Fire will remove serrated tussock biomass but will not kill mature plants and only control about 25 per cent of the seed bank. Consult and alert your local Country Fire Authority before burning. Vigorous follow-up control is essential to control germinating seedlings and any regenerating plants. Do not use glyphosate after fire until the weed has grown enough to absorb the chemical. Do not burn areas treated with flupropanate for one to two years after application as fire removes herbicide residue from the soil.

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It’s best to burn serrated tussock in late autumn to late winter to reduce seed set.

Pros and cons

Burning rejuvenates native grasslands and may reduce the serrated tussock seedbank. However, fire can encourage serrated tussock to grow vigorously and produce more seed the following year. Fire may also reduce the seedbank of desirable competing species. Infestations of mature serrated tussock are a fire risk and should be burnt with extreme caution.

Follow up

Follow-up work is essential to prevent growth of serrated tussock plants and seedlings. The seedbank of desired plant species must be sufficient to compete with serrated tussock. Do not use glyphosate after fire until the weed has grown enough to absorb the chemical.

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