Sydney NSW, Australia
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Brisbane beekeeper creates editable map to track African tulip trees killing native stingless bees

ABC Radio Brisbane

By Antonia O'Flahert

A Brisbane beekeeper has created a map for the public to locate African tulip trees in a bid to weed out the plant, which kills native bees.

Hobbyist beekeeper Phil Baskerville told Steve Austin on ABC Radio Brisbane there was not an effective mapping system to report African tulip trees, so decided to create one on Google Maps.The tree is native to tropical Africa but was once planted as a street tree and garden tree, and while regarded for its red flowers, it is a serious weed which is toxic to native stingless bees and crowds out native vegetation.

"I've labelled it [the map] African Tulip Tree, people should be able to find that and they can actually drop a pin on every tree they identify," Mr Baskerville said.

"It's quite prevalent across fairly old suburbs, the inner 15-kilometre radius of those suburbs, they were prevalently planted as a street tree down a number of footpaths."

Brisbane City Council stopped planting the trees 20 years ago, with about 2,000 older plants left, according to environment, park and sustainability chair Fiona Cunningham.

The exotic tree is a significant weed across coastal Queensland which is "highly invasive, forming dense stands in gullies and along streams, crowding out native vegetation", according to Department of Agriculture and Fisheries information.

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