tree privetTree privet

Common name: Tree privet, Japanese privet, Broadleaf privet
Botanical name: Ligustrum lucidum
Management category: Advisory

Where is it originally from?

Originally from China and naturalised in 1958.

Why is it a pest?

  • Fast growing and can live up to 100 years old.
  • Forms very tall dense stands that dominate native bush and crowd out other trees.
  • The leaves and berries are poisonous particularly for small fauna such as insects.
  • Produces many seeds that are spread widely by birds.
  • Very tolerant of shade, frost, grazing, a wide range of temperatures, soil types, salt, wind, damp to drought conditions.

Where is it found?

Tree Privet is found in coastal and lowland forests, shrubland, cliffs and is widely found throughout the Bay of Plenty particularly around coastal areas.

What does it look like?

  • Evergreen tree or dense shrub with distinctive lumpy ‘warts’ on the stem.
  • Dark green, glossy leaves.
  • Tiny, fragrant, creamy flowers make up large flower heads from November – March. Followed by small purplish-black berries coated with a powdery ‘bloom’.

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 to get rid of it

  1. Pull or dig out small seedlings.
  2. Stump treat year-round with herbicide.
  3. Drill and inject, 1 hole per 20cm of stem diameter with herbicide.
  4. Spray in Spring to Autumn with herbicide.

Untreated stumps re-sprout quickly. Control will need to be followed up every six months. Replant area to reduce seedling growth.


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