Professional Himalayan Balsam Removal In Swansea And Throughout South Wales
Need help getting rid of Himalayan Balsam? We are experts in the removal of Himalayan Balsam and other invasive weeds and cover Swansea and South Wales. Get in touch today for your free, no obligation survey within 48 hours.
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Have you discovered an unwanted Himalayan Balsam infestation on or around your property in Swansea ?
For expert and professional Himalayan Balsam removal in Swansea and South Wales we have over 15 years experience of invasive weed removal serving homeowners and buyers as well as construction companies and property developers.
What is Himalayan Balsam ?
Himalayan balsam goes by the scientific name of Impatiens glandulifera. It belongs to the same family of plant as the busy Lizzie. Other names for it include Indian balsam, Jumping Jack and even Policeman’s Helmet.
Originally heralding from the Western Himalayas, Himalayan balsam was first introduced to the UK in 1839 and is considered a non-native invasive plant that spreads rapidly and aggressively, often outcompeting local plant species for light, space and nutrients.
An herbaceous annual plant it is commonly found on riverbanks and near waste land, this distinctive looking plant can grow over head height and has more recently become much more prevalent in domestic gardens and allotments where its quick spreading nature can smother and dominate native plants and disrupt local ecosystems.
Why control Himalayan Balsam?
Legal Implications to Landowners
Himalayan balsam has become such a problem to the UK environment and economy in recent times that it is now listed as a species of special concern under retained European Union (EU) law. This means it is an offence to plant or cause these plants to grow in the wild, or intentionally release them into the environment.
Also, Himalayan balsam plant material (including soil contaminated with seeds) is a ‘controlled waste’ under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which means it can only be transported by a registered waste carrier to suitably permitted or exempt sites.
Effect on Habitat Availability and Quality
As previously mentioned, Himalayan balsam outcompetes almost all of our native plants, in turn effecting invertebrate and vertebrate species diversity. Due to the shallow root structure of Himalayan balsam, it can completely alter the infected area’s soil conditions and structure once the native plants have been overcome. This can result in destabilisation of soil rich watercourse banks causing direct negative impacts upon terrestrial and freshwater food webs, particularly via siltation of watercourses.
If like us you like to get out in nature you will have noticed how vast areas of our countryside that were previously accessible are no longer due to uncontrolled growth
Identifying Himalayan Balsam
Despite its pesky and destructive nature Himalayan Balsam is an incredibly beautiful plant when in flower and has even been called the UK’s most attractive invasive plant. Unless you know exactly what to look for it can be very hard to locate and identify outside of the summer months when it flowers with what can be quite beautiful bright purplish pink flowers (sometimes but rarely they can also be white).
These flowers are often helmet shaped, hence the nickname ‘Policeman’s Helmet’ as one of the variations of the plants name. The plants stems are generally green and red in colour with a hollow cellular structure not to dissimilar from Japanese knotweed that can grow 2 to 3 metres in height. The key difference being the walls of the stem are much thinner making it easy to fold over/snap.
How Does it Spread?
Himalayan Balsam spread is the result of high seed production (up to 2,500 small seeds per plant), explosive seed dispersal from the parent plant and floating seeds. Each seed pod held on a mature plant contains 4-16 seeds. When these are touched, the seed pod explodes, propelling the seeds up to 7m from the parent plant. Seeds can then float downstream, be carried by attachment to animals (and people) and/or moved in contaminated soil.
You will most often find Himalayan balsam in clustered infestations along watercourses but again it’s fast and aggressive spreading nature means you may see it alongside all kinds of waste lands and areas adjacent to waste land, as well as railways.
Himalayan Balsam Removal
There are a few different options for removing Himalayan Balsam depending on the scope and severity of the infestation as well as the location and surroundings.
These include :
Cutting and Mowing
Persistence is Key
If you already have an established Himalayan Balsam infestation on your property, then you likely already have a ‘seed bank’ in the infected area. This Is a build up of seeds released by previous growth within the soil. With any Himalayan Balsam infestation, the goal is to prevent the new growth’s ability to lay down new seeds as well as opening the area up to allow previously laid seeds to germinate. Once they have germinated, the whole management process should be repeated over and over until no new growth occurs. This can take years of concerted effort; most management strategies start at around 3 years.
Expert Himalayan Balsam Removal in Swansea and South Wales
As with any invasive and fast spreading plant or weed it is imperative to get professional advice as soon as you think you may have a problem as catching it early is often the key.
All of the options for management are labour intensive and require quite a bit of knowledge to return effective results, that’s why at Clearsafe we will survey free of charge and produce a quote for an effective tailored management strategy for you.
With tailored packages to suit your needs we offer a free, no obligation survey usually within 48 hours if you think you may have a Himalayan Balsam issue on any type of property so give us a call today and let us get to the root of your problem.
We can provide you with:
- A free Himalayan Balsam Removal Survey, usually within 48 hours
- A Survey Report and Quote
- A Himalayan Balsam Treatment and Management Plan
- An Insurance Backed Guarantee
- A Himalayan Balsam Management Programme ( Mechanical Control Mowing / Strimming )
- Development advice onsite from a construction professional across South Wales
- Onsite advice, training and materials for construction companies
Call Us Free On 0800 634 9275