Introduced from Europe, Willows are one of the most serious riparian and wetland weeds in Kentish.

Willows were listed in 1999 as one of twenty Weeds of National Significance and therefore require control under the Weed Management Act 1999. Failure to do so is an offence and can attract infringement fines up to $10,000.

As part of a major river restoration project commencing in 1999, 28 km of willows were cleared along the rivers equivalent to an area of 7 thoroughly infested hectares. This was assisted by Work for the Dole teams, who also planted over 11,000 native seedlings along the rivers subsequently, to replace the willows with native vegetation.

Mt Roland Rivercare Catchment Inc (MRRCI) want to help land managers in the catchment that have this weed on their property, and below is some information on how to kill Willows.


Be aware that Willows will grow from any piece that is left on the ground (or allowed to float downstream), so killing the Willow first is of prime importance. That way, anything that breaks off or is chopped down for disposal will be dead and won't re-grow.

Stem injection method: 

  • Use a cordless drill (9mm bit)
  • Drill holes around the base of the tree, into the sapwood, angled down at 45 degrees and at 5 cm intervals.
  • Make the holes about 40 cm deep
  • Within a few seconds of drilling each hole, fill it with herbicide

Depending upon the size of the Willow, you can also spray the leaves, or use the "Cut and Paint" method, but you will have to be very careful about how you dispose of the cut pieces (burning preferably - don't put them in with green waste or shred them).

Cut and Paint method:  

  • Clear around the base of the plant.
  • Cut the stem horizontally as close to the ground as possible, using secateurs, loppers or a saw. Make sure there is no soil on the cut.
  • Apply herbicide to the cut stem immediately using an applicator.
  • Ensure there is no runoff of poison.
  • Herbicide needs to be applied within seconds of making the cut

Herbicide to use:

Glyphosate (e.g. Roundup - but make sure it is one that is safe for use in aquatic areas).

CAUTION: follow instructions and safety precautions to the letter! 

Additional information