Heracleum Mantegazzianum, otherwise known as Giant Hogweed, is a non-native plant which is common to riverbanks, preferring moist fertile ground. However, it can also be found in gardens, railway embankments, allotments, woodland, heathland and common land.
It is often mistaken for Cow Parsley but grows much higher, reaching as high as 3m, it is a long stemmed green plant with white flowers but can be identified by it’s much larger height, jagged leaves and flowers as well as a hollow green stem with purple blotches and stiff white hairs.
It is a non-native plant, originally from Russia and Georgia, which can be hugely disruptive and often grow out of control. It can produce 20,000 seeds a year which can spread as far as 30 feet and be viable for as many as 15 years.
As it is considered an invasive alien and can out-compete more desired plants it is considered a threat to the wild and is classed as a weed. It is an offence to cause Giant Hogweed to grow in the wild in England and Wales and occupiers or owners of land where it grows may be required to arrange Hogweed plant removal.
One of the biggest issues with Giant Hogweed is its danger to humans. The plant’s sap can cause photosensitivity and photodermatitis to skin, causing painful burns and blisters when exposed to the sun. These scars can last from a few months to years.
Because of this, it is important that hogweed removal is carried out carefully as any contact with the skin can be painful. It is recommended to wear gloves, cover your arms and legs and wear a face mask when attempting to remove giant hogweed. It is also important to consider the risk of cut plant debris, contaminated clothes and tools as well.
The best time to remove Giant Hogweed is in May when the soil is moist, when the plants are young, at a reasonable height before they begin to flower. Dig up the plants at the route and supress with mulch.
Once removed, continue to be careful in how you handle Giant Hogweed, it is a controlled waste so will need to be disposed of at a licensed landfill site, alternatively dispose of it via compost or bonfire.
If there is a large amount of Hogweed to contend with or you are worried about the risk of coming into contact with Hogweed, it is best to leave it to the professionals to ensure it can be removed efficiently and safely. At Essex Tree Brothers, we are experts in Giant Hogweed removal and have the expertise to remove this common garden pest in an environmentally friendly way without using chemicals.
Whether you are a local authority managing public land, a homeowner or landlord fighting a losing battle in your garden or have large grounds that are difficult to maintain – we can provide our specialist service to complete giant hogweed removal.
We provide our services for both domestic, commercial and public sector clients – so please get in touch if you need professional removal of Hogweed. We’re happy to answer any questions or queries you may have and provide you with a free no-obligation quote for the work.
We are a family-run company with over ten years of experience in the industry and pride ourselves on our approachable, friendly and professional service. Call us now to find out more about our Hogweed removal services.