15 Most Invasive Trees in the World

The Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) has recently published a report on the world´s worst 100 invasive species.  Of the 100 species listed there are 15 tree species. 

  • African tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata)
  • Black wattle  (Acacia mearnsii)  close cousin in to the Silver wattle (A. dealbata)
  • Brazilian pepper tree  (Schinus terebinthifolius)
  • Cluster pine  (Pinus pinaster)
  • Erect prickly pear  (Opuntia stricta)
  • Fire tree  (Myrica faya)
  • leucaena  (Leucaena leucocephala)
  • melaleuca  (Melaleuca quinquenervia)
  • mesquite  (Prosopis glandulosa)
  • Giant Sensitive tree  (Mimosa pigra)
  •  privet  (Ligustrum  robustum)
  • pumpwood  (Cecropia peltata)
  • Quinine tree  (Cinchona pubescens)
  • Shuebutton ardisia  (Ardisia elliptica)
  • Strawberry guava  (Psidium cattleianum)
  • tamarisk  (Tamarix ramosissima) 


100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species
Lowe S. J., M. Browne and S. Boudjelas (2000)
Published by the IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG),
Auckland, New Zealand.

Some images of the these trees (or their close cousins)

(African tulip tree)


(Brazilian pepper tree)

(Prickly Pear)




  1. Interesting collection of trees. I don't believe these are even warm climate trees. Mimosa is our worst tree here.

  2. Humanity has celebrated the invaders when they succeed; to the victor go the spoils. Why not in plants? In general, humans alter the landscape which creates the niches that these invasive plants are now filling. They are, perhaps , righting our wrongs by maintaining (?!) plant cover. How is it that with our thousand years experience we still can't see the forest for the trees ?

  3. I'm very surprised that the Sycamore
    (Acer pseudoplatanus)is not on the list. In Tasmania, Australia it is one of our most invasive trees.