Friday, February 25th, 2011...6:36 am

More Information About Disposing of the Giant Hogweed Plant

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)by neil-hoskins

TheGardenLady received a follow-up question on her post about identifying and disposing of the Giant Hogweed plant.

I am wondering, once I dig up the roots, can it be burned safely? Or if it is dug up and bagged, then what do I do with it?

If you think that you have Giant Hogweed- Apiaceae (see here)  on your property or see it growing in spots where you walk, the first thing to do is to contact your state Department of Agriculture to ask what they recommend.

This plant is a Federal Noxious Weed, which makes it illegal to bring into the United States or move it across state lines because it is considered a public health hazard; so the states are trying to eradicate it.

The sap in Giant Hogweed has the potential to cause severe skin irritation in susceptible people and can cause temporary or possibly permanent blindness if it gets in the eyes.

According to the National Agricultural Pest Information System database Giant Hogweed has been reported to occur in Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

The plants first sprout in early spring from the roots or from seeds. The best time to identify Giant Hogweed is when it is blooming from mid-May through July.

When you contact your state’s Department of Agriculture they may send someone to identify the plant. If the plant is definitely Giant Hogweed and not a similar plant like Cow Parsnip, Purple-Stem Angelica, Poison Hemlock or Wild Parsnip the people from your state’s Department of Agriculture may assess the site and discuss management strategies with you and may visit your property periodically to determine the success of the control efforts and to check for any new seedlings that may sprout. Hogweed seeds may remain dormant in the soil for at least 5 years; therefore, eradication requires a long time commitment.

If you have to remove Giant Hogweed by yourself remember that you should:

NEVER touch or handle plants using your bare hands!

NEVER allow children to play in or with Giant Hogweed.

NEVER transplant Giant Hogweed.

NEVER plant its seeds or give away plants or seeds.

DO wash IMMEDIATELY with soap and cold water if the sap contacts your skin.

This information comes from the NJ Department of Agriculture- Division of Plant Industry Phone # 609 292 -5440

According to a person from the Phillip Alampi Beneficial Insect Rearing Laboratory in NJ, which also finds beneficial ways of eliminating noxious weeds in NJ, if your State Department of Agriculture does not send someone to your home to advise you, TheGardenLady was told to advise you to remove any seeds and put them in a black bag. It is important to get rid of the seeds. You can put other parts of the plant in a black bag. Put these bags in full sun and leave them in the full sun so that the material in the bags bake. After the material in the bags have spent time in the sun and the weeds and seeds in the bags have baked, you can put the bags into your trash for removal- unless your State Department advises differently.


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