August 2013
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Weeds

In the cool, still, early morning I put on latex gloves, protective clothing and glasses, and a mask.  After filling  my pump sprayer with Image Brush & Weed Killer, I head out to do battle with one of the most invasive species in the world, acacia mearnsii.  I can personally attest to its reputation for spreading fast and being difficult to eradicate.

Native to Australia, there are several hundred species.   Acacia has many positive uses and symbolic associations; perfume and wood for furniture and fuel.  It figures in  Egyptian Osiris and Isis mythology.  For Freemasons it represents purity and endurance of the soul.   Believing the smoke will keep demons and ghosts away it is used in incense rituals in India, Nepal and China.   But to me acacia mearnsii is a weed.

Weeds are unwanted plants.  Plants that compete with food plants.   A weed is also any plant that grows outside its native habitat.  The non-native, very invasive Ludwigia is choking many riparian habitats in Sonoma County.  And acacia mearnsii wants to choke the acre we share.

There are good weeds, like Dandelion (unless it has invaded the lawn that is your pride and joy),  St. John’s Wort, Burdock and others like them that have food and medicinal value.  And then there’s acacia mearnsii and its 99 most invasive relatives.

Although I am having some success,  I am certain this weed will out live me.  For the moment the battle continues.  I feel I am winning if I can just hold the ground I have gained.

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