There are many different invasive species that have found their way to yet UK, and unfortunately Giant Hogweed is one of them. Giant Hogweed resembles Common Hogweed, but has caused much more of a stir due to the potential dangers associated with it.
Everybody that handles Giant Hogweed must do so with care, as the sap contains ‘furocoumarins’, which make skin extremely sensitive to light. When skin has come into contact with the sap of Giant Hogweed and direct sunlight, it can cause severe burns and blisters to develop. In some cases these are serious enough to require hospital treatment, and leave skin sensitive to sunlight for some time thereafter. This is particularly dangerous if the sap comes into contact with eyes.
For this very reason, it is important to ensure safety when dealing with this particular plant. As experts in handling invasive species, we can professionally control, eradicate, and remove Giant Hogweed without danger to yourself.
For more information, visit our Giant Hogweed page.
What Does It Look Like?
Giant Hogweed, also known as Cartwheel-Flower, Giant Cow Parsnip, or Giant Cow Parsley, can be identified fairly easily by its enormous height and thick green stems. The stems can be up to 8cm in diameter. The leaves can be over a metre wide, and are pointed in shape, with hairs on the underside. Giant Hogweed can also be identified through its white flowers (in clusters), which face upwards.
Although the Giant Hogweed plant itself is relatively short-lived, it can produce hundreds of thousands of seeds that can spread over the surrounding area. Action must be taken to control this species, preventing it from flowering and spreading further.
A History of Giant Hogweed
As with many of the invasive species that we specialise in, Giant Hogweed was introduced to the UK in the Victorian era. As a native to Central Asia, it was initially brought across as an ornament, due to its extraordinary size. It is also prevalent in Europe, the USA, and Canada.
How Do You Combat Giant Hogweed?
There is a number of ways to target Giant Hogweed, both in terms of control and complete eradication.
Chemical treatment can be a preferred method to combat the growth of Giant Hogweed, but can take a long time to make considerable impact. Herbicides that can reduce the impact of this plant are Glyphosate and Triclopyr, but they must be used with caution. Each of these options are appropriate for differing situations, i.e. Glyphosphate near water and Triclopyr on dryer areas. These can also be applied via spray or stem injection. Seek professional advice before using these chemicals.
As well as controlling Giant Hogweed through chemical means, there are more manual methods of removing the Hogweed problem. Simply cutting the plant from the stem or leaves only makes the matter worse in the long run, because it encourages further growth. However, attacking Giant Hogweed from the roots can have superb effects. On agricultural land, ploughing can also prevent an infestation from spreading.
For expert advice on how to tackle your Giant Hogweed problem, including a full treatment plan and guarantee, call TP Knotweed today on 0800 389 1911.
Responsible removal is necessary to prevent the spread of Giant Hogweed. By moving soil containing seeds and by interfering with a flowering plant, humans can help this species thrive. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause Giant Hogweed to grow in the UK.
The Impact of Giant Hogweed
Whilst Japanese Knotweed is particularly dangerous in terms of damaging property, Giant Hogweed can more damaging to the health of the people living around it. The dangers associated with its sap must be recognised, and action must be taken if people are likely to be come into contact with the plant.
Furthermore, Giant Hogweed can have a devastating impact on the environment that surrounds it. Due to its enormous size, it can shade other plants and reduce their chances of thriving. It can also contribute to the erosion of riverbanks because after the plant dies, it leaves large bare spaces which are easily worn way.
For more information about invasive species, including Japanese Knotweed and how you can eradicate and remove it safely, get in touch with TP Knotweed today by calling 0800 389 1911. You can also contact us online.