Common Name

  • Cotoneaster Species (Wall Cotoneaster, Himalayan cotoneaster, Entire-leaved Cotoneaster, Hollyberry Cotoneaster, Small-leaved Cotoneaster)

Latin Name

  • Cotoneaster horizontalis
  • Cotoneaster integrifolius
  • Cotoneaster simonsii
  • Cotoneaster bullatus
  • Cotoneaster microphyllus

What’s the problem?

  • Cotoneasters are non-native species which can quickly out compete native plants.
  • Berries are fed upon by birds dispersing seeds over large areas.
  • Forms an extensive root system which is difficult to remove.
  • Legal implications if allowed to spread onto neighbouring land.

Legal Implications?

  • Listed as a Schedule 9 species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
  • It is an offence to plant or allow to spread onto adjacent land and into the wild.
  • Possible fines and prison sentence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
  • It is not an offence to have Cotoneaster species on your land and you do not need to notify anyone on the presence of this species.
  • Soils containing Cotoneaster species are classified as controlled waste and should be disposed of at licensed landfill.

In Detail

  • Species are native to East Asia and were first introduced to the UK in 1824 as ornamental plants.
  • There are now over 100 species cultivated in the UK, not all species are listed as Schedule 9 Species.
  • Once established the species can dominate areas outcompeting native flora creating dense thickets
  • Seeds are spread over large areas by birds as they feed on the berries, seed longevity may be several years


  • A large group of shrubs and small trees, some deciduous and some evergreen
  • Wall Cotoneaster is the most widespread of the species in the UK and has distinctive flattened branches which spread horizontally in a ‘herringbone’ shape.
  • Himalayan cotoneaster is an erect deciduous shrub which grows to 3-4 metres in height, the leaves of this species are 1.5-2.5 cm long
  • Small-leaved cotoneaster is an evergreen species with very small leaves 0.5-0.8cm long
  • All Cotoneaster species are thorn-less, leaves are shiny and hairless on the upper surface and slightly hairy on the underneath of the leaf
  • The plants produce small white of pink flowers in spring and summer followed by red/orange berries in clusters

Control Methods


  • Young seedlings can be effectively pulled however larger plants will develop multiple stems from the large root mass making it difficult to remove the whole plant
  • Root mass can be excavated to remove entire plant and prevent regrowth
  • Material should be chipped or burnt on site or removed to licensed landfill as controlled waste


  • It is possible to spray smaller plants with herbicide however chemical uptake in larger plants is reduced
  • Addition of wetting agents improve uptake of herbicide
  • Larger plants should be stump treated after cutting to prevent regrowth

If you have concerns over Cotoneaster on your land, if you are unsure of your legal responsibilities, or, if you would like a quotation for control, please contact one of our specialist surveyors. Treatment costs start at £380.00 + VAT.