Conifer Cavalry volunteers remove young pine trees

Image: Jesse Bythell | ©


Rampant weeds are smothering our native plants and destroying our native landscapes.


Invasive weeds are destroying our native plant communities. This invasion is transforming  the natural landscapes that make New Zealand unique. It's also killing the native animals that depend on those habitats. 

Visit Weedbusters for weed identification, weed control advice, and local Weedbuster groups you can join.

Identifying weeds

Common types of weeds

Trees and shrubs (woody plants)

Weeds that are trees or shrubs overtop or replace other plants and alter the composition of native plant communities, often preventing native plant regeneration.

Common trees considered weeds include: wattles, willows, tree privet and wilding pines. Common weeds that are shrubs include: barberry, gorse, heather, broom and buddleja.

Herbs (non-woody plants)

Herbs or perennials are non-woody plants. They can overtop small plants, crowding out native plants and preventing the regeneration of native seedlings.

Examples include: wandering willie, chilean rhubarb, wild ginger and pampas grass. They can also occur in aquatic habitats eg, oxygen weed that grows in lakes.


Vines climb and scramble, smothering trees and forest canopies.

Ivy, old man’s beard, Japanese honeysuckle, climbing spindleberry, mothplant and banana passionfruit are all problem weed vines in New Zealand.

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