African Boxthorn Suffers Serious Setback

African Boxthorn plant showing spines and berries

African Boxthorn plant showing spines and berries

Recent collaborative projects between the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC), the City of Greater Geraldton and the Shire of Chapman Valley have resulted in the removal of over 13,000 African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum) plants.

African boxthorn is a widespread Weed of National Significance that reduces biodiversity, harbours feral animals and is a significant public nuisance. During the month of May, thousands of boxthorn plants were removed from around the Greenough River estuary, the Chapman River Regional Park and coastal dunes at Cape Burney and Coronation Beach.

Plants were mechanically removed using small skid steer loaders and a technique called ‘cut and pasted,’ which involves cutting plants down near their base and applying herbicide to the stump.

“This fantastic work has greatly improved the areas’ biodiversity and aesthetic values and I am excited to be involved in future collaborative projects” said NACC Natural Resource Management Officer, Heather Legge.

“Results have been far greater than anticipated and none of this would be possible without close collaboration between the City’s Environmental Planning team and NACC’s Biodiversity, and Coastal and Marine Programs,” said Ms Legge.

Funding for the works came through the City, NACC’s Biodiversity Program’s Hidden Treasures project and NACC’s Coastal and Marine Program.

Safe removal of boxthorn using a skid steer loader.

Safe removal of boxthorn using a skid steer loader.

“This collaborative approach is beneficial because the economy of scale it offers allows more boxthorn to be removed with the funds available,” said NACC Coastal and Marine Program Coordinator, Dr Mic Payne.

“NACC is also extending work previously carried out by the City and Shire of Chapman Valley to develop a regional strategy to control this weed in the Northern Agricultural Region,” he said.

Looking ahead, NACC will continue working with the City and the Shires of Chapman Valley and Irwin to reduce populations of this invasive weed species, and revegetate following its removal. The City is also taking part in the Federal Government’s Green Army program, training a team in chemical handling so that participants can continue to target boxthorn and other weeds.

To find about more about NACC’s boxthorn removal projects in the Geraldton region, please contact NACC Natural Resource Management Officer, Heather Legge, on 9938 0103 or

If you would like to find out more about the CGG’s Environmental Sustainability Program, please contact Environmental Sustainability Officer, Bronte Grant on 9956 6932 or