Monitoring weeds in Pinkerton 8th February 2020

On Wednesday 8th February Irene, Rosemary and Daryl had a monitoring walk in Pinkerton Forest and Pinkerton Link.

Pinkerton Forest is looking good. The January rainfall has prompted grown of Speargrass, Windmill Grass and some Wallaby Grass. The Windmill Grass is a summer grass but the Speargrass and Wallaby Grass more usually grow in spring. Hopefully the Speargrass and Wallaby Grass will set seed.

Issues identified were:

  • We found Scotch Thistle and Horehound in the western section, between the graves and the western boundary 
  • Some small Boxthorns scattered through the Forest
  • There was surprisingly little Serrated Tussock.
  • These weeds should be able to be tackled by the Group. 
  • Unfortunately there is Galenia scattered through the Forest, especially around the eagles nest 
  • There is need for weeding around the Pinkerton graves.
  • There is need to weed the Mound near the graves carpark

Exotic grasses are relatively absent, no doubt resulting from grazing by sheep in spring, prior to Wild Oats seeding.

Boxthorns are quite small at most half a metre in height, in relatively small numbers. A day’s work by PLEG should control these.

Lightning strike in Pinkerton

This tree was discovered to have been struck recently by lightning, possibly during the band of storms that recently passed through Victoria and into NSW, starting numerous catastrophic bushfires in the process. As Irene remarked, fortunately no fire was started here. However the lightning strike must have been an exceptionally powerful one as the tree was completely shattered. Even the leaves were dry and scorched. Leaves from fallen limbs usually dry out over weeks; often providing an opportunity to collect seeds usually high out of reach.

Usually lightning leaves a long scar down the trunk of the tree, with the tree often surviving. But in this case the tree looked as though it had exploded, with metre long shards scattered over a fifty metre radius.

A warning to keep out of the bush during thunderstorms!

Weed infestation in Pinkerton Link

After the walk through the Forest we visited Pinkerton Link. We noticed that the rains in January prevented the need to water the Grey Box trees in Pinkerton Link planted by Melton Secondary College last year. About 105 of these have survived, complementing those trees already planted in previous years.  

However rain is often a two edged sword as the rain prompted swift weed growth in the Greening Australia sector. This sector in January was dry and bare but is now covered by lush weed growth. This weed first appeared near the Pink Link gate a few years ago, suspected to have been brought by sheep. The seeds are very sticky, attaching themselves to clothing & no doubt animal hair & wool.

Western Water were advised of the weeds and within days the weeds were treated by Western Land Services. In less than a week the once green weeds are now yellowing already. Many thanks to Western Water and Western Land Services for their swift action!