Athel pine: declared pest

Page last updated: Wednesday, 11 September 2019 - 3:44pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Athel pine (Tamarix aphylla) is a declared pest in Western Australia (WA). This article describes the nature of the plant with links to requirements land owners/occupiers must adhere to and pest control methods.

Form: tree — perennial

Status: present in WA


Athel pine, also known as tamarisk or tamarix, is a tree to 15 metres in height, it is not a true pine tree. It is a Weed of National Significance.

Young trees have a light grey trunk; mature trees have a dark grey or black trunk and can reach one metre in diameter. The main infestation in WA is in the bed of the Gascoyne River at Carnarvon. It spreads by seed and vegetatively from broken branches that become buried.  There are other Tamarix species present in Australia that could be confused with T. aphylla, some are used as garden plants.

Leaves: The dull green or greyish leaves are similar to pine needles.

Flowers: The small pinkish-white flowers occur in sprays on the ends of the previous year’s branches.

Seeds: After flowering, athel pine produces many small, bell-shaped fruits, each containing many seeds. The seeds are roughly cylindrical, each having a small 'parachute' of hairs to aid dispersal by the wind.

Agricultural and economic impact

An environment weed.

Declared pest category

The Western Australian Organism List (WAOL) contains information on the area(s) in which this pest is declared and the control and keeping categories to which it has been assigned in Western Australia (WA). Use the links on this page to reach athel pine in WAOL.

Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons

Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons if this pest is found can be sourced through the declared plant requirements link.

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MyPestGuide™ Reporter
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Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080

Control method

Control methods for this declared plant can be found through the athel pine control link.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
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