Declared Noxious Weed
Size: 5m–10m H
Best removal time: September to January
Flowers: October to December
Fruits: February to May
What it does
Invades gardens, bushland and stream sides. Hawthorn tolerates damp and shady conditions and will take over and displace indigenous shrubs and small trees. It may also be dangerous to cattle.
What it looks like
Hawthorn is a deciduous, erect plant that has long thorns. It can grow in the form of a large shrub or a tree up to 10 metres tall. The branches spread out widely and are often tangled. Leaves are alternate and are usually 3-7 lobed. Flowers are white or pink and the fruit is fleshy and a dark red colour when ripe.
This plant is a declared noxious weed. It has the potential to spread widely and cause serious economic loss to agriculture, or have some detrimental effect upon people, animals, the environment or the local community.
How it spreads
- seeds dispersed by birds and animals in their droppings. The seed is contained in the berries and readily regenerates
- gradually suckering along the ground, forming thickets
- sold at some nurseries, markets and fetes, by replanting in historical gardens. Buyer beware!
- contaminated soil and mud
- dumping of garden plants and waste
- machines and vehicles
This is only recommended for small seedlings and smaller bushes where practical. It is often useful to hand remove the smaller seedlings around the larger mature shrubs. Remaining roots will reshoot.
Cut and Paint
Cut the shrubs off at ground level and paint stump immediately with an undiluted glyphosate-based product. This is the preferred method for shrubs that are too small to drill and fill.
Drill and fill
Drill holes 25-30mm deep in the trunk and around 5cm apart. Drill holes as close to the root zone as possible. Fill the hole immediately with an undiluted glyphosate-based product. Large trees will need several holes drilled or the bark chipped around the trunk.
Many tree and large shrub alternatives exist that are indigenous to the Yarra Ranges region and would make great substitutes for the Hawthorn. Some alternatives include:
Prickly Currant–bush, Coprosma quadrifida
Sweet Bursaria, Bursaria spinosa
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.