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Control Experiments
Clare Island Project

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Control of Gunnera tinctoria on Clare Island
Last updated: 17th November 2009

In the summer 2009 a team of 12 volunteers from all over the world came to help rid Clare Island of this invasive species. The team of were trained on the methods to be used based on the management guidelines and safety procedures used for control.

From left to right: Gay Curran, Monika B, Caroline Henry, Olive Kelly, Michael Bob, Andy Booth, Brendan, George Sanderman, Robert Keeling and Evelina

The methods used consisted in either plants physically removed using a shovel or the use chemical control, using the “cut and injection” application technique. This involves cutting the petioles (leaf stalk) off and drilling wells into the rhizome, followed by herbicide application straight on to the cut surface and injected into the well. This method is less damaging to the environment and cost -effective in terms of the quantity of herbicide used.

Photo: Cathy Mcguire and James Tracey hard at work

In teams of two (one person cutting and one painting and injecting) areas were cleared around the island. Additionally due to seed being ripe when work was being carried out, all flower heads were cut and removed from site. With the use of machinery a large hole was dug where all flower heads and rhizomes that had be physically removed were buried. A meeting was held for all local residents, the project was described along with the methodology to be used and other possible methods to control Gunnera were described. Volunteers were offered to help and demonstrate techniques along with the supply of herbicide for the area to be treated.

Photo: Stacking up of seed heads before being buried.

Photographs below show before and after treatment.