Also known as
Shrub wattle, Acacia lophantha, Albizia lophantha
Where is it originally from?
What does it look like?
Short-lived tree (<5-10 m) with densely hairy ribbed twigs and bronze, hairy young shoots. Alternate frond-like leaves (20-30 cm) are twice divided along the midribs with 8-15 pairs of main subdivisions and 20-40 pairs of linear leaflets which are silky underneath. Tiny, numerous, green-yellow flowers in flowerheads (5 x 5-10 cm, May-Aug) resembling a bottlebrush are followed by flat, green to brown seed pods (8-15 cm) containing foul-smelling seeds.
Are there any similar species?
Other wattles and Hakea species are similar.
Why is it weedy?
Fast growing and maturing, and produces many long-lived seeds. Tolerates high to low rainfall, poor soils, salt, wind, and low fertility (fixes nitrogen).
How does it spread?
Contaminated soil and gravel, fresh and salt water movement all spread seeds. Common seed sources are hedgerows, shelterbelts, gardens, roadsides, and waste areas.
What damage does it do?
Tall, rapidly establishing stands overtop low-growing vegetation, but native forest species establish under wattle so impacts are usually confined to open and low-growing vegetation types.
Which habitats is it likely to invade?
Shrubland, disturbed forest, riverbanks, coastal fringes, gumland, short tussockland, and bare land.
What can I do to get rid of it?
Only control where wattle is a recent threat, of low incidence or poses a high ecological threat.
1. Hand pull or dig small plants (all year round). Ensure minimum soil disturbance.
2. Cut and squirt trees (all year round): Make 1 cut every 100 mm around the trunk and saturate each cut with 5ml triclopyr 600 EC (undiluted).
3. Injection method (all year round): drill holes sloping into the sapwood at regular intervals around the tree. As each hole is drilled saturate with glyphosate (250ml/L) or 3g metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg or 10ml triclopyr 600EC (undiluted).
5. Stump swab (all year round): metsulfuron-methyl 600g/kg (5g/L) or triclopyr 600 EC (50ml/L).
6. Spray (spring-summer): glyphosate (10ml/L) or triclopyr 600 EC (30ml/10L).
What can I do to stop it coming back?
Stumps regrow. Reseeds following disturbance by fire, machinery or non-selective spraying. Light lover, dislikes growing amongst species of similar or even lesser height, which makes it a true pioneer species. Amongst well established, tall native vegetation, regeneration can be speeded by wattle control. Do not merely fell, as wattle recovers faster than native species and the higher light levels induce more seed germination. Clear all roads, metal dumps, quarries and other sources. Maintain native groundcover at all times.