Giant Hogweed

What is Giant Hogweed?

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), is a tall growing plant that poses a risk to health with a toxic sap that can cause severe skin burns. The plant towers at an impressive 3-5m with large white flower heads spanning up to 60cm and a thick hollow stem. It forms huge jagged leaves in the first year followed by a flower spike in the second year when it also produces seeds for reproduction.

Is Giant Hogweed poisonous?

Giant Hogweed is a dangerous plant and you should avoid coming into contact with it. The plant produces a phototoxic sap which on contact with skin in direct sunlight will cause a rash often progressing into burns and blistering within 24 hours. After exposure the resulting burns can last for several months and the skin may remain sensitive to sunlight for years after.

Having Giant Hogweed identified and controlled on your property is essential to ensure a safe environment and prevent this invasive species spreading further.

Giant Hogweed and the Law

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act it is an offence to allow Giant Hogweed to spread into areas out with your boundary. Given that each seed head can produce up to 30,000 seeds this could happen quicker than you realise. Its important to take action as soon as possible to avoid fines and higher treatment costs if the infestation spreads.

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Giant Hogweed

Manual Control 

Giant Hogweed can be removed by manually hand digging out the plant.  Ideally this should be performed early in the season before the flower head forms and is only suitable for small areas. The process may need to be repeated over a period of time until any remaining seeds in the soil germinate. Extreme caution must be exercised when controlling Giant Hogweed and appropriate personal protective equipment worn. Larger excavations can remove both the plant and seeds with options for offsite disposal or onsite burial / treatment.

Herbicide Control

Herbicides are one of the most effective treatment methods for Giant Hogweed. Applications should be made in the spring to early summer (March-July) with follow up treatments to tackle any late emerging or missed plants. Our skilled operatives ensure a potent dose is applied to the target areas in accordance with current legislation.

Invasive Species

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We can tell you if you definitely have Japanese

Knotweed on your property and recommend the

best course of action.

We can tell you if you definitely have Japanese Knotweed on your property and recommend the best course of action.