In order to maintain the health and vigour of the living collections and thus the presentability of the displays, it is necessary to control pests such as grazing and sucking insects, feral animals, fungal pathogens and weeds, all of which have direct or indirect deleterious effects on the plants.

A wide range of physical, chemical and biological pest control methods is employed by the Gardens. Field collecting is restricted to disease-free stock, quarantine procedures have been developed for newly received plants and propagating material, and diseased material is removed from the site. Where possible, disease-resistant strains, such as Phytophthora-resistant root stock, have been used. Cultural techniques such as mulching are used to reduce weed problems, and mechanical devices such as cages, fences and traps are used to protect plants from grazing mammals. Chemical controls such as herbicides, pesticides, rodenticides and insecticides have also been used when necessary.

A reduction in the use of chemical controls has been achieved by the development and implementation of integrated pest management programs. Reductions in chemical use are considered particularly important for both occupational health and safety and environmental reasons. The potential off-site impacts of chemicals must also be borne in mind: at Jervis Bay all the run-off from the Gardens drains into Lake Mackenzie whilst in Canberra it drains into Lake Burley Griffin.

Introduced animals such as rabbits, hares, rats, mice, foxes, pigs, cats, dogs and blackbirds occur within the Gardens and present various problems for horticultural and wildlife management.

Management prescriptions


The objective is to protect the living collections from pests and diseases by using control methods that minimise impacts on the health of staff and visitors and on the environment.


Occupational health and safety considerations will continue be of major concern in the development of responsible pest and disease control programs. Training of horticultural staff in integrated pest management, particularly the safe handling and use of pesticides, will remain an important priority.

A database will be established to aid the further development of integrated pest management programs and information about the beneficial and adverse effects of control agents will be monitored. Efforts will be made to further reduce reliance on chemical methods of pest and disease control.

The Gardens has a policy of elimination or reduction of introduced pest species through programs of controlled shooting and trapping. In this way the majority of these pests have been kept to manageable proportions. Wherever possible, pest control activities will be undertaken when the Gardens are not open to the public and policies on pest control will be explained to the visiting public.