Control Methods

How to remove invasive plants As most ecologically aware gardeners already know, getting rid of invasive alien plants (IAPs) is not so easy. Their roots are invasive and their seedlings pop up all over the garden. A number of physical and chemical techniques have proven highly effective. The key to success is to persevere in your programme of eradicating IAPs. Keep removing seedlings and remember to repeat spraying with herbicides at the intervals recommended.

Physical Removal

Physical Removal

Many invasive plants can be removed manually or with the help of simple tools.


Seedling of many invasive plants appear in gardens all the time, courtesy of birds passing through. When seedlings appear, pull them out as soon as possible to eliminate costly tree felling at a later stage. It is easier to remove seedlings when the soil is moist.

Shrubs and small trees

Use a 'Tree Popper' to remove shrubs and smaller trees. Alternatively, cut off the top growth and then remove the stem and roots from the soil. It is vital that the root ball and any taproots are totally removed to prevent re-growth, as invasive plants often have roots capable of regeneration.

Large trees

If the tree is too large for physical removal, consider ring-barking the tree. This technique involves removing a ring of bark at least 25cm wide. Peel the bark down to just below ground level, pulling outwards. Bark peeling is a particularly useful method for destroying invader acacias. Ring-barking interferes with the circulation of the tree and results in it slowly dying. If you wish to hasten the process, fell the tree to a stump that is 30cm above ground level. Then loosen the bark on the stump by hitting it with a hammer and peel the bark downwards to ground level. Any re-growth that appears must be cut off cleanly at once, to prevent nutrition from new growth reaching the roots.

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