It’s that time of the year for a haircut. This prized possession in our backyard is Acacia longifolia. In our part of the world it is a declared weed because it has become naturalised and grows quickly in our sandy soil. Too good to be true! But it gets better. Our rabbits eat the leaves and it comes back from a harsh pruning!
Our garden benefits from it so much that I have actually propagated several others and planted them. But, in being responsible for such a pest, at this time of the year when the pods are just starting to fill out, I give it a good cut back and mulch the branches. The rabbits get a bit of extra feed too. This way we get to harvest the extra nutrition from the forming pods and they don’t get to spread seed. Incidentally, it was having some of these trees going to seed over our neighbours fence at our other house that eventually attracted rats. Once they came, we never really managed to get rid of them. Even after the wattles were removed.
The trick, I have learnt over the years, is to cut the branches and allow them to dry for a couple of days, or even a week depending on the weather. They are then dry enough that they do not clog up the mulcher with wet, slippery leaves. The resulting mulch of leaves and wood is very handy for the garden. I will have a high demand for decent mulch in the years to come so several of these acacia will be handy to supplement other green waste. In the event that they are in the way or I have other trees needing extra space I can either prune them accordingly (in which case they will continue to add matter to the soil with reduced root system) or cut them out all together.
I can also see from this photo that I now have a large gap in my Wormwood hedge that I shall have to remedy before the wattle grows back!
4 thoughts on “Wattle”
A weed?! How unfortunate. For us, it is one of the few acacias that does not naturalize. We know it as the Sydney golden wattle. It happens to be one of my favorites, although I do happen to like the bloom of the invasive ones too.
True it is Tony. There are areas of bushland where this acacia has grown so well that everything else is pretty much shaded out. Luckily, it is quite easily distinguished from our endemic acacia species and bushland care groups will often go into areas and endeavor to eliminate this species before it gets too much of a hold in an area.
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I guess it’s just like Tagasaste – it’s a very useful plant, you just have to use it responsibly.
Yes, very much. I am really using it as a pioneer plant as it grows well in our sandy, coastal soil.