Shire of Goomalling

Opuntioid cacti: declared pests

Velvet Tree Pear is in Goomalling!

  • One plant in a garden has become hundreds of plants on multiple blocks on the edge of Goomalling. (Approximately 90ha infested).
  • The infestation has reached the creek, which is part of the Avon-Mortlock catchment.
  • If left unchecked it will continue to spread further down the catchment.
  • Many more infestations are now appearing, mainly due to the planting of cacti in gardens throughout the Shire.

Why is it a concern?

  • The plant is hardy
  • Infestation spreads fast through seeds and pads. Seedlings are hard to detect
  • Animal vector of spread is unknown
  • Infestation has reached waterways and farmland


big one

Image: Large Cactus in Goomalling townsite
Photo credit: Department of Agriculture & Food WA

Case Study

This mature cactus (picture 1) is a result of a seedling left unmanaged. From this plant hundreds of seedlings have procreated (picture 2).

Shire of Goomalling removed the cactus in 2015 which required 8 hrs backhoe to dig an adequate disposal pit and manually removed the cactus, 2 hr to mulch the site and spray the remnant seedlings. Estimate cost of removal for one plant is $600.



Photo credit: Kate Detchon, Department of Agriculture and Food WA


What has happened to Goomalling’s unmanaged cactus?

Confirmed cactus locations in Goomalling:

Goomalling Map




Image: Velvet tree pear infestation eastern Australia  Photo Credit: Les & Marie Tanner (North West Weeds). pear tree

What can you do to help?

  • Report a cactus by sending photos and location (GPS coordinates if possible) to or phoning 08 9629 1101
  • Bring your cactus to the pit in exchange for a native seedling (by appointment, call 08 9629 1101)
  • If you know more cactus locations, please add dot to the map at the Shire office open Mon-Fri 8.30am-4.00pm 
  • Spread the word

How do I know if I have a declared cactus species on my property?

Department of Agriculture and Food WA have a listing of declared opuntioid cacti including images of the fruits and flowers to assist you to identify what cactus you have on your property. If you’re unsure contact the Shire of Goomalling for assistance.

Project Prickle

Shire of Goomalling, Greening Australia and Department of Agriculture and Food WA are working together to eradicate the weed and increase awareness in the community about the significance of the problem.

Shire of Goomalling was successful in securing $20,000 towards cactus control in Goomalling. The main outcomes of the project:

  • Increase community awareness
  • Mapping of cactus locations
  • Identify animals eating the fruit and the spread of the seeds
  • Test methods of destruction including pad/stem injection of chemical and manual handling
  • Thorough data recording to inform DAFWA and other communities of effective control methods and management

See Cacti Media Release here 

Funding Acknowledgement

Project Prickle Coordinated Cactus Campaign is supported by