Origin: Native to California, USA
Size: 25m to 50m H
Best removal time: All year
Seeds: Cones open at any time of year
Flowers: Late winter
What it does
Radiata Pine invades bush areas and starves indigenous vegetation of moisture, nutrients and light, killing and restricting the growth of indigenous species. It also increases soil acidity and smothers vegetation with its dead needles.
What it looks like
Radiata Pine is a tall evergreen tree that grows up to 50m in height. The dark bark is deeply furrowed, and it has dark green needle-like leaves in groups of three (rarely 2) in dense clusters along stems. Flowers are in cones, the male yellow and short-lived, the female greyish-brown, remaining on the tree for many years. Radiata Pine is used in plantations for the production of softwood timber. Most live Christmas trees that are purchased in the festive season are Radiata Pine.
How it spreads
Large seed-bearing cones, taking 2-3 years to mature, are produced at the ends of branches. The seeds are winged and are dispersed by wind and animals throughout the year. They can be blown a considerable distance from the parent tree. Also spread by dumped cones.
Remove by hand
Hand removal is recommended for small seedlings where practical.
Drill and Fill
Drill shallow holes (20mm) in the trunk as close to the root zone as possible. Fill each hole immediately with an undiluted glyphosate-based product. The tree will then slowly die and may need to be removed later.
Cut the tree down
Radiata Pine can also be controlled without herbicide by simply cutting the tree down.
Ringbarking plants below living branches or foliage can also be done without the use of herbicide. This can take anything up to 2 years. Please ensure you use a trusted source of information on how to ringbark a tree or hire an expert.
To kill the tree faster, use a small amount of a glyphosate-based herbicide in the cut. Dead trees need to be cut down.
Indigenous alternatives to plant
Any overstorey tree that is indigenous to the Shire of Yarra Ranges would make great substitute for the Radiata Pine. Some alternatives include:
How to dispose of weeds
By disposing of environmental weeds correctly you can prevent re-infestation on your property and elsewhere.
- Landfill (Weed Wipeout Tip vouchers available for some species).
- Green waste bins ensure that weeds are not able to spread.
- Woody weed stems can be bundled for green collection twice per annum.
- Composting (excluding seed heads or species with vegetative reproduction, e.g. Wandering Trad).
- Burning in accordance with Council and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) prescribed burning periods and regulations.
- Recovery and transfer stations available for weed tipping are Healesville, Wesburn, Coldstream, Lysterfield and Montrose.
Non-chemical treatment is often the most effective and safe option especially on smaller scale infestations.
Where chemical use is undertaken:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using chemicals.
- Wear protective clothing and eyewear.
- When purchasing your herbicide, always ask for a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or refer to the manufacturer’s website for specific safety guidelines and information.
- Some herbicides will kill other plants and not just the target species.
- When used near waterways herbicides can be very poisonous to aquatic life.
- Use chemicals sparingly and be sure that you are using the right chemical and application technique.
- Ensure the weather conditions are suitable (e.g. minimal wind and no rain expected).
- Apply herbicides at the correct time during the plant’s growth cycle so you get the best results.