Invasive and Infectious Plants

Invasive plants

Invasive species upset the balance of the ecosystem as they may be bigger, faster growing or more aggressive than the native species. They may also have fewer natural predators to control numbers. The native species are often unable to compete and fairly quickly the invasive species take over.

Please do not place any part of Japanese Knotweed, or any other invasive weeds including Giant Hogweed, Himalayan Balsam, Australian Swamp Stonecrop, Parrots Feather, Floating Pennywort and Creeping Water Primrose, in your garden bin.

To help identify these plants please look at the Environment Agency booklet for full details - Environment Agency information on Japanese Knotweed or download the Environment Agency Leaflet - Managing Non Native Invasive Plants

Infectious Plants

Ash Die back (Chalara fraxinea)

The following advice follows consultation with the Environment Agency, the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), the Forestry Commission and others.
Ash die back is caused by a fungus in the ash tree leaves that can be spread by airborne pathways or by physical movement through human agents. Where a decision is made that leaves or saplings affected by the disease require disposal, the preferred options for dealing with waste arising is based on the overarching consideration to reduce the rate of spread of the infection to other areas by prioritising in situ disposal options that will destroy the spores and are available on or near an infected area.

  • How do I tell if I have trees affected by Chalara fraxinea?
    There is a pictorial guide available on the Forestry Commission website
  • How do I know if I am in an infected area?
    A map showing locations with confirmed cases of Chalara is available on the Forestry Commission website  Ash die back page. There are no officially designated infected areas but certain areas are showing clusters of outbreaks, such as East Anglia and Kent where infection is higher than in areas where isolated findings have been detected.
  • What can I do to help slow down the spread of Chalara?
    If you see it, report it to the Chalara helpline, details are below. People walking in woodlands and forests should ensure they stick to footpaths, and always clean their boots before and after walks to remove any mud, leaves and debris. Bike tyres should be cleaned to minimise spread of disease. Gardeners should not collect dead leaf litter from elsewhere or use as compost; spores can be transmitted via infected dead leaves and this could infect new areas.
  • I have leaves from a confirmed infected tree, / I live in an area where Chalara fraxinea has been confirmed. What do I do?
    Do not place leaves from an infected tree in your green lidded garden waste bin.
    Individual householders may leave infected leaves where they fall. However, if you do decide to do clear them they should ideally burn or bury affected leaves in your garden or compost the leaves but only in your garden. If leaves are used for compost do not remove the compost elsewhere e.g. to an allotment

If none of the above are possible put bagged infected leaves in your black lidded rubbish bin.