Eucalyptus spp.


Family: Myrtaceae

Origin: Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Philippines

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Not a legally declared pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Mostly evergreen trees. Bark can be smooth, peeling or fibrous. Trunks in most species are tall and straight due to shedding of lower branches. Juvenile leaves are blue-green, stalkless, heart-shaped and opposite. Mature leaves are green, sickle-shaped, aromatic and hang vertically on short stalks.

Flowers can be a variety of colours and are pōhutukawa-like with numerous stamens. Fruits are woody, valved capsules.

What you need to know

Although gum is not a legally declared pest plant, it may still be invasive in some situations. Consider lower-risk alternatives for your garden, such as native plants.


Shrubland, coastal areas, riparian areas, wetlands, plantations, urban areas.


Seeds dispersed by gravity.

Impact on environment

Inhibits growth of vegetation through allelopathy. Increases fire risk.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel or ringbark stem and paste with metsulfuron gel if safe to do so.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Drill and inject trees with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 1L of water if safe to do so. Drill 18mm holes (tangentially angled downwards) in a spiral up the trunk.

For 50mm stems drill one hole. For 100mm stems drill two holes. For larger stems drill holes 150mm apart. Foliar spray seedlings with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Safety notes

Large trees must not be drilled that are closer than 1.5 times the height of the tree from paths, walkways and property.

Trees over 4 metres in height should be removed by a qualified arborist.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Grove of Gum trees in a plantation.
Also called eucalyptus. Not a pest plant in NZ.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Close up of young branch tip of Gum tree.
Trees native to Australia and the favourite habitat for koala and possum. Increases fire risk in NZ.