What TCCG has Done since 2005

Trialing Methods of Killing Wheel Cactus Plants

Late 1990’s-Early 2000’s: Barry McKnight – Injection gun and screwdriver

Barry McKnight, a landholder in The Nuggetty area, tried an injection technique already being used in areas of South Australia on Wheel Cactus infestations. He gave a demonstration of this injection method using a gun and screwdriver, to other interested local farmers and Landcare enthusiasts.

2000-2004: Ian Grenda

Ian Grenda, also a landholder in The Nuggetty area, trialled several new ways to kill Wheel Cactus because the gun and screwdriver technique was slow and tedious. He tried shooting holes in the lobes, shattering the lobes with a shovel and releasing the insect Cactoblastus as a biological control agent. However, none were successful.

2004: Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE Diploma in Conservation and Land Management

Jenny Baig and Brett Tyler, students in the Diploma of Conservation and Land Management, performed a trial to test the efficacy of surface spray of the herbicide glyphosate onto Wheel Cactus plants. They concluded that spraying with 2% glyphosate and 0.2% Pulse (a wetting agent) had an effect on the development of the plant but regrowth did occur and the plants did not die. Click here to read their Project Report.

2005 and 2006: Ian Grenda – Spraying with Glyphosate

Ian Grenda had some success spraying Wheel Cactus with a mix of 2% glyphosate and 2% Pulse in overcast weather conditions, but still there was regrowth of the plants requiring further follow up control treatments. Ian found that the most effective and permanent killing of the plants resulted from direct injection of the herbicide glyphosate into all outer lobes using an Injection Kit comprising of a drenching gun and extra long spear.


Education and Public Awareness

TCCG publish regular articles in local newspapers to educate and reinforce to the community the enormity of the Wheel Cactus problem in their local landscapes. Articles and photos are published in Landcare and environmental magazines about the groups activities and interviews are also conducted on local radio programs.

Brochures and Mail Outs
Various information brochures have been produced and printed to distribute within the community, to advise best-practice techniques and to promote TCCG’s demonstrations and field days. These are distributed via local public venues and businesses, at local community events and also posted to property owners within the local Shire areas that are most affected by Wheel Cactus infestations.

Workshop and Field Trip
In May 2015, the TCCG committee planned and held a half day workshop in the Baringhup hall and a field trip to a nearby property, to help increase awareness of the threat of Wheel Cactus infestations to neighbouring Shires and other land managers, highlighting the problems associated with Wheel Cactus infestations to native flora and fauna in public lands, the impact on domestic livestock and crops and the negative economic impact on private properties. Refer to Workshop Invitation.

Demonstrations and Advice for Landholders
Volunteers of TCCG have provided advice and demonstrations to property owners in their own time outside of the regular community field days.

Equipment Loans as Incentives
Injector backpacks and probes, digging tools and buckets are all available for loan by land holders to encourage them to control the Wheel Cactus infestations on their own properties.

Control Techniques
Over many years, TCCG have investigated the best techniques to kill Wheel Cactus plants permanently, and developed an efficient injecting tool to deliver herbicide directly into the lobes. They have also sourced the most effective digging hoe for manually removing smaller plants.

Community Events
TCCG volunteers participate in regular local, community events such as the annual Maldon Easter Parade and Maldon and Baringhup Agricultural Show, to help raise awareness about the threat of Wheel Cactus and the groups existence.

Custom-Designed Trailer
Members of TCCG designed and raised funds to acquire a trailer built specifically to store and transfer all the injecting and digging equipment required at their community field days, plus the very important BBQ and gas bottle.

T-Shirts, Coffee Mugs, Bumper Stickers and Pens
To help raise awareness of our “Wheel Cactus War” the group has designed and printed t-shirts with a striking image, hand painted coffee mugs with an appropriately sad looking Wheel Cactus plant, and a logo was designed and used to print bumpers stickers and pens, all to distribute to our volunteers and within the local community.

Networking with Similar Groups
Committee members have attended demonstration days, meetings, forums and conferences held by similar groups to exchange information and share knowledge, concerns and achievements. These groups include the Wychitella Landcare group in north central Victoria and the Blinman-Parachilna group in central South Australia. Contact is also maintained with the National Invasive Cacti Network, Connecting Country and government departments such as Parks Victoria, the North Central Catchment Management Authority and the Department of Primary Industry and Regions South Australia (PIRSA).
TCCG committee members also attend and present papers at conferences  held by groups such as the Victorian and Australasian Weed Societies and Australian Landcare.

Farm Fence Signs
As part of the TCCG Victorian state-wide Mapping Project, members designed a sign to distribute to local landowners to hang on their fence in a prominent location, to help remind the local community to destroy Wheel Cactus plants.

Hosting Volunteer Groups from other Regions
Since 2010, TCCG has hosted several field trips each year for several different organisations, and have greatly appreciated the valued help from these different community groups: Ballarat Special School, Lalor High School, Roxburgh Park College, Monash University Biological Society, LaTrobe University Bendigo, TAFE Bendigo, Mobile Landcare Group, IBM corporate volunteers, Castlemaine Venturer Scouts.

Funding and Support
Members of our committee identify and apply for suitable grants from local, state and federal sources. A list of and links to our major sponsors can be found below. We also alert local property owners to funding grants so they can seek support for their individual eradication programs.

Community Field Days
TCCG area of focus is bounded by Cairn Curran Reservoir (Baringhup) on the west, Trudgeons Road (Welshmans Reef) on the south, Maldon-Lockwood Road (Nuggetty) and Maldon-Newstead Road on the east and Bradford Road (Shelbourne) on the north. We hold community field days on each of the cooler months where we demonstrate killing techniques to property owners and also welcome any volunteers willing to learn to kill and help eradicate Wheel Cactus from our environment.

Since 2009, Community Field Days have been conducted in the following locations:

  1. Sunday 26th April 2009 N.K.’s Property, off Waldron’s Lane, Baringhup.
  2. Sunday 31st May 2009 Cook’s Lane off Maldon-Baringhup Rd.
  3. Sunday 28th June 2009 Mt. Tarrengower Historic Reserve off Mt. Back Rd.
  4. Sunday 26th July 2009 B. McK’s property in Nuggetty Rd east of Brown’s Rd.
  5. Sunday 30th August 2009 47 Cooks Lane.
  6. Sunday 27th September 2009 The Butts Reserve, Mount Tarrengower.
  7. Sunday 25th October 2009 C. T & S. G’s property accessed from the corner of Watersons &  Tarrengower School Rds.
  8. Sunday 29th November 2009 I. G.’s property, Browns Rd, Nuggetty.
  9. Sunday 30th May 2010 Along Goughs Range Rd.
  10. Sunday 27th June 2010 Mount Tarrengower before the summit.
  11. Sunday 25th July 2010 Corner of South Parkins Reef & Tarrengower School Rds.
  12. Sunday 29th August 2010 Near the corner of Watersons & Tarrengower School Rds.
  13. Sunday 26th September 2010 Corner of Whitlock & Back Cairn Curran Rds.
  14. Sunday 31st October 2010 Mount Back Rd.
  15. Sunday 17th April 2011 Watersons Rd.
  16. Sunday 29th May 2011 B. McK property in Nuggetty Rd east of Brown’s Rd.
  17. Sunday 26th June 2011 Mount Back Rd, Historic Park area, Mt. Tarrengower.
  18. Sunday 31st July 2011 End of Cook’s Lane.
  19. Sunday 28th August 2011 J. McG’s property, Baringhup Rd near intersection Hayes Rd.
  20. Sunday 25th September 2011 A. & J. D’s property, near corner of Watersons & Tarrengower School Rds.
  21. Sunday 30th October 2011 Corner of Watersons & Mount Back Rds.
  22. Sunday 27th November 2011 N. Z.’s property in Waldrons Lane.
  23. Sunday 29th April 2012 Watersons Rd between Treloars and Tarrengower School Rds.
  24. Sunday 27th May 2012 C. T & S. G’s property corner Watersons & Tarrengower School Rds.
  25. Sunday 24th June 2012 Along verges of Gough’s Range Rd. near Tarrengower School Rd.
  26. Sunday 29th July 2012 Corner of Bridgewater Rd. & Sandhills Lane.
  27. Sunday 26th August 2012 Baringhup Rd. opposite Hayes Rd.
  28. Sunday 30th September 2012 Corner of Watersons & Treloars Rds.
  29. Sunday 28th October 2012 The cork tree plantation on Mount Back Rd.
  30. Sunday 25th November 2012 N. Z.’s property, Waldons Lane, Maldon.
  31. Sunday 28th April 2013 Lee’ Back, 270 Waterson’s Rd.
  32. Sunday 26th May 2013 R. & D. Private property. East side of Cairn Curran, accessed Cairn Curran Rd.
  33. Sunday 30th June 2013 284 Old Tarrengower School Rd (site of Break of Day film).
  34. Sunday 28th July 2013 Mt Tarrengower Reserve, Back Mount Rd (off Waterson’s Rd).
  35. Sunday 25th August 2013 Greenhill Bridge Road.
  36. Sunday 29th September 2013 Private property off Skinners Lane, on right.
  37. Sunday 27th October 2013 Private property on Maldon-Baringhup Road, opposite Hayes Road.
  38. Sunday 24th November 2013 Private property, 284 Tarrengower School Road, north off Watersons Road.
  39. Sunday 27th April 2014 Watersons Rd between Trealors and Tarrengower School Rds.
  40. Sunday 25th May  2014 157 Bradford Road, Baringhup.
  41. Sunday 29th June  2014 C. T. and S. G. Private property, corner Watersons and Old Tarrengower School Roads.
  42. Sunday 27th July  2014 R. & D. Private property, accessed via end of Whitlocks Road.
  43. Sunday 31st August 2014 Goughs Range Road.
  44. Sunday 28th September 2014 Cairn Curran.
  45. Sunday 26th October 2014 Private property corner Watersons and Tarrengower School Roads.
  46. Sunday 30th November 2014 Goughs Range Road.
  47. Sunday 26th April 2015 Along Watersons Road before Tarrengower School Road.
  48. Sunday 31st May 2015 East side of Cairn Curran.
  49. Sunday 28th June 2015 T’s property along Cooks Lane Pigeon Hill.
  50. Sunday 26th July 2015 Mt. Back Road.
  51. Sunday 30th August 2015 Pigeon Hill.
  52. Sunday 27th September 2015 near the corner of Whitlocks and Greenhill Bridge Roads.
  53. Sunday 25th October 2015 corner of Goughs Range and Tarrangower School Roads.
  54. Sunday 24th April 2016  L & B property Waterson’s Road.
  55. Sunday 29th May 2016 at 703 Waterson’s Road.
  56. Sunday 26th June 2016 at the end of Whitlock’s Road.
  57. Sunday 31st July 2016 T’s property along Cooks Lane Pigeon Hill.
  58. Sunday 28th August 2016 Historic Reserve, Back Mount Rd.
  59. Sunday 25th September 2016 F & P property, Seers Rd. Welshman’s Reef.
  60. Sunday 30th October 2016 D & J property, Gough’s Range Rd. Welshman’s Reef
  61. Sunday 30th April 2017  L & B property Waterson’s Road.
  62. Sunday 28th May 2017  T’s property along Cooks Lane Pigeon Hill.
  63. Sunday 25th June 2017 Old Nuggetty School site – various properties.
  64. Sunday 30th July 2017 Olive Farm, Greenhill Bridge Rd.
  65. Sunday 27th August 2017 Tarrangower School Rd. south of South Parkins Reef.
  66. Sunday 24th September 2017 Jay’s property, Greenhill Bridge Rd.
  67. Sunday 29th October 2017 Dimsey property, Old Tarrangower School Rd.
  68. Sunday 27th May 2018, property 61 Maldon-Baringhup Rd.
  69. Sunday 24th June 2018, Old Shelbourne Railway, Lakey’s Rd. Shelbourne.
  70. Sunday 29th July 2018, property at end Cook’s Lane, Baringhup.
  71. Sunday 26th August 2018, Maldon Historic Reserve, Back Mount Rd. Maldon.
  72. Sunday 30th September 2018, property 24 Back Cairn Curran Rd. Baringhup.
  73. Sunday 28th October 2018, property 142 Whitlocks Rd. Baringhup.
  74. Sunday 28th April 2019, property 61 Maldon-Baringhup Rd.
  75. Sunday 26th May 2019, property 24 Back Cairn Curran Rd. Baringhup.
  76. Sunday 30th June 2019, property 368 Watersons Rd. Maldon.
  77. Sunday 28th July 2019, property 272 Whitlocks Rd. Baringhup.
  78. Sunday 25th August 2019, property Lot 1/2 Whitlocks Rd. Baringhup.
  79. Sunday 29th September 2019, property 200 Treloars Rd. Maldon.
  80. Sunday 27th October 2019, property 70 Treloars Rd. Maldon.



Parks Victoria: Healthy Parks Healthy People Community Groups Grants

  • 2009-10
  • 2010-11

North Central Catchment Management Authority

  • 2008 Landcare Start-up Grant
  • 2010 Second Generation Landcare Maintenance Grant
  • 2010 Second Generation Landcare Project Grant
  • 2011 Second Generation Landcare Maintenance Grant
  • 2012 25th Anniversary of Landcare Grant
  • 2013 Second Generation Landcare Project Grant
  • 2013-14 Victorian Landcare Grant
  • 2014-15 Victorian Landcare Grant
  • 2015-16 Victorian Landcare Grant
  • 2016-17 Victorian Landcare Grant
  • 2017-18 Victorian Landcare Grant
  • 2018-19 Landcare Project Grant
  • 2019-20 Victorian Landcare Grant

Mount Alexander Shire Council

  • 2010 Community Environment Grant
  • 2011 Community Grant
  • 2012 Community Grant
  • 2013 Community Grant
  • 2013 Roadside Weeds Funding
  • 2014 Roadsides Weed Program
  • 2013-14 Strengthening Our Community Grant
  • 2014-15 Strengthening Our Community Grant
  • 2015-16 Strengthening Our Community Grant
  • 2016-17 Strengthening Our Community Grant
  • 2016-17 Community Grant ‘Increasing Weed Awareness Brochures’
  • 2017-18 Strengthening Our Community Grant
  • 2019-20 Landcare Partnership

Australian Government Volunteer Grants

  • 2009
  • 2013
  • 2016
  • 2019

The Norman Wettenhall Foundation

  • Small Environmental Grant 2016 ‘Mapping Wheel Cactus in Victoria’


  • 2006 Ian Grenda (TCCC President) nominated for Individual Landcare Person of the Year
  • 2007 Ian Grenda (TCCC President) nominated for Parks Victoria Kookaburra Award
  • 2008 Ian Grenda (TCCC President) nominated for Individual Landcare Person of the Year
  • 2011 Ian Grenda (TCCC President) nominated for Parks Victoria Kookaburra Award
  • 2011 Ian Grenda (TCCC President) Maldon Citizen of the Year
  • 2012 TCCC Semi-Finalist in Parks Victoria Environment and Sustainability Award
  • 2012 TCCC nominated for Regional Achievement and Community Award
  • 2013 TCCG nominated for Parks Victoria 2013 Kookaburra Awards
  • 2014 Maldon Easter Parade First Prize ‘Best Community Entry’
  • 2014 Nominated for Kookaburra Award, Parks Victoria, ‘Conserving Special Places’
  • 2015 Maldon Easter Parade First Prize ‘Best Community Entry’
  • 2016 Maldon Easter Parade First Prize ‘Best Community Entry’
  • 2016 TCCG nominated for Regional Achievement and Community Award
  • 2016 Winner Kookaburra Award, Parks Victoria, ‘Conserving Special Places’
  • 2017 TCCG nominated for Regional Achievement and Community Award
  • 2017 Ian Grenda (TCCG Vice-President) nominated Individual Landcare Person of the Year
  • 2017 Winner Victorian Landcare ‘Community Group’ Award
  • 2017 Nominated for National Landcare ‘Community Group’ Award
  • 2018 Lee Mead (TCCG President) Maldon Citizen of the Year
  • 2018 Maldon Easter Parade First Prize ‘Best Community Entry’
  • 2018 Winner National Froggatt Award (Control and Eradication)

Increased Field Day Participation:

The first regular Field Day was held in April 2006 with 14 volunteers attending. However, eight years later, we have increased the volunteer participation with a monthly average of 40 during the 2013 season and a record 54 volunteers present at the first Field Day in 2014.


Introduction of Bio-control Agent ‘Cochineal’ 2013

2013 Cochineal release Site 1 (Pigeon Hill area)

2013 Cochineal release Site 2 (Pigeon Hill area)

2013 Cochineal release Site 3 (Cairn Curran area)

Field Day “Kill Rate” Analysis 2013-2014

Community Field Day Record Sheets

During 2013 and 2014, data Record Sheets were completed by TCCG volunteers at the end of each Community Field Day, to determine the efficiency of our injection technique. The sites were then followed up every 4 weeks for 3 months to determine the kill rates.

TCCG Field day record 28April_2013

TCCG Field day record 26 May 2013

TCCG Field day record 30 June 2013

TCCG Field day record 28 July 2013

TCCG Field day record 25 August 2013

TCCG Field day record 29 Sept2013

TCCG Field day record 27 Oct 2013

TCCG Field day record 24 Nov 2013

TCCG Field day record 27 April 2014

TCCG Field day record 25 May 2014

TCCG Field day record 29 June 2014

TCCG Field day Record 27 July 2014

TCCG Field day record 31 August 2014

TCCG Field day record 28 September 2014

TCCG Field day record 26 October 2014

Student Group Field Days

Ballarat Specialist School Field Trip April 2013  Ballarat Special School Field Trip Feedback April 2013
Ballarat Specialist School Field Day 2nd May 2013 Ballarat Special School Field day record sheet

Roxburgh College Field Day 14th November 2013 Roxburgh College record sheet Nov2013
Roxburgh College Field day Nov 2013 Feedback Nov 2013
Roxburgh College Field Day Feedback June 2014  Feedback June 2014
Roxburgh College Field day 18th June 2014 Roxburgh College record sheet June2014

Monash University Field Trip July 2013  Monash Uni Feedback July 2013

Field Day Sites Map 2009-2014

The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group Inc. worked with Cartography Community Mapping to develop a map of the area monitored by us and the locations of community Field Days from 2009 to 2014. Each number on the map represents a Field Day site. Some sites have been treated on more than one occasion, as indicated in the Map Key with the list of the numbered sites and the dates visited.

Click here to view MAP

Herbicide Spray Trials

Herbicide Spray: Mature Plants

In 2004, students completed a project titled “Spray application of Glyphosate Trials Nuggetty Hills – Victoria” as part of the Diploma in Conservation and Land Management at Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE. The aim of the 2 year project was to examine the efficacy of surface spray of 2% glyphosate and 0.2% Pulse on wheel cactus (Opuntia robusta). Overall, the results demonstrated that  a 2% glyphosate spray application significantly reduced the development and spread of wheel cactus. However, after 2 years, regrowth was evident indicating that follow up control methods are required with this approach. This method is useful for preventing fruiting (and therefore viable seed production) and to damage large plants so access is gained to dense stands to enable further control measures. Click on the file name here to view the project report: Baig Tyler Spray Trials

Glyphosate Spray: Immature Plants 2013

Trials will be conducted with sprays of immature plants with different concentrations of glyphosate. The first trial using a spray with 1% concentration of glyphosate was completed at the end of July.  A marked plot of immature plants (new recruits) were saturated with the spray at sunset and then followed up every 4 weeks for 3 months to assess damage and kill rates. The results were not so promising with only 20% of plants showing any damage after 3 months. The results can be viewed in this Field Trial Sheet TCCG Glyphosate Spray Trial record sheet 2013. This trial will be followed up with another using a stronger dose of glyphosate and a wetting agent on immature plants.

Glyphosate and Synertrol Spray Trials: Immature Plants 2014

A second trial commenced on 3rd March 2014. Three plots of 20 immature wheel cacti were sprayed with different doses of glyphosate in the form of Wipe-Out 450  (450 gram glyphosate per litre) mixed with Synertrol Horti Oil (905gm per litre emulsifiable botanical oil mixed at the rate of 10ml per 3 litres).  Site 1 was sprayed with 1% glyphosate, Site 2 with 2.5% and Site 3 with 5%.  The results have been followed up monthly  over a 6 month period and at the end of this time 35% of young wheel cactus were damaged/dying in Site 1 and the remainder dead. In Site 2 25% of the plants were dying and 75% dead, whereas in Site 3 only one plant was still alive and it was dying. There was no regrowth from dead plants in any of the sites. The Field Trial Record Sheets with the 6 month results are available here:  Glyphosate-Synertrol spray site 1  and  Glyphosate-Synertrol spray site 2   and  Glyphosate-Synertrol spray site 3