Melaleuca trees. Click the image for more
information about it.
Two of melaleuca's natural enemies released in the
U.S.: Oxyops vitosa (above) and Boreioglycaspis melaleucae
(below). Click the images for more information about them.
"Melapaleuza" Event Takes Aim at Invasive
Melaleuca Trees By
February 15, 2005
A two-day event called "Melapaleuza," co-hosted by the Agricultural
Research Service (ARS), is being held in
Florida this week as part of the continuing effort to control melaleuca, an
invasive species that has infested about 500,000 acres in South Florida.
The ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory (IPRL)
in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will help host the first Melapaleuza event beginning
today in Fort Myers, Fla., to demonstrate the agency's "TAME Melaleuca" program
for managing this invasive species.
ARS initiated The Areawide Management and Evaluation (TAME) Melaleuca
Project in 2001 to help control the spread of Melaleuca quinquenervia, a
fast-growing Australian tree that has quickly invaded the Everglades region,
displacing native vegetation and creating major fire hazards.
TAME takes an areawide approach to managing this resilient weed on
public and private lands.
D. Pratt, an entomologist at the IPRL, directs the project, while
Silvers serves as its coordinator.
The purpose of TAME is to show the effective integration of biological
control methods with other management strategies to achieve long-term results.
So far, nearly 300,000 melaleuca leaf weevils, Oxyops vitiosa, and
711,000 of the aphidlike melaleuca psyllid, Boreioglycaspis melaleucae,
have been released in South Florida at 150 locations. These natural controls
were discovered in Australia by scientists in the
Control Laboratory in Indooroopilly and were tested extensively by ARS
scientists to be certain they would not infest other valuable plants in the
Melapaleuza is a two-day event, with the first day reserved for
horticultural and landscape professionals, along with arborists and land,
resource and vegetation managers. On the first day, the program will include
expert talks on melaleuca management and other activities. The second day's
events, tailored to the homeowner and open to the general public, will
demonstrate small-scale melaleuca management options.
TAME is a collaborative effort among ARS, the
University of Florida's
Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences, and the South
Florida Water Management District.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.