Don’t fall for this bleeding heart
WHAT IS IT?
This Aussie interloper is a small tree (up to 5m) with smooth, heart-shaped leaves that turn red with age – its alternative name is the ‘bleeding heart tree’ for this reason. It has clusters of spikes of small flowers (up to 17cm long) from September to November, followed by smooth fruits with distinctive ‘rabbit ears’ that stick up from each fruit like antennae.
It produces a large amount of seed which is then spread by birds, and it’s shade tolerant so it easily establishes in native bush, not just on the margins.
Currently, Queensland poplar seems to be popping up in warmer areas of New Zealand, Northland and the Coromandel in particular, but it’s also found around Auckland, Tauranga, Raglan and Pukerua Bay, north of Wellington.
3 WAYS YOU CAN GET RID OF IT
1. Grub out seedlings (all year round). 2. Cut and stump paint larger plants with picloram gel. 3. Spray smaller plants with metsulfuron methyl 600g/kg (5g /10L).