You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has had to revise its list of species which can be planted for the Billion Tree programme after it was revealed it was recommending pest weeds.
Forest and Bird said some of the plants suggested by MPI were classified as weeds, one of which - the Japanese spindle tree - was even banned by the ministry.
The group said the oversight had the potential to undo countless volunteer hours and millions of dollars of rates and taxes spent on weed eradication.
The list also included Taiwan Cherry, which the Tasman District Council has been working to eradicate from its region.
Forest and Bird chief conservation advisor Kevin Hackwell said it was a tragedy for the region's native biodiversity that the weed was being promoted on the list, as well as for ratepayers' investment.
"These weeds are not garden variety annoyances; they are major threats to our native plants and the animals which rely on them," Mr Hackwell said.
He said it was disappointing the ministry in charge of biosecurity and major weed eradication made this mistake.
Other weeds on the list, but which were also on weeds awareness programme Weedbusters' list include silver wattle, cherry laurel, douglas fir, strawberry tree and hawthorn.
In a statement, MPI said it may have included some trees in error, and it has re-reviewed its list and removed about a dozen species.
In May the government unveiled plans for the Billion Tree programme to be implemented over the next 10 years under the re-establishment of a state-owned forestry service.
The service was launched with an allocation of $15 million as part of an election campaign promise with New Zealand First.