Landcare needs help to beat weed
BUNDABERG Landcare is asking residents help stop the plague of a noxious, carcinogenic weed invading gardens and natural areas around the region.
The broadleaved pepper tree can cause severe reactions to humans and animals and care is to be taken when removing them.
The trees contain glysophate, recently found by the International Agency for Research on Cancer to cause cancer.
Landcare said people should wear masks, safety gloves and protective eyewear and clothing before cutting the tree's stump and applying herbicide within five minutes.
People should also ensure seed heads are removed and placed in separate double-sealed bags or containers, and preferably left in the sun for a week to break down before being thrown out. Seeds can be viable for three months
Do not put the weed in mulch or compost or take seeds to the dump, where they may be spread in woodchips or into bushland via runoff or even attached to soil in vehicle tyres.
Seedlings can be found under trees and they were spread by birds.
The easiest way to identify the tree is to crush leaves between your gloved fingers and you will notice a strong pepper or turpentine odour.