infestations to native flora and fauna in public lands, the impact on domestic livestock and crops and the negative economic impact on private properties.
Brochures promoting demonstrations and field days have been produced and sent to ratepayers within the local Shire areas that are most affected by Wheel Cactus infestations.
A logo was designed and used to produce bumpers stickers to help spread awareness of local Wheel Cactus infestations and the existence of our volunteer group.
Demonstrations and Advice for Landholders
The Baringhup, Nuggetty and Maldon Urban Landcare groups have all provided advice and demonstrations to property owners in their immediate areas.
Injector backpacks and probes, digging tools and buckets are all available for loan by land holders to encourage them to control the Wheel Cactus infestations on their own properties.
We have produced a brochure describing the current best techniques to kill Wheel Cactus, including what not to do and reminders about personal protective clothing. This brochure is distributed free to all interested persons via busy local public venues such as the Post Office (see Control).
Brochures are also distributed at special local events such as the annual Maldon Easter Parade and Maldon and Baringhup Agricultural Show.
To help raise awareness of our “Wheel Cactus Warrior” group, printed logo t-shirts have been distributed to our volunteers.
Contact with Similar Groups
Committee members have attended demonstration days, meetings and forums held by similar groups to network, exchange information and share knowledge, concerns and achievements. These groups include the Wychitella group in north central Victoria and the Blinman-Parachilna group in central South Australia. Contact is also maintained with the National Invasive Cacti Network, Connecting Country and several government departments such as Parks Victoria, the Victorian Departments of Primary Industry (DPI), Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and the Department of Primary Industry and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) (see Links).
Funding and Support
Members of our committee identify and apply for suitable grants from local, state and federal sources. We also alert local property owners to funding grants so they can seek support for their individual eradication programs.
Areas Treated on Field Days
The area of infestation that is our focus is that bounded by Cairn Curran Reservoir (Baringhup) on the west, Trudgeons Road (Welshmans Reef) on the south, Maldon-Lockwood Road (Nuggetty) and Maldon-Newstead Road on the east and Bradford Road (Shelbourne) on the north. We have held onsite field days each month from April to November since 2007, where we welcome any volunteers willing to learn to kill and help eradicate Wheel Cactus from our environment. Since 2009, Community Field Days eradication activities have been conducted in the following locations:
- Sunday 26th April 2009 N.K.’s Property, off Waldron’s Lane, Baringhup.
- Sunday 31st May 2009 Cook’s Lane off Maldon-Baringhup Rd.
- Sunday 28th June 2009 Mt. Tarrengower Historic Reserve off Mt. Back Rd.
- Sunday 26th July 2009 B. McK’s property in Nuggetty Rd east of Brown’s Rd.
- Sunday 30th August 2009 47 Cooks Lane.
- Sunday 27th September 2009 The Butts Reserve, Mount Tarrengower.
- Sunday 25th October 2009 C. T & S. G’s property accessed from the corner of Watersons & Tarrengower School Rds.
- Sunday 29th November 2009 I. G.’s property, Browns Rd, Nuggetty.
- Sunday 30th May 2010 Along Goughs Range Rd.
- Sunday 27th June 2010 Mount Tarrengower before the summit.
- Sunday 25th July 2010 Corner of South Parkins Reef & Tarrengower School Rds.
- Sunday 29th August 2010 Near the corner of Watersons & Tarrengower School Rds.
- Sunday 26th September 2010 Corner of Whitlock & Back Cairn Curran Rds.
- Sunday 31st October 2010 Mount Back Rd.
- Sunday 17th April 2011 Watersons Rd.
- Sunday 29th May 2011 B. McK property in Nuggetty Rd east of Brown’s Rd.
- Sunday 26th June 2011 Mount Back Rd, Historic Park area, Mt. Tarrengower.
- Sunday 31st July 2011 End of Cook’s Lane.
- Sunday 28th August 2011 J. McG’s property, Baringhup Rd near intersection Hayes Rd.
- Sunday 25th September 2011 A. & J. D’s property, near corner of Watersons & Tarrengower School Rds.
- Sunday 30th October 2011 Corner of Watersons & Mount Back Rds.
- Sunday 27th November 2011 N. Z.’s property in Waldrons Lane.
- Sunday 29th April 2012 Watersons Rd between Treloars and Tarrengower School Rds.
- Sunday 27th May 2012 C. T & S. G’s property corner Watersons & Tarrengower School Rds.
- Sunday 24th June 2012 Along verges of Gough’s Range Rd. near Tarrengower School Rd.
- Sunday 29th July 2012 Corner of Bridgewater Rd. & Sandhills Lane.
- Sunday 26th August 2012 Baringhup Rd. opposite Hayes Rd.
- Sunday 30th September 2012 Corner of Watersons & Treloars Rds.
- Sunday 28th October 2012 The cork tree plantation on Mount Back Rd.
- Sunday 25th November 2012 N. Z.’s property, Waldons Lane, Maldon.
- Sunday 28th April 2013 Lee’ Back, 270 Waterson’s Rd.
- Sunday 26th May 2013 R. & D. Private property. East side of Cairn Curran, accessed Cairn Curran Rd.
- Sunday 30th June 2013 284 Old Tarrengower School Rd (site of Break of Day film).
- Sunday 28th July 2013 Mt Tarrengower Reserve, Back Mount Rd (off Waterson’s Rd).
- Sunday 25th August 2013 Greenhill Bridge Road.
- Sunday 29th September 2013 Private property off Skinners Lane, on right.
- Sunday 27th October 2013 Private property on Maldon-Baringhup Road, opposite Hayes Road.
- Sunday 24th November 2013 Private property, 284 Tarrengower School Road, north off Watersons Road.
- Sunday 27th April 2014 Watersons Rd between Trealors and Tarrengower School Rds.
- Sunday 25th May 2014 157 Bradford Road, Baringhup.
- Sunday 29th June 2014 C. T. and S. G. Private property, corner Watersons and Old Tarrengower School Roads.
- Sunday 27th July 2014 R. & D. Private property, accessed via end of Whitlocks Road.
- Sunday 31st August 2014 Goughs Range Road.
- Sunday 28th September 2014 Cairn Curran.
- Sunday 26th October 2014 Private property corner Watersons and Tarrengower School Roads.
- Sunday 30th November 2014 Goughs Range Road.
- Sunday 26th April 2015 Along Watersons Road before Tarrengower School Road.
- Sunday 31st May 2015 East side of Cairn Curran.
- Sunday 28th June 2015 T’s property along Cooks Lane Pigeon Hill.
- Sunday 26th July 2015 Mt. Back Road.
- Sunday 30th August 2015 Pigeon Hill.
- Sunday 27th September 2015 near the corner of Whitlocks and Greenhill Bridge Roads.
- Sunday 25th October 2015 corner of Goughs Range and Tarrangower School Roads.
- Sunday 24th April 2016 Waterson’s Road.
- Sunday 29th May 2016 at 703 Waterson’s Road.
- Sunday 26th June 2016 at the end of Whitlock’s Road.