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Invasive weed control

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Site specific invasive weed control solutions

Twig has substantial experience in designing invasive weed control management solutions specific to your site. We will wherever possible use non chemical techniques as this should always be the starting point for invasive weed control, however we are fully qualified to undertake chemical applications should that be the best solution to the problem.  We have the equipment to stem inject, knap sack spray as well as spray larger areas with low ground pressure ATV equipment.  In some sensitive areas we use our weed wiper to target specific plants, avoiding the impact associated with less targeted ‘blanket’ spraying.

Our expertise includes the eradication of:

Originally introduced as an ornamental, Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive weed species has proved to be an absolute menace, spreading like wildfire it prevents native vegetation from growing, and can push its way through foundations, concrete and tarmac.
 
Japanese Knotweed originates from Asia and is a member of the Buckwheat family (Polygonaceae). Records reveal that it was introduced into the UK by a Victorian horticulturalist in 1824 as an ornamental plant and as a source of feed for cattle. Japanese Knotweed is now abundant throughout the whole of the UK.
 
Japanese Knotweed is a resilient plant that, in the UK and Europe, only spreads via the movement of its’ rhizomes. The rhizome, according to The Environment Agency Guidelines, can grow to a depth of 3m or more and up to 7m away from the plant. It can grow up to 10cm per day, so must be stopped as soon as it is spotted.  It has a bamboo like appearance, lush green in colour with heart-shaped leaves and has white flowers in September and October, depending on the geographical location.
 
Although the most common and notorious Japanese Knotweed it is not restricted to one species of Knotweed, there are varients of the species which include Giant Knotweed, Dwarf Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Knotweed, Lesser Knotweed, Russian Vine, Hedge Bindweed and Bohemica, a hybrid formed by Japanese Knotweed and Giant Knotweed.
 
We will survey your site to ascertain the level of infestation and then devise an eradication programme particularly for you. We can use targeted methodologies that have been designed to take into account the ecology of the area.

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a close relative of cow parsley and originates from Southern Russia and Georgia. It can reach over 3m (10ft) in height and although it is an impressive sight when fully grown, giant hogweed is invasive and potentially harmful due to chemicals in the sap which can cause photodermatitis or photosensitivity.  It is widely distributed in the wild and poses a serious risk to people who are unaware of its potential skin burning properties and although there is no statutory obligation for landowners to eliminate giant hogweed, local authorities will often take action to remove infestations in public areas. The favoured treatment methods are foliar spraying or stem injections.

Introduced to the UK in 1839, Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), a relative of the busy Lizzie,  has now become a naturalised plant.  It reaches well over head height, growing 2 to 3 metres in height, and is a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land. It grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes. It produces purplish pink (or rarely white) flowers between June and October; seed pods follow the flowers and open explosively when ripe. Timing of management is key to its eradication.

Ragwort is a highly invasive plant species which is native to the UK, predominantly colonising areas with poor soil quality. It is covered in the Weeds Act 1959 where you have a duty of care to control ragwort. It is a highly toxic plant that can lead to irreversible liver damage in livestock and humans. Ragwort is toxic to horses and cattle. In livestock, the alkaloids act to cause liver damage and death. Controlling young plants is key in getting effective management.
 
The flowering and seed-producing season can be extremely prolonged, from mid June until November. It is reported that some plants produce as many as 200,000 seeds per season. Seeds that do not germinate immediately can remain viable for up to ten years.
 
Twig follows the code of practice guidelines produced by DEFRA to prevent the spread of Ragwort and works with landowners to  develop a strategic and more cost-effective approach to the control of Ragwort.

Rhododendron ponticum (L.) is a non-indigenous evergreen shrub belonging to the Ericaceae family and was introduced to the UK in 1763.  Although it possesses attractive flowers, the Rhododendron can have quite a negative impact on an invaded site.  According to Forest Research, “it has been shown to reduce the numbers of earthworms, birds and plants and regenerative capacity of a site, leading to a reduction in the biodiversity of the area. Physical access to a site can be reduced by the density and size of mature bushes, and management costs then rise as the bushes need to be treated prior to other activities being carried out. Established bushes then act as a seed source for further invasions in adjacent areas, eradicating ground cover plants and interfering with the process of natural regeneration of trees”.

Sectors we work within:

  • Local Authorities or County Council Contracts
  • Facility Management
  • Parish Councils
  • Schools
  • Utility Schemes
  • Housing Developments
  • Renewable Energy

For more information on our invasive weed control services and for a conversation about how we can look after you, please call 01892 722948 or 01892 723226.