Hakea spp.


Also known as:

Prickly hakea, willow-leaved hakea

Family: Proteaceae

Origin: Australia

Stem tips of Willow-leaved Hakea with new leaves.
Trees are large and can grow up to 5m tall. Young leaves are red in colour and mature to green.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Large perennial shrubs or small trees. Stems are densely hairy in some species. Leaves are rigid and spiny or soft and flattened. Flowers are small, white/yellow and borne in clusters. Seeds are winged and black.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, from 1 September 2021, you:

  • will not be allowed to breed, distribute, release or sell hakea within the Auckland region.
  • will not be allowed to plant hakea within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • must destroy any hakea on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.


Low forest, scrub, coastal habitats, disturbed sites, forest margins, gumland.


Seeds dispersed by wind.

Impact on environment

Dominant competitor in open sites with low fertility soil. Alters moisture regimes and vegetation succession and contributes to the local extinction of rare native ferns, orchids and shrubs. 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: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical


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 treated and then 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.

Close up of immature seed ponds on stems.
Seeds germinate well in open, sunny areas where vegetation has recently been cleared. Fire can help germinate seeds.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow
Young leaf tips of Willow-leaved Hakea.
Can thrive in poor soils that are recently disturbed. Will out-compete native ferns, orchids and smaller shrub species.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow