The Cockspur Coral Tree may be producing attractive red flowers but it is threatening to spread throughout the lower Macleay floodplain invading farms, revegetation sites and natural areas.
Cockspur Coral Tree, also known as Cockscomb Coral Tree, is a deciduous shrub or small to medium sized tree, with conspicuous scarlett or dark red flowers, and cone shaped prickles on the trunk, branches and stems.
The Cockspur Coral Tree (Erythrina crista-galli) should not be confused with its bigger relative the Indian Coral Tree (Erythrina x sykesii) that is also common in the region. Check the NSW Weed Wise App or website for information on weed identification and control.
The weed can be found in moist areas on the lower Macleay floodplain on riverbanks and wetland margins downstream from Kempsey.
It reproduces by both seed and vegetative parts, and readily invades agricultural land, revegetation sites, and natural areas.
Cockspur Coral Tree is distributed throughout the North Coast region, with northern catchments severely affected.
The risk that infestations will worsen in the Mid-North Coast has led to the creation of an exclusion or eradication zone under the North Coast Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan.
Consequently, landholders in the Macleay valley are obliged to control the weed under the NSW Biosecurity Act.
To prevent the continued spread of this weed it is important that all landholders and authorities contribute to its control in the valley. "The large red flowers means that now is a great time to check where the weed is growing and control the weed before any more seed is set," said Landcare Officer Andy Vinter.
The Macleay Landcare Network is running a program to control the weed in partnership with Kempsey Shire Council and North Coast Local Land Services.
The program is offering to engage weed control contractors to work alongside landholders to undertake the initial control of the weed.
To receive this support landholders will be required to enter into a biosecurity undertaking or agreement to control any regrowth of the weed for a period of three years.
Landcare is also offering to supply free tree seedlings to landholders who wish to re-plant the treated areas.
"The assistance will be great for landholders with larger or difficult to treat infestations," Andy said.
Neighbouring landholders with adjoining infestations are strongly encouraged to apply.
The Macleay Landcare Network is seeking expressions of interest from Macleay valley landholders who need support to control Cockspur Coral Tree on their property.
To apply for support complete the expression on interest form and return it to the Macleay Landcare Office at 19 Sea St West Kempsey or at the Kempsey Shire Council office. Applications are due by December 16.
Contact the Macleay Landcare Office on phone 6562 2076 to find out more about this program.
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