In Spring, you may be forgiven for appreciating the beauty of the Rhododendron in flower but for me it is a bitter sweet moment. Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum) are an invasive, non- native species and left unchecked they can smother a woodland. They create dense shade and prevent other plant and tree species from growing. In addition to this, Rhododendron also harbour the fungal like organisms of the Phytophthora family. This disease carrying organism has led to swathes of our native woodland species dying (including Larch and Sweet Chestnut).
There are many different species of Rhododendron, some you will find as specimens on display in gardens but the Rhododendron ponticum is the invasive type found in many of our local woodlands.
Eradication of Rhododendron is labour-intensive but a priority for woodland owners and managers if we are to safe guard the future of our native woodland species. Here at Ben Mason Arb we have the knowledge and equipment to tackle Rhododendron clearance, if you would like some advice or a quote for this type of project then do get in touch.
The Forest Research website is a great resource for information on tree pests and diseases that are currently a threat to our UK woodlands.