Conduct regular inspections, treatment and removal of plants.
Why Is It Bad?:
Hudson Pear seriously degrades land and ecosystems. If left unchecked and untreated it has the potential to reduce agricultural enterprise and adversley impact native fauna. Hudson Pear has vicious spines which are capable of penetrating footwear and car tyres. The spines are capable of causing serious injury to humans, livestock and working animals such as horses and dogs.
A branched cactus which grows to 1.5m high and 3m wide. It has a cylindrical trunk and rope - like segments. The segments are cylindrical with those above the truck reaching 90cm long and 4cm wide. Depressions on segments contain small bristles and clusters of 4-8 spines. The spines may reach up to 3.5cm in length.
Plants have pink flowers, about 5cm wide, containing small stamens with golden anthers and filaments that are pink towards the anthers and cream towards the base. The stigma is pale yellow.
Fruit is wider towards the apex, 2 to 4.5cm long. Older fruit have few spines and are much less spiny than younger fruit.
Manual removal is not recommended because of the danger of serious injury occuring during the process of removal. Once uprooted plants need to be disposed of correctly to avoid new infestations arising from this material. Disposal methods include burying and burning.
When spraying with herbides, care needs to be taken to ensure total coverage of plants as any missed plants or segments have the capacity to form new infestations, if they have contact with the ground. this is achieved with the addition of a marker dye.Thorough spraying of Hudson Pear with herbicide mixtures that incorporate a spray oil are effective at any time of the year if the plants are growing and not stressed. Plants sprayed during cooler months with take longer to die that those sprayed in warmer months. Two herbicides are currently available for treating Hudson Pear. Spraying with herbicide may not be 100% successful, the site should be monitored for regrowth.
Once plants have been burnt carry out routine inspections to make sure that plants have not regenerated.
Slashing & Cutting:
Not recommended, Hudson Pear segments of all sizes should be removed as these are capable of forming new plants/infestations if they come into contact with the ground and form roots.
Dactylopius tomentosus,a species of cochineal insect introduced to control Rope Pear attacks Hudson Pear, but is not particularly damaging. There are several biotypes of D.tomentosus present in Mexico, at least one of which is likely to be damaging to Hudson Pear.
Cultivation & Scalping:
It is extremely important that the spread of Hudson pear be limited. Vigilance is the key to preventing spread. Hudson Pear segments of all sizes should be removed as these are capable of forming new plants/infestations if they come into contact with the ground and form roots. When travelling in Hudson Pear infested areas, take care not to leave the road, if you do, check the tyres and under the vehicle for segments and remove before leaving the area. When treating plants always carryout routine inspections on the plant to check for regrowth.