taiwan cherry flowersTaiwan cherry

Common name: Taiwan cherry
Botanical name: Prunus campanulata
Management programme: Advisory

Originally from East Asia and introduced to New Zealand as an ornamental in the 1960s. Tui birds feed on the berries and nectar, however, the nectar only lasts for a couple of weeks. The native nectar supply for tuis are pohutukawa, flax, kowhai and ngaio. The Taiwan cherry out crowds these species if given the chance, giving the tui a much shorter time frame and food supply than what the native plants offer.

Why is it a pest?

  • Seems to be able to grow anywhere! Can tolerate all types of climates and rainfall. Forms dense stands that are long-lived.
  • Crowds out neighbouring plants and shrubs and dominates a habitat. Restricts the growth of new seedlings and creates a monoculture.
  • Seeds are long lived and widely dispersed by birds.

Where is it found?

  • Likes the understorey of native forests, shrublands, light wells in forests, roadsides (especially under power lines), gardens and reserves.
  • Can spread vegetatively, through garden waste and movement of soil.
  • Found throughout the Bay of Plenty.

What does it look like?

  • Flowers are red/pink and bell shaped and appear from July to September. The bell shaped flowers distinguish this species from other naturalised Prunus species in New Zealand.
  • Fruit is red in colour and glossy. Quite small, about 10mm in diameter.
  • Leaves have serrated edges, are bright green when they appear in spring then turn dark green by summer.

What are the rules?


The Bay of Plenty Regional Council does not enforce the control of advisory species. It is landowner/occupier responsibility to manage these pests. Council may provide advice on how to manage or control these species if required.

How do you get rid of it?

  1. Hand pull seedlings year round.
  2. Drill and fill with herbicide year round.
  3. Cut the trunk and stump treat straight away with herbicide, year round.

Can leave plants in situ to rot down. For larger trees, cut up the branches and trunks and either dry out for firewood or mulch.

On-going control will be required by hand pulling new seedlings that will grow from the seed bank. Keep persevering with the control and when the infestation has reduced and there is no regrowth, plant a dense cover of native shrubs or trees to shade out the remaining seed bank.


CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide, PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and directions for the purchase, use and storage of the product, are followed and adhered to.

Read more on pest control advice, information and regulations