This year we attempted to widen our balsam control to assess the effectiveness of different techniques but unfortunately by the time the contracts were awarded and the winners notified, the balsam was beginning to set seed so rather than experiment with strimming and hand pulling, the contractors sprayed the plants. This was a tall order considering the potential for incidental damage to native plants but none the less, the Invasive Weeds Agency staff have done a great job on the Rumbling Burn near Monkton. This burn was very heavily infested yet the team have managed to treat the entire length of the burn without wiping out every other native plant species.

Selective spraying of balsam has brought excellent results with hardly any plants missed.

Selective spraying of balsam has brought excellent results with hardly any plants missed and very limited incidental damage.

As Roundup Pro Biactive is a seed inhibitor, we hoped that any plants with well developed seed pods may receive a lethal dose just in time to prevent the seed pods ripening and producing viable seeds. The photo below shows the results. I’ve no doubt that over the 2.6km of burn treated , we have prevented millions of seeds from being produced.

Well developed seed pods dying after treatment with Roundup. There shouldn't be much viable seed produced on the rumbling Burn this year.

Well developed seed pods dying after treatment with Roundup. There shouldn’t be much viable seed produced on the rumbling Burn this year.

Very few flowering plants have escaped which should make next years task much easier. We will monitor development early next year and if, as we suspect, this control has been very effective, we will adopt this strategy elsewhere in high density areas. We may adopt a different strategy on the Rumbling burn next year depending on the level of infestation as pulling or strimming or a combination of the two may be appropriate. This level of success this year is very encouraging and we may well be able to tackle all the Garnock and Stinchar using this technique next year should funds allow.

 

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