Mar 10, 2021, 08:11 AM
Cat’s Claw Creeper (Dolichandra unguis-cati) is a woody vine which is an aggressive climber and has the ability to suffocate native vegetation; even growing up over tall trees. Many bushland areas in eastern Australia having serious infestations of this species.
It swarms in many different environments, conditions and stages of growth including: large tree sized vines; isolated smothered canopy trees; and dense infestations amongst native vegetation. It is most commonly naturalised along waterways and in disturbed rainforests, but is also commonly found in open woodlands, waste areas, plantations, disturbed sites, along roadsides, and growing over fences and old buildings.
Cat’s Claw Creeper is particularly aggressive in riparian vegetation in south-eastern Queensland, and was recently ranked as the fourth most invasive exotic plant species in south-eastern Queensland. It is currently regarded as a priority environmental weed in five Natural Resource Management regions.
Technigro’s Bush Regeneration Team has been involved in Cat’s Claw Creeper treatment projects across South East Queensland in multiple catchments for the past 8 years. We have been developing treatment methods over the years to help in the combat against Cat’s claw.
Initial treatments involve skirting vines from existing vegetation; cutting vine stumps to the ground; and treating them with appropriate approved herbicides. Follow up treatments in these areas is essential to reduce the occurrence of the vine growing up trees again – In some instances, vines were reported to have grown over a metre in eight weeks. The vigorous and extensive root system, which produces large tubers at about 50 cm intervals, also adds to the invasiveness of this weed, and supports the need for constant follow up treatments.