The American skunk cabbage was planted for a long time as an ornamental plant in bog gardens and next to ponds. In fact, until as recently as 2009 it was available at garden centers and such. But it escaped gardens and got into the wild and there it is causing damage to local flora. The dense and large leaves hide other plants from the sun and can thrive in quite a range of environments from shaded to full-light and in various soil conditions. American skunk cabbage removal UK plans need to factor in that though the initial invasion is slow it will take hold and it will be a future issue if not controlled now.
What does it look like?
Its Latin name is Lysichiton americanus and it has large leaves that are leathery and between 40cm to 11/2m tall. Its flowers are up to 45cm in height and are bright yellow. It flowers in the UK around April and then the leaves follow after. In the centre is a spike which is where the seeds are. You see it more in wet woodlands, bogs, along ponds and streams and other waterways. The seeds travel along the waterways as well as by animals and birds.
American skunk cabbage removal
Often when traced back to the source it has spread along waterways from people’s gardens and ornamental ponds. To deal with American skunk cabbage removal UK experts will remove the source as well as the patches of plants that are infecting the local rivers. They start out in ditches and smaller tributaries that then feed into main rivers. The issue with this weed is that it spreads not just vis its seed dispersal but also through its rhizome roots. A seed bank can stay in the soil and keep building up for 8 to 9 years and still be viable. This makes controlling it a lengthy process some might prefer to hand over to some skilled experts. The good news is that it grows slowly so plants are not producing flowers and seeds until or at least three years old.
You can dig the plant out but as mentioned since the main rhizomes are also how it spreads, these must be a part of what you dig out. It is essential too that all plant matter is disposed of properly, through drying out and burning away from water, or by composting in a secure manner. It is hard work, and often if you are near water, wet and muddy work too. You can also take short-term action by cutting the spadix before the seeds come sometime in spring. You can opt for American skunk cabbage removal using chemicals and it is going to be more effective in dense sections. But only qualified people should use this method when you are close to waterways. You do not want to use the wrong chemicals and contaminate the water and damage the local environment.