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Control of Invasive Non-Native Species - Rhododendron Control

You must keep evidence that you have followed the guidance in the Forestry Code of Practice Guide - Managing and controlling invasive Rhododendron.

If you intend to spray near a watercourse, obtain SEPA's agreement to the operation prior to any spraying. If you intend to spray on or near a designated area, obtain SNH's agreement to the operation prior to any spraying.

Manual eradication and control. This method must be used for sensitive sites and/or for difficult areas where mechanised clearance methods are not possible. This involves the manual cutting and burning of Rhododendron. All Rhododendron plants must be cut as low as possible to the ground to ensure that minimum re-growth occurs. Subsequent operations must ensure that no re-growth results from flailed stools, this includes manual clearance and the use of herbicide treatments.

Mechanised eradication and chemical control follow up. This includes the use of flails fitted on machinery and the use of herbicide treatment on re-growth. Subsequent operations must ensure that no re-growth results from flailed stools. A second application of herbicide may be required on some sites and is allowed.

Chemical control of standing Rhododendron. This involves injecting the stems with herbicide which must kill off the established Rhododendron bushes. Follow up applications of herbicide or hand pulling of seedlings must ensure there are no successful seedlings or sprouting bushes on site. You must follow the Code of Practice for herbicide spraying and guidance in the Health & Safety Executive application of pesticides by hand-held equipment document. There is also information to assist you on the Forestry Commission website on Reducing pesticide use in forestry.

Category of vegetation cover

Three different categories of Rhododendron cover are described below. They are defined by the nature of the infestation and the work required to clear it. Each category has its own standard cost rate.

Manual control

Mechanised control

Light infestation/ easy access

Bushes are less than 1.5 metres high and on a flat site with a slope of less than 15 degrees.

Bushes are less than 1.5 metres high and on a flat site with a slope of less than 15 degrees.

Medium infestation/ access

  • Bushes are less than 1.5 metres high and on a site with a slight slope (greater than 15 degrees) or
  • Bushes are greater than 1.5 metres high and on a flat site (less than 15 degrees) or
  • Bushes are greater than 1.5 metres high and on a site with a slight slope (greater than 15 degrees).
  • Bushes are less than 1.5 metres high and on a site with a slight slope (greater than 15 degrees) or
  • Bushes are greater than 1.5 metres high and on a flat site (less than 15 degrees) or

Difficult access

  • Bushes are less than 1.5 metres high and on a steep site (with a slope greater than 30 degrees) or
  • Bushes are higher than 1.5 metres and on a site with a steep slope (greater than 30 degrees).

Bushes are higher than 1.5 metres and on a site with a slight slope (greater than 15 degrees and less than 30 degrees).