Giant Hogweed reporting and control
Hello, with some recent National reports of serious physical reactions to Giant Hogweed, I have taken notice of some specimens of that plant on my property. Does this need to be reported? If not, what do you recommend for eradication?
Giant Hogweed is indeed an invasive weed in our area. Sometimes, it gets confused with cow parsnip - make sure you can see the dark purple spots on the stems and leaf stalks, that are indicative of giant hogweed. They get to be about 15 to 20 feet tall. Also be careful, Giant hogweed exudes a watery sap that sensitizes skin to ultraviolet radiation, resulting in severe blistering and painful dermatitis.
Management of this invasive is tricky: Cutting giant hogweed stimulates resprouting and branching. Manual removal is dangerous to human health because of the toxic sap. Burning is not practical because of the human health hazards. So, herbicides might be your only option here: repeated applications will be necessary of glyphosate (several trade names) and it's most effective when applied during the bud state of growth. Other herbicide applications (such as dicamba or 2,4-D) need to be applied to young plants during active growth.
I hope this helps,