Bonny Hills residents call for African Tulip tip fees to be waived

Before and after: This African Tulip tree was removed from Seaview Street, Bonny Hills on Saturday, June 22. Photos: Jim Marchment.
Before and after: This African Tulip tree was removed from Seaview Street, Bonny Hills on Saturday, June 22. Photos: Jim Marchment.

Bonny Hills residents are working hard to eliminate the African Tulip tree from the area and are calling on Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to waive tip fees for the green matter.

While the tree might look visually appealing, it's causing the area's population of bees to suffer.

Australian native bees are vital to the environment because they contribute to agricultural production through the pollination of crop plants.

Unfortunately the nectar of an African Tulip tree is toxic to the animal.

Bonny Hills Landcare members and beekeeper Jim Marchment have been working hard to educate people about the African Tulip Tree.

Five trees in the Bonny Hills area have been chopped down over the last three weeks.

"Thank you to the owners who have taken the initiative and have taken them down at their own expense," Mr Marchment said.

Dead bees remain in the African Tulip's flowers.

Dead bees remain in the African Tulip's flowers.

Mr Marchment and Bonny Hills Landcare are calling on the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to waive tip fees for the green waste material of any noxious weed.

According to council's website there is no distinction between differing types of green matter.

The tree is listed as an intrusive species on council's 'think before you plant' website page.

Since the initial African Tulip tree article ran in the Camden Haven Courier, a number of local and international residents have contacted Mr Marchment for advice.

"I've had someone contact me from Brazil as it's a big problem there," he said.

Mr Marchment also heard from a Whitsunday Islands resident.

"The man who called me said he had an African Tulip tree located near his hive but hadn't found any corpses inside the flowers," he said.

"However when he went back to inspect the next day, he found heaps of dead bees."

African Tulip flowers.

African Tulip flowers.

Mr Marchment said the African Tulip's impact on the bees depends on when they release the toxic nectar.

A person from Hawaii told Mr Marchment the tree can also be toxic to some species of birds.

To combat the African Tulip tree issue, Landcare members are promoting the weed swap initiative, in partnership with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.

Estelle Gough from Port Macquarie Landcare said people can obtain a free native plant to replace any weeds they have in their garden.

They are required to take a before and after photo of the weed and then take the evidence to Landcare.

Estelle said people can bring the photos to the nursery in Port Macquarie from 9am until 12pm on Monday to obtain a free native plant. The nursery is located on Blackbutt Road, Port Macquarie.

For more information or to report a weed please visit council's website www.pmhc.nsw.gov.au

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