Smooth tree pear (Opuntia monacantha)

Also known as: prickly pear, drooping prickly pear

Smooth tree pear is a perennial cactus. It has smooth, glossy oval-shaped segments.

Profile

What does it look like?

Smooth tree pear or drooping pear is an erect shrub to 2 m tall, sometimes with a short trunk. The plant has an obvious drooping appearance. 

Its leaves are glossy green, oblong to egg shaped with a thin profile, 10-30 cm long. 

Its flowers are yellow to orange-yellow. 

The fruit is pear shaped, to 7 cm long, red in colour and spineless.

The spines of the smooth tree pear appear as 1-2 spines, 2-4 cm long and brown to off-white in colour. 

Other publications

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Control

Biological control

The biocontrol agent, a cochineal (Dactylopius ceylonicus) is established and has significant impact on smooth tree pear, particularly if plants are also felled. 

Herbicide options

WARNING - ALWAYS READ THE LABEL
Users of agricultural or veterinary chemical products must always read the label and any permit, before using the product, and strictly comply with the directions on the label and the conditions of any permit. Users are not absolved from compliance with the directions on the label or the conditions of the permit by reason of any statement made or not made in this information. To view permits or product labels go to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website www.apvma.gov.au

See Using herbicides for more information.


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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
All of NSW Prohibition on dealings
Must not be imported into the State or sold
Central West Regional Recommended Measure*
Whole region: Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Core infestations: Land managers should mitigate spread from their land.
*This Regional Recommended Measure applies to all species of Opuntia except for Opuntia ficus-indica (Indian fig)
South East
Core infestation area: whole region except the exclusion zone of Wollongong, Kiama, and Shellharbour, and Eurobadalla
Regional Recommended Measure*
Whole region: Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Exclusion zone: The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. Core infestation: Land managers should mitigate spread from their land.
*This Regional Recommended Measure applies to all species of Opuntia except for Opuntia ficus-indica (Indian fig)
Western
Grazing, conservation and urban areas
Regional Recommended Measure
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Land managers should mitigate spread from their land.
*This Regional Recommended Measure applies to all species of Opuntia except for Opuntia ficus-indica (Indian fig)
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfill the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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For technical advice and assistance with identification please contact your local council weeds officer.
For further information call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline on 1800 680 244 or send an email to weeds@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Reviewed 2017