ORC takes action on old man's beard

Owners of 11 Dunedin properties have faced action by the Otago Regional Council for not controlling the pest plant old man's beard.

Old man's beard is a fast-growing vine which forms a tangled mass that smothers and kills the trees and shrubs it covers, posing a threat to native bush.

The council inspected 271 properties in Dunedin during summer, and found 115 had the vine under control.

Owners of properties with the vine were asked to control it within a specified time and 156 properties were reinspected.

Council environmental services manager Martin King said on 114 properties work had begun when reinspected, but on 24 properties, the control work had not been done properly.

If not done properly, the vine could regrow within 12 months so the properties would be reinspected next season, he said.

No work had been done to control the vine on 13 properties and, after consideration, owners of 11 properties were issued notices of direction to get the work done within a time frame.

Most had been reinspected and a lot of the control work had been done, Mr King said.

The council had also identified 21 problematic roadside sites and control work by Dunedin City Council roading contractors had begun.

Control work had also been requested at nine old man's beard sites around Oamaru.

Inspections in Central Otago were ongoing, with 185 properties checked.

Several landowners had increased the amount of control work by doing aerial spraying this season, Mr King said.

Good control of the pest plant had been done throughout the Queenstown Lakes district.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz


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