Coral Trees

28 Aug, 2021

Erythrina x sykesii. Members of the family Fabaceae (Pea) family, coral trees are large, deciduous trees that grow to between 12 and 18 metres tall.

Also known as flame trees, their pea pod-shaped flowers vary in colour from red to deep orange and bloom in clumps during spring. The light-brown bark of the tree is characterised by a scattering of rose-like thorns.


Though coral tree seeds are infertile, the plant spreads through cuttings, roots or plant fragments that are buried in soil. Hardy in a range of North Island conditions, the coral tree grows fast, lives for a long time and has dense foliage which prevents native plants from becoming established.

Physical Solution

Remove younger coral tree plants, making sure you dig up all the roots. Once out of the ground, leave the plant to rot on concrete surfaces. Be careful not to leave any soil on the plant as it can easily re-establish itself.

Chemical Solution

To eradicate established coral trees, cut them back and then immediately paint with MetGel or Picloram. Be careful not to paint other plants – particularly native species.


Note: Both of the products above may harm desirable plants that are in close proximity, care must be taken when applying.


When using sprays and chemicals always read the label and follow instructions carefully.



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