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Japanese Knotwood Removal
30
Sep

The Most Invasive Plants In The UK

As has been repeatedly demonstrated throughout history, introducing non-native animals into a country can have devastating effects on its ecology and eco-systems. The repercussions of introducing non-native species can be so severe that a report detailing them was published by the British Ecological Society.

Fortunately, most invasive plant species that need to be monitored in Britain are already well-known, and a list of some of the most dangerous plants has been compiled. But there are hundreds of plants to keep an eye out for; if you’re concerned about trees or plants that may have already taken over, give one of our tree surgeons a call.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

It goes without saying that Japanese Knotweed is an invasive species and hence illegal to cultivate in accordance with the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981. The major problem is not that it is poisonous, but that it may grow up to 10 centimetres a day, wreaking havoc on buildings, pavement, and other infrastructure. Some mortgage companies will not even consider lending money on a house if it has been found to have this.

If you want to get rid of Japanese knotweed, you should dig it out from the ground up and discard the roots. Glyphosate (sold as Round Up at B&Q) is an effective solution in this situation. In this procedure, the leaves are sprayed and the remainder of the plant takes it up through the roots; however, this process may take several years.

Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed

In spite of its sometimes alluring appearance, enormous hogweed poses serious health risks. Any contact with its poisonous sap might result in painful burns or blisters. The sap can cause photosensitivity if it comes into contact with the skin and blindness if it enters the eyes.

Each flower can produce roughly 50,000 seeds, making it extremely invasive notwithstanding the harmful effects on human health. This implies it can quickly colonise new areas and potentially harm native flora and fauna. In light of its toxicity, we advise against attempting to remove it on your own, and instead encourage you to consult with a professional tree surgeon.#

Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam

The Himalayan balsam, which, like gigantic hogweed, can look attractive because to its profusion of pink blooms, is nonetheless another plant that requires close monitoring.

There are reports that a single plant may produce 2,500 seeds, which can then be “launched” to a distance of nearly 7 metres.

The primary issue with these invasive plants is that they, like many others, may grow to heights of 3 metres, blocking out the sunlight that smaller plants need to survive. This can have serious consequences for the natural world if not consumed by enough of our fauna.

In fact, it spreads so rapidly that governments are urging residents to eradicate any instances they encounter. Since it only lives for one year, you can simply cut it down and throw it away without worrying about spreading its seeds. Because of their fondness for wet environments, Himalayan balsam tend to flourish near water, such as along riverbanks or surrounding ponds.

New Zealand Pigmyweed

New Zealand Pigmyweed

The New Zealand Pigmyweed is a type of weed that can flourish in slow-moving or stagnant water, making it a potential hazard in places like canals and lakes.

Animals including frogs, fish, and newts are also negatively impacted by this plant. Extremely dense mats of this plant can be seen floating on the surface of the water and extending down to depths of three metres. The lack of oxygen in the water is a major problem, and in extreme cases, it can be fatal for all aquatic life, especially in smaller ponds.

Although it is quite rare in the UK, anyone who finds any should get rid of it immediately.

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

In closing, the last invasive species on the list is one that we debated whether or not to include due to the fact that it is a fan favourite (including ourselves). Sadly, Rhododendron is considered an invasive species due to its rapid proliferation in forests.

Rhododendrons are invasive and can grow rather tall, which can prevent other plants from receiving sunlight.

We don’t recommend you fully remove or destroy rhododendrons, like we do with some of the other invasive plants on our list, but rather that you take additional care to regulate their growth by trimming and pruning them regularly.

Community woodland organisations and other projects provide people the chance to care for trees and bushes like this one in their own neighbourhoods.

While the four species we’ve highlighted are among the worst, there are actually approximately a hundred different plant varieties that are known to be invasive, so if you want to plant something that isn’t native to the UK, you should definitely do your homework beforehand.

Get in touch with our tree surgeons right away if you need any further guidance or support with the removal of any unwanted plants.

steveparkinson

steveparkinson

The Tree Surgeon Org are independently owned specialist arborist contractors operating across the North West Of England. Covering all aspects of arboriculture and ecology, our tree surgeons aim to achieve and maintain the highest standards of tree services.

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