Big-Land Excavation

Vegetation and Weed Management Central Victoria

Gorse Mulching Scrub Mulching and Weed Control

Gorse mulching specialists, Big-Land Excavations has extensive experience in the removal of weeds, scrub and gorse.

Gorse is a Weed of National Significance. It is regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts.

Gorse is a prickly, perennial, evergreen legume which, if left undisturbed, will grow to a height of more than 3 m. It produces deep and extensive roots. All its stems and leaves are prickly, ending in a sharp spine. The plant produces huge numbers of brown to black seeds in grey hairy pods, each pod holding three or four seeds. The seeds have a hard, water-resistant coating which allows them to remain dormant in the soil for up to 30 years.

The small dark green leaves are stiff and covered with a waxy coat, which helps reduce water loss. Together with its deep root system, this feature enables gorse to flourish in areas with very low rainfall. The bush is covered with bright yellow, pea-like flowers. In spring it is one of the first species to flower, and beekeepers believe it is an important
source of pollen.

A mature infestation can produce up to 6 million seeds per ha each year. Most seeds fall around the plant but the pods can split open and shoot seeds for a distance of up to 5 m. In this way gorse infestations spread rapidly, particularly when growing along water courses.

Gorse Mulching Key Points

  • Prevention is the most cost-effective means of weed control.
  • The key to controlling the spread of gorse is to prevent flowering or at least reduce its ability to set seed.
  • Where gorse crosses property boundaries, any eradication efforts should be coordinated with neighbouring landholders to completely destroy all plants in the area and prevent reinfestation.
  • Tackle the small, outlying infestations first. This allows a bigger area of land to be cleaned up first and there will be less follow-up maintenance in these areas as the seedbank will be smaller