'Himalayan Balsam' by Elaine Underwood 

Why does Himalayan balsam matter?

Himalayan balsam is a pretty, but imported menace, that crowds out other native plants and erodes the soil of river banks. Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds! The seed pods explode to propel the seeds as far as 6 or 7 metres! Hence its rapid spread if left unchecked.

How to get rid of Himalayan balsam? 

Himalayan balsam is easily pulled up by hand with its roots intact. It’s good practice to snap the stem between the roots and the first node to stop it regrowing. Ideally it should be removed before it flowers. If not flowering it can be left on the ground to compost where it quickly rots down. Regular trimming or slashing of balsam is also effective in weakening the plants and it will eventually die off.. If the balsam is flowering, it should be taken to a registered waste centre

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