Managing weeds

  • Weeds pose a serious threat to our natural environment and agricultural industries.
  • They can harm native plants and animals, natural landscapes, water catchments and can impact the economy, human health and recreational activities.
  • To reduce weeds, the whole community needs to work together.
  • Many weeds can travel across property boundaries and in some cases, landowners may need to take action to stop the spread of weeds.
  • Council’s Weed Management Strategy outlines the actions we will take to manage weeds throughout the shire.

Do you have troublesome weeds on your property? Why not trade them in for some free, local native plants.   

We're partnering with Friends of Emerald Lake Park to host a ‘Trees for Weeds’ swap day. Come along with a bag of weeds to swap. Our experts will be happy to help with identifying weed species and offer advice on ways to control weeds on your property, as well as some free indigenous plants to take home.  

Event details 

  • Date: Saturday 2 September 
  • Time: 10am to 2pm  
  • Location: Emerald Library (400b Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Emerald) 
  • The Catchment and Land Protection (CaLP) Act 1994 is the main legislation governing the management of invasive plants (weeds) in Victoria.
  • Under the CaLP Act you are responsible for managing listed noxious weeds on your property and Council is responsible for managing listed weeds on land under Council management
  • Under Local Law 17 Council has the authority to ask landowners to control environmental weeds on their property and to issue fines if required

Weed control grants

We provide weed control grants to help landowners and community groups control noxious and environmental weeds on private property, both in areas of high environmental and agricultural value.
Apply for a weed control grant

Common weeds in the shire

Our weed directory will help you identify common weeds in Cardinia Shire, including tips on removing weeds and suggestions for plants you can replace them with. The slide show below gives you a snapshot of each weed with a link to the directory for more information.

Weed management calendar

Our weed management calendar shows you when the best time is to treat weeds, how to treat them and when they are in fruit and/or seeding.
Weed management calendar

Indigenous plant guide and local nurseries 

Our online Indigenous plant guide has information on plants that are local to the Cardinia Shire area. By planting plants that are indigenous to our shire, you can help build a healthier ecosystem and support our wildlife.
Online indigenous plant guide   List of local indigenous nurseries

Gardens for wildlife program

Find out how you can attract wildlife to your backyard through our Garden’s for Wildlife program, including fact sheets on attracting butterflies, lizards and frogs.
Gardens for wildlife program

Sign up to our environmental newsletter

Do you want more information on weed management and improving the biodiversity of your property? Sign up to our bi-month e-newsletter
Subscribe to Down to earth e-newsletter


  • Where possible, choose non-chemical methods of weed control
  • If the weed spreads by seed, consider the most appropriate way to remove the weed without spreading seeds
  • Think about how you will dispose of the weeds. Never dump your garden waste on roadsides or in reserves, as this can cause weed spread and invasion
  • Make sure you have the right tools and safety equipment
  • Have a look at our weed management calendar to find out what time of year to treat your weeds and which method to use


  • Use a chipper or mulcher to breakdown large amounts of woody weeds (and avoid burning off). You can use the chipped material as garden mulch, as long as it does not contain any seeds, berries, bulbs, corms or rhizomes.

Cut and paint

  • Cut and paint is an effective tool to remove small to medium woody weeds. Clear away any other vegetation from near the weed. Use secateurs, loppers or a hand saw to cut the stem of the plant as close to the ground as possible. Use a dabber bottle with a registered herbicide, to paint the stump immediately. Acting quickly will ensure the plant absorbs the poison into its root system. Ideally you should paint the stump within 30 seconds.

Drill and fill

  • For larger plants use a drill or chisel to make a 2-3cm hole, at a 45-degree angle, as far down at the base of the tree as possible. Quickly (ideally within 30 seconds) fill the hole with a registered herbicide. Repeat every 3cm around the base of the weed.
  • If there are exposed roots, drill and fill these as well.

Hand removal

  • You can remove seedlings, herbaceous weeds and grasses by hand. Pull or dig the plant out by hand when they are small enough to do so. All root materials should be removed to avoid the plant re-sprouting. Cover any exposed soil with organic matter to reduce more weed growth.
  • If the plant is at seeding stage, either cut off the seed heads or place a bag over them before removal to reduce the spread of the seed.
  • Use a trowel or long knife to help loosen the soil for plants with long tap roots or bulbs.

Spot spray

  • For herbaceous and wood weeds, carefully spray a registered herbicide directly onto the weed. Take care to avoid spraying nearby non-target plants. Avoid hot dry conditions and windy days. The best time to spray is in cool conditions in the morning.

Stem and leaf wiping

  • For herbaceous plants with bulbs, tubers or corms, stem/leaf wiping may be the best method of removal. Use a dabber bottle with a registered herbicide to wipe the stems and/or the leaves of the target weed.

 Weed dabber bottle safety and user instructions

  •  Always consider natural or chemical-free options first, for example – hand or mechanical removal
  • The chemical must be registered for use to control the targeted weed
  • The chemical must be used at the application rate and in the prescribed manner as directed on the chemical label
  • Always refer to the safety data sheet prior to using chemicals.
  • All safety precautions should be taken, including the wearing of protective clothing, appropriate storage and disposal of the chemical and ensuring there is no off-target damage
  • Choose the chemical that will do the job and be the least toxic to the operator and the environment
  • Some chemicals are classified ‘restricted use’ (e.g. Grazon, Garlon) and legally require the person applying the chemical to have an Agricultural Chemical Users Permit (certificate)
  • You can find more information about the use of chemicals on the Agriculture Victoria website

Controlling ragwort weeds

Controlling spear thistle weeds


The roadside weed and pest control program (2023-26) is jointly funded by Council and the Victorian Government and aims to control and prevent the spread of regionallly prohibited weeds on municipal rural roadsides. The works are prioritised on Council managed high conservation value roadsides where biodiversity values can be protected and enhanced.

Weed species that are being targeted, the control methods to be used and location of works are outlined in the program plan.

View program plan

Need help to improve the biodiversity of your property? Council's Land Management Officer can help you with information and resources. Please contact us on 1300 787 624 if you would like to talk to our Land Management Officer or arrange for a visit.