The native NZ Toi toi plant is often confused with an invasive Pampas Grass (Cortaderia Selloana) which was introduced into NZ from South America. The latter can be a real problem if it takes root in your garden.
The NZ Farm News website describes it as "an 'aggressive coloniser' with some female plants able to produce millions of seeds annually, which do not require pollination to germinate."
Here is a photo of a Toi toi bush growing
beside the road somewhere in NZ.
Needless to say I was not keen to tackle this big Pampas bush growing on a bank at the front of my property. But it needed to go, as every time the wind picked up the seeds were blowing everywhere which would just spread the problem further.
One day I took to it with an axe and spade. It took me several days and it made a huge mess. It was horrendously difficult and even then I was not able to completely remove the stump. As I expected, it has since grown back but this time I've chosen to just ignore it.
In the mean time new pampas bushes have sprung up in the area. One of which took root next to the footpath at the bottom of the driveway. One day the council turned up with a chain saw but rather than getting rid of it completely they just gave it a trim and left it looking like this...
I thought seeing as they'd done half the job I could try and finish it off for them. But I wasn't keen on using the axe and spade like last time. Instead I hatched a cunning plan...
I tied some rope round the base and hitched it up to my tow bar. I did try digging around it to loosen it up a bit first, but it was pretty stubborn and wasn't going to come out easily. After pulling it as hard as I could one way I turned the car around and also tried pulling it in the opposite direction...
After a bit of wheel spinning on the road along with the smell of burning rubber and a few clouds of smoke it finally gave way, much to the amusement of one of my neighbours.
Considering the effort needed to pull out a relatively small bush at ground level I'm at a bit of a loss regarding the big one that's grown back on the bank.
One day I rang a gardening expert to get some ideas. He took some strange delight in telling me I should pour petrol over it and set fire to it, which is probably not a bad idea... except for the power lines immediately above it! Not to mention all the surrounding vegetation and my house.
I've left it in the 'Too Hard' basket for now.