Program extended to help combat the spread of Queensland Fruit Fly

Property owners with unwanted fruit trees in residential yards have until the end of October to apply to have them removed at no cost through the Urban Fruit True Removal Program.

The program is part of a regional approach to combating the spread of Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) and has been extended to accommodate the high number of property owners opting to remove unwanted fruit trees.

The Urban Fruit Tree Removal Program commenced in July and is an initiative of the Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Group. The program is being implemented across Campaspe, Greater Shepparton, Moira and Strathbogie Shires.

More than 600 applications have been received to have unwanted fruit trees removed from residential yards since the program began in July.

Goulburn Murray Valley Regional Fruit Fly Coordinator Ross Abberfield said unattended fruit trees and rotten fruit left on the ground or tree provide an ideal breeding ground for fruit fly.

“The Urban Fruit Tree Removal Program makes it easy and cost effective for property owners to remove unwanted fruit trees from yards and is just one action home gardeners can take to minimise the threat of fruit fly to the region.

“Many home gardeners have fruit trees they are no longer able to manage and maintain which if left unwanted can aid the spread of fruit fly” Mr Abberfield said.

QFF is a serious risk to the region’s horticulture industry, backyard orchards and vegetable gardens. QFF is generally relatively dormant during winter when the weather is too cold for them to be active, however start to become more active in Spring.

“We all have a role to play in protecting the region against the spread of fruit fly. By removing unwanted fruit trees and using traps, netting and spray were appropriate in home gardens, we are taking critical steps to minimize this risk.

“Other important steps include early harvest, pruning, baiting and practicing good garden hygiene by collecting and destroying rotting or unwanted fruit,” Mr Abberfield said. The program is one of several actions from the Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Action Plan being implemented by the Group which consists of members from local and state government, horticultural producers and community members.

Trees are removed by a fully insured private contractor at no cost to the property owner.

Applications to have fruit trees removed through the program are available from participating Councils. Trees that may be removed through the program include trees that carry QFF host fruit such as:

  • Apple
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Lemon
  • Apricot
  • Pear
  • Mandarin
  • Nectarine
  • Lime
  • Plum
  • Cherry
  • Nashi
  • Persimmon
  • Loquat

For more information about the Free Urban Fruit Tree Removal contact the Customer Service Centre at participating Councils.