Monkey Apple

Also known as:
Acmena Smithii, Acmena, Lilly Pilly (This Common Name Is Also Used For Other Non-Weedy Species)

General description

Long-lived, evergreen tree <18m tall. Shiny, oval, opposite leaves release an aromatic fragrance when crushed. Bunches of whitish flowers (Oct-Jan). Heavy crops of white to pink-mauve, berry-like fruit.

Forests, including lowland secondary forests & damp shrublands. Tolerates most soil conditions.

Seeds dispersed by large birds such as Kereru. Commonly planted as a shelter/hedge plant or as an ornamental.

Able to establish under low light conditions & hold a permanent place in forest canopy. Will outgrow native trees in light gaps. Can become dominant seedlings under pigeon roosts.

Site management

Hard to kill. Maintain rolling front, follow up at least 6 monthly to control seedlings. Replant densely (use pigeon-friendly spp. where possible) to minimise seedling growth.

Recommended approaches

1. Pull or dig out seedlings.
2. Cut or drill hole every 10cm stem diameter & fill each cut or hole with 2g metsulfuron (dissolved in approx 50ml water). All year round.
3. Cut & stump paint (5g metsulfuron/1L). All year round.
4. Frill (continuous cut) (4g metsulfuron + 10ml penetrant/L).
5. Spray spring - autumn (5g metsulfuron + 10ml penetrant/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

tree privet
Ligustrum lucidum

The new leaves of tree privet lack the reddish colour that monkey apple has. Tree privet berries are black.

Syzygium australe

Brush cherry's fruit is crimson-purple in colour. Otherwise the plants are very similar.

Search tags

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
Community Initiatives - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
monkey apple - Main species image