How To Manage It?
Best practice management
Athel Pine (Tamarix aphylla) can be controlled by chemical and physical methods. However, follow-up is always required to control re-growth from root-stocks. Germination by seeds may also occur. Preventing spread is the most cost effective form of weed control. Cleaning down machinery is useful as soil on machines may contain seeds or root fragments that can re-sprout and grow in new areas.
Chemical control: Various herbicide are effective and available for uses Herbicide application methods are via
Stem injection (drill-and-fill): Herbicide can be injected into the bark of larger stems (Australian Weeds Committee 2011). Stem injection delivers herbicide directly to the sapwood. Stem injection should be no more than 100 mm apart as Athel Pine does not translocate herbicide laterally.
Cut-and-swab method (Cut stump treatment): is when each stem is cut off at ground level and immediately applying herbicide to the cut surface killing the plant to prevent regeneration from the rootstock. Cut stump application is suitable for large trees, but care must be taken to ensure that wounds are treated immediately and fallen trees are not left in moist soil where they may again take root.
Basal barking: Herbicide can be applied to the bark of smaller stems. This method involves applying herbicide mixed with an adjuant to the lower trunk or stem of woody plants up to around 50 mm in diameter to a height of 30–40 cm above ground level. Juvenile trees can be controlled by basal bark application, but full coverage is essential for this method and difficult if surface sand is present. Seedlings and juvenile trees are effectively controlled by foliar application (ARMCANZ 2001) making sure that the plant gets a complete coverage of herbicide.
Foliar spraying: Foliar herbicide spraying is the application of herbicide solution to weed foliage in the form of a spray, and normally is used for extensive seedling growth and limited regrowth from cleared trees and shrubs.
Please see the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for chemical information http://www.apvma.gov.au.
NOTE: Training is normally a requirement in most States and Territories for all or some of the methods.
Non-chemical control: Non chemical control methods are usually followed up with chemical (herbicide) applications.
Physical control: Hand pulling can be useful for small infestations of seedling under 60 cm or where weed control requires sensitive avoiding native vegetation.
Mechanical control: Machine control can be by bulldozing to remove individual trees or large populations. Care should be taken to remove all the root system and ensure that sand is not covering uprooted and felled stems as they may re-shoot. Chainsaws can be used to remove individual trees but herbicide must be applied at the same time (ARMCANZ 2001) with care being taken due to brittle branches.
Cultivation: or blade ploughing or the use of a cutter-bar is suited to large infestation of seedlings in wide, open, sandy creeks and rivers.
Flooding: Can be used in areas regulated by waterways to kill plants by submerging and drowning, but thus method is slow acting and non-selective.
Biological control: Although biological control is being investigated by the United States of America Department of Agriculture for other Tamarix species (ARMCANZ 2001) biological control is currently not available in Australia. The athel pine has not been endorsed as a candidate species for biocontrol research by the Environment and Invasives Committee (Hervey et al 2023).
Does it have a biological control agent?
When does it grow? (lifecycle/growth calendar)
Seeds of Athel Pine (Tamarix aphylla) germinate for most of the year provided moisture is available but main germination period is autumn. Seedlings can reach a height of 60 to 100 cm in the first year. Subsequent growth is rapid, with trees reaching heights of 2 to 5 m under favourable conditions. First flowers appear in about the third year and every summer thereafter (ARMCANZ 2001).