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 Pittosporum undulatum (Sweet Pittosporum) is an invasive native Australian tree with a stronger ecosystem than eucalyptus ecosystems.

So in environments where it will grow, it will invade any existing eucalyptus forests and eventually replace them.

It needs to be stopped!

 

 

A wall of Sweet Pittosporum has invaded a remnant eucalyptus forest in Menzies Creek, Victoria.
The sea of pittosporum seedlings in front are only three years old; there are 6,000 per hectare!

 

CWAD is working with StopPitt to control the invasions of Sweet Pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum) throughout the Dandenong Ranges and eventually throughout Victoria.

As its mono-cultural ecosystem will eventually replace our diverse eucalyptus ecosystems, it needs to be controlled as soon
as possible.

CWAD and StopPitt aim to do that.

 

 On the Mornington Peninsular, Sweet Pittosporum has turned its roadsides into chasms of ‘pitto’, denying the beautiful views across its landscapes; it will also take over the Peninsulas eucalyptus forests - SO

StopPitt!

 

About StopPitt


StopPitt  is a new community organisation dedicated to the control of Sweet pittosporum.

It was born out of the situation at Menzies Creek in the Dandenong Ranges, where only a single tree was known to exist in the entire village in the 1940’s but where thousands existed 70 years later - at densities of around four to eight thousand per hectare.

This observation led to a Citizen Science Project at the Menzies Creek Primary School during 2012 and 2013, which estimated that its invasion rate was around 80 metres per year.

During this period, the Shire of Yarra Ranges conducted a comprehensive weed survey which revealed that the Dandenong Ranges were encircled by invasions of Sweet Pittosporum.

Hence, at an invasion rate of 80 metres per year, the Dandenongs will be completely covered with pittosporum in 20 to 25 years – unless its invasion activity is controlled.

This situation is shown by the following distribution map of sweet pittosporum in and around the Dandenong Ranges.

 

Distribution (Dandenong Ranges)

In and around The Dandenong Ranges, Victoria.

 

Distribution (Victoria)

It is distributed widely across southern Victoria.

 

Distribution (Australia)

From Queensland (where it originated) to Western Australia.

 

Distribution (Worldwide)

 

 

Control


It is easy to control.

Only about 25% of Sweet pittosporum trees are fertile females and carry berries, which blackbirds and other vectors like foxes and kurrajongs then distribute.

So in early invasions, only the female trees need to be removed. In more mature invasions, where the density is high, most of the males will also need to be removed.

This can be achieved by cutting and pasting the trees, saplings and seedlings with glyposate (‘round-up’) at any time of the year - or drilling larger trees and filling the drill holes with glyphosate during their active growing period in spring and early summer.

Control work has commenced in Menzies Creek, on both private and public properties. It is funded by the CWAD instigated Federal Dandenong Ranges Environment and Bushfire Reduction Community Grants Programme, administered by the Port Philip and Western-port Catchment Management Authority.

While further control work is contingent on funding, it is planned to proceed into the Cardinia and Monbulk Creek catchments and then move progressively to cover all invasions throughout the Dandenong Ranges and the Yarra Ranges Shire.  Invasions in neighbouring Municipalities will then be targeted.

Such a programme can move both sequentially and simultaneously among various locations, depending on funding, community interest and the number of volunteers.

The future control strategy will be guided by research information from Monash and Latrobe Universities, Government Departments and other sources. Any effects of control strategies on the residual ecosystem will be monitored and accommodated.

 

Volunteer


StopPitt needs volunteers to help with this massive programme.

If your community is being invaded by sweet pittosporum and you do not like the prospect of your diverse eucalyptus forests being replaced by a sweet pittosporum mono-culture, then please help us to defend them.

Email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Post:
StopPitt
PO Box 20
Sassafras, 3787.

 

Acknowledgements

 

  • The Principal, Staff and Grade 6 Students of Menzies Creek Primary School.
  • Yarra Ranges Shire Council and the Officers of its Environment Department.
  • The Community Weed Alliance of the Dandenongs.
  • Associate Professor Ros Gleadow, Monash University.