The top 4 invasive plants and what to do with them

December 5, 2016

The UK has a considerable problem with invasive plants.

Most of these plants have been brought over to the UK either for their exotic nature and natural beauty by well-meaning traders or simply by accident. Some of these are not unattractive plants but they all share something in common - that they are tough, tenacious, impossible to control and will starve out all other species in encounters. GD Environmental are experts in safely disposing of hazardous green waste.

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia Japonica) 

Perhaps one of the most famous of all invasive plants, Japanese knotweed has broad oval leaves with a truncated base and distinct raised nodes that have a similar appearance to bamboo. It was brought to the UK in the early nineteenth century but was soon declared an enemy of wildlife lovers due to its highly contagious nature. Its appearance in a garden can also drastically reduce the value of a house. 

Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster frigidus)

Another non-native invasive plant that was initially popularised by gardeners, it is quickly spread by birds, animals and wind. There could be as many as 300 species of cotoneaster, with five of them considered a five star critical risk. The red berries produced by the shrub is attractive and birds enjoy them. However, the plants ability to spread itself out far and wide coupled with its extraordinary strength makes it a nuisance to gardeners everywhere.

Floating Pennywort (Hydrocotyle Ranunculoides) 

Selling Floating Pennywort in the UK was made illegal in April 2014. The Floating Pennywort has ironically been flourishing over here, whilst it has become a threatened species in its native United States. It is noticeable by its stems that float and spread horizontally on water and its kidney shaped, lobed leaves that can grow up to 35cm long. The flowers are pale yellow or green and contain small fruits that disperse seeds. Instead of choking water life in your garden, bring your floating pennywort to us to be safely destroyed.

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum Mantegazzianum)

The T-Rex of the invasive plant world, Giant Hogweed towers as high as six metres, whereas the native hogweed grows no larger than two metres. It thrives on river banks and derelict urban sites, quickly crowding out other species. Contact with the plant leads to painful blistering that can take hours to appear, so always wear gloves and cover arms and legs when making any contact. At GD Environmental we take no risks with giant hogweed and neither should you.

It is imperative than when clearing invasive plants that all leaves, roots and stems are collected up carefully and taken to a registered site in which they can be destroyed. Apart from safeguarding our rural and urban spaces from these aggressive plants, failing to act appropriately is likely to mean you are breaking the law.

Here at GD Environmental we understand the importance of safeguarding against invasive plants and are able to offer a complete service in disposal of the hazardous green waste associated with invasive plant species. Our disposable options include hiring skips, arranging with us to collect it ourselves or you can simply drop it off at one of our fully licensed and regulated recycling stations.