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Letter - Prickly problem
In last week’s letters (“Gorse spraying”), mention was made of the work volunteers were doing to eradicate gorse, a nasty plant introduced to North America about the same time as broom.
Broom is tolerated by many even though it destroys native plants. Gorse is less tolerated because of its nasty spines.
The complaint is the owners of adjoining property trying to grow organic didn’t like the mass spraying close to their property, making it sound like aerial spraying or something, not the actual direct-to-plant targeted spraying that was done. To determine what was sprayed is quite simple: look at the area and see what was affected.
The gypsy moth noted in this letter was also introduced to North America and had the nowadays natural effect of all introduced species and this practice continues even though we are fully aware of repercussions. The gypsy moth scenario was a good one and those involved did a wonderful job, just as I feel those working on gorse are doing a wonderful job.
Here’s an alternative suggestion for those volunteers if complaints get high (and since the main problem with gorse is on public land as in roadsides and any damages would result in public funds being abused rather than the owners of private property adjacent to the roadsides): When gorse is noted, a letter should be sent to adjacent owners advising you will spray if requested or owners must accept responsibility for damages to people or animals injured by plants.
Having seen what happens with contact with this nasty plant, I’d think the direct spraying on the plant would be preferred by most.
Cutting off the plant or digging up its roots is about as effective as it is with broom and must be done continually, but is much harder with gorse because of thorns.