Invasive Tree Species In The Moreton Bay Region

When we think of weeds in the yard, we very rarely consider the trees around us to be hazardous to our environment and other flora in the area. Just like the plants that we normally classify as weeds, such as lantana, a weed tree can be an introduced species that possesses high germination rates that allow it to rapidly grow and colonise areas.

An issue with this fast colonisation means that it can tip the balance of your local ecosystem and alter the landscape. Over time, the shape and size of a tree is determined by its competition and environment. If a taller growing tree is introduced to an area that is populated by short natives, it can propagate and start to starve the existing trees of light. This causes the trees to wither and die out while the introduced species thrives.

invasive tree species Camphor laurel

While this means the destruction of our native species of trees, it can also upset the ecosystem that it shares with native fauna. If an animal forms a relationship with a certain tree species, its removal means that the animal is left to wander the ground where predators and other dangers can cause its demise.

Do You Have An Invasive Tree Species In Your Yard?

The chance that you have an invasive species in your backyard is much higher than you probably think. It is quite an alarming fact that one third of all invasive tree species were introduced as garden ornamentals. Quite often, these species will sport beautiful and colourful flowers, hence the reason for them being used in everyday gardens.

The proliferation of these introduced garden species was helped along by our initial definitions on what qualified a species as a weed. At first, a tree was determined to be an invasive species if it directly impacted upon the agricultural production of land. This narrow scope meant many trees were allowed to be imported and planted that should not have been. Over time, the public has experienced a growth in environmental consciousness, which has broadened our definition in order to consider more than just the financial impact on our farming industry.

african tulip invasive tree species

As mentioned above, the effect that an introduced species can have is not just limited to other tree species. Recently, we have seen the impact of the African Tulip tree in killing off our native bees. This tree is an extremely common species that was planted due to its vibrant flowers and strong shade coverage. The tree favours wetter habitats such as rivers, creeks and gullies, which provide a perfect transportation system for their extremely light and numerous seeds.

3 Common Invasive Tree Species Found In The Moreton Bay Region

African Tulip Tree

  • Evergreen tree growing very quickly up to 24m tall.
  • Leaves are about 20cm long, oval-shaped, strongly veined, bronze when young, deep glossy green when mature.
  • Leaflets are leathery, leaf stalks are 6-15cm long.
  • Flower buds are bronze-green, velvety, in large, flat clusters.
  • Flowers are large, orange-red, with yellow frilly edges.
  • Seed capsules are reddish-brown, up to 20cm long.

Camphor Laurel

  • Large evergreen tree up to 20m tall.
  • Leaves are glossy, waxy, smell of camphor when crushed.
  • Flowers are small, white.
  • Leaves are lush, bright green when new, darker green when mature.
  • Fruits are spherical, berry-like, 10mm across, green at first, changing to black when ripe.
  • Seeds germinate after ingestion by birds.
  • Seeds can stay viable up to 3 years.

Broadleaved Pepper Tree

  • Broad, spreading tree up to 10m tall.
  • Leaves are dark green, consist of 5-9 leaflets, 4-12 opposite pairs.
  • Flowers are small, whitish, growing at end of branches.
  • Fruits are red, bunched, glossy, round, 6mm across.
  • Berries are 4-5mm wide, containing one seed.
  • Leaves and berries have pepper smell when crushed.
  • Not all trees bear fruit.

O’Brien’s Tree Care Can Remove And Replace Invasive Tree Species

While a tree can look beautiful, it can also present a danger to your local ecosystem, which has been balanced by thousands of years of growth. O’Brien’s Tree Care are able to ascertain the species of a tree and inform you as to what impact it can have on your environment. We can also provide suggestions for which tree should replace it should you make the choice to have a potentially dangerous species removed.

Contact us today via phone on 0431 740 088 or get in touch with us using our online contact form to arrange a time for an inspection of the trees on your property.