logo spacer Removing weeds

These notes are modified
from information supplied by
Greenskills Inc.

They outline the Bradley
principles of weed removal

The Basic Principles:
  • Work from the areas of lowest weed infestation towards the most infested

  • Make minimal disturbance

  • Allow the regeneration of native plants to dictate the rate of weed removal

Before getting down and dirty...

  • Do not start on a large weed infestation unless you are sure that you will get back to do the follow-up work. Removing the parent plants may create light and space for hundreds of new seedlings

  • Assess the area to be weeded, taking into account surrounding land use and considering potential sources of new weeds (when assessing be careful not to brush against seed-bearing weeds)

  • Note which weeds are present, their growth habits and life cycles, and the extent and density of infestation (remember that some plants have dormancy periods)

  • Plan to prevent the least weed infested bush from becoming degraded. Aim for control, not eradication, and to tip the balance in favour of the native plants

  • You may need to make a traffic plan, especially when working with a group. This is important to prevent trampling and damaging the native plants, and to avoid spreading seeds through the clean bush

Removing the weeds:

  • Do not remove anything that you are unsure of. Many weeds have a native look-a-like, and some of the weediest-looking plants are important members of the local plant community

  • The first step is to remove any seed-bearing trees, plants or parts of plants without spreading the seeds. You can catch them on a tarpaulin and/or place into bags.

  • Next, dig out or cut any isolated weeds or ones which are directly inhibiting native plants

  • Use a fork or crowbar to loosen the soil, then pull the weed out, allowing all the soil to remain in place. Replace leaf litter, which helps to deter further weed outbreaks. Leave fallen logs, twigs and bark from native species to provide shelter and nutrients

  • In some cases the uprooted plant can be left as mulch, but it is generally safer to remove all weed material from the site

  • Do not allow piles of weeds to get too big to handle - always consider the next step - removal from the site and...


  • If possible put the weed material through a mulcher, then compost if necessary to kill seeds; alternatively place in a pit and cover, or burn

  • Whatever method is used, take care not to infect new areas