Swamp box control

Access all the information needed for control of this noxious weed, including weed identification, herbicide application and spray timings.


Swamp box description

Swamp box identification

Swamp box is also known as swamp mahogany or swamp turpentine. It is a large tree with a red-brown, fibrous-papery, persistent bark. The leaves are broad and rounded at the base, tapering towards the end. They are 9–15 cm long and 4–5 cm wide, leathery, light green and either smooth or covered with soft, shaggy unmatted hairs. The leaf stalk is 10–20 mm long.

Clusters of white flowers 3–5 mm long are produced in early summer. The petals are circular, 4–5 mm long with numerous stamens.

Swamp box is widespread in sclerophyll forests and common in coastal districts, often on swampy ground or alluvial flats.

Swamp box control

Controlling swamp box

When treating swamp box (Lophostemon spp.), the best application method/herbicide will depend on the plant growth habit and the situation in which it occurs.

Controlling seedling regrowth in isolated patches and limited infestations

The most reliable control of swamp box up to 5 cm basal diameter is achieved via basal bark application with Access at a rate of 1:30 with diesel or Biosafe.

Treating areas of standing single or multi-stemmed plants

For control of Lophostemon spp. amongst eucalypt trees, Tordon RegrowthMaster, as a stem injection application, would be the best option, with no effect on the eucalypt trees. For larger plants greater than 1.5 m tall, stem injection or cut stump application would be a more cost-effective control measure.

Treating regrowth following mechanical clearing

Mechanical disturbance of Lophostemon spp. infestations normally creates a greater regrowth problem than was present beforehand, as multiple regrowth will occur from the original plant. If mechanical clearing has taken place, use fire as the first technique to reduce the biomass and control the lower branches of the plants. Use of herbicide, as a follow-up option, will not control the regrowth the first time – a number of applications may be required to control the regrowth.

Herbicides for control of swamp box

Product#Method of applicationRate*State
Access® Herbicide Basal bark and Cut stump 1:30 with diesel or Biosafe§ All
Tordon® RegrowthMaster Herbicide Cut stump 1:20 with water + surfactant All
Tordon® RegrowthMaster Herbicide Stem injection 1:4 with water – variable results All

# Note: Preferred product option in bold.  * Consult label for details of growth stage and use, especially where range of rates is given.  § Biosafe – trademark used under licence, Victorian Chemical Co Pty Ltd.

Treatment timing

Timing for swamp box control

Always treat actively growing plants – DO NOT treat under dry conditions.

Access® Herbicide
Key: Best time to spray/treat Can spray/treat if conditions are suitable Do not spray/treat