Grass-roots community organisation that aims to improve the natural condition of the Derwent catchment



The following page is a brief summary of information available on the DPIPWE website regarding Gorse control. For more information view here

Non-chemical control

Physical removal

  • Physical removal of Gorse will not control an infestation unless it is combined with other methods of follow-up control. Regular slashing or mowing by themselves are NOT effective in eradicating Gorse because plants will regrow from cut stumps or dormant seed in the soil as soon as slashing ceases.


  • Mechanical clearing is an ideal method of controlling large infestations on land that is later sown down with a competitive pasture species. This treatment may require targeted herbicide spraying of regrowth and a second subsequent sowing of pasture.
  • Avoid causing unnecessary disturbance to the soil, and avoid using heavy machinery along creeks and rivers.
  • Follow-up management is vital. This includes establishment of a vigorous pasture, grazing of Gorse seedlings, and herbicide use on plants surviving grazing.


  • Frequent burning of Gorse without follow-up will lead to increased germination of seed and more Gorse. Burning should ONLY be used in conjunction with other control methods.
  • Burning is useful for removing large stands of gorse and making follow-up spraying more effective. Fire destroys large amounts of seed and stimulates much of the remaining seed to germinate, so that the seedlings can be sprayed the following year, greatly reducing the seed in the soil.
  • Burning can be useful several months after spraying of an infestation as it reduces the dead stems to ashes.
  • Burning can be useful when combined with grazing by sheep or goats. Burning will reduce the amount of mature (and unpalatable) foliage and stems of older bushes, as well as stimulating the growth of seedling-shoots which are more palatable to grazing animals.
  • Gorse burns readily and gorse fires may cause severe damage to adjacent bush. Extreme care should be taken when burning gorse near native vegetation, fences or buildings. Gorse growing underneath high voltage power lines should not be burned without consulting the power company.


  • Grazing can be useful when combined with other control methods such as burning and herbicide, but is usually not effective on its own at eradicating Gorse.
  • Grazing by sheep is only moderately effective at controlling regrowth Gorse seedlings. Sheep will browse Gorse bushes during spring or when pasture feed is in short supply. However, sheep prefer pasture to Gorse, and control of established plants cannot be achieved by sheep grazing alone.
  • Goats prefer to browse young Gorse shoots rather than pasture. However well established Gorse bushes are not readily killed by goat browsing alone, and will recover when the goats are removed.
  • One strategy is to burn mature gorse bushes, then stock with goats supported by large numbers of sheep during spring and early summer to reduce pasture carry-over. Reducing pasture carryover into late summer/autumn by sheep-grazing in the spring means that goat browsing pressure can be maintained on the Gorse bushes throughout the growing season.

Biological control

  • Biological control agents that have been released in Tasmania include the Gorse seed weevil, Gorse spider mite, and Gorse thrips.
  • These Gorse control agents can be released into heavy infestations to reduce the vigour and abundance of the Gorse to assist with other control methods as part of an integrated management program.

Chemical control

Use herbicides in accordance with label. Refer to APVMA permit PER13160 where herbicide is to be used in non-cropping and bushland areas

Application method

1. Foliar application

  • Stage of growth - Actively growing
  • Location - Pasture and non-cropping
  • Suggested herbicide - Garlon 600®, Roundup Biactive

2. Cut-stump/cut and paste

  • Stage of growth - Actively growing
  • Location - Pasture and non-cropping
  • Suggested herbicide - Roundup Biactive®, Garlon 600

Derwent Catchment Project

PO Box 22 Hamilton TAS 7140  |  Phone (03) 6286 3211  |