More Invasive weeds to come under Regulation

Following a review of the EU Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Regulations, 17 new species are being added to the list of ‘Species of Concern’ – 13 of these are plants!

This is important news for our ‘Invasive Weed Group Members‘ who already have a total of over 64 plants to keep an eye out for under existing legislation. It is now 77!

The 3 Types of Invasive Weed Control under IAS Regulation

The IAS Regulation 2014 provides for three distinct types of measures to control ‘Species of concern’:

  1. Prevention: measures aimed at preventing the introduction of IAS into the EU (e.g. restrictions on sale and supply via the horticultural trade).
  2. Early detection and rapid eradication: Members must put in place a surveillance system designed for ‘early detection’ and take rapid eradication measures to prevent establishment.
  3. Management: If already established, implement a management plan to prevent them spreading further and minimize the harm they cause, ecological or otherwise

We have had a quick look at the new plants considered ‘of concern’ to see if any are more-or-less likely to become a problem in the UK? We think these three are likely to enjoy our climate!

3 New Invasive Plants that ‘May’ become a Problem

1. The Tree of Heaven

Tree of Heaven - Potential IAS Regulation - Invasive PlantNo. 1 is the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). This is already included in our useful guide on the Practical Management of Invasive Non-Native Weeds. It is already present in the UK and frequently encountered in urban areas where its extensive suckering roots can cause a significant nuisance leading it to be coined by some the ‘Tree of Hell’! This tree also poisons the soil to prevent competition (so-called allelopathy), thus part of the reason why its nickname stuck!


2. The Baloon Vine

Baloon Vine - Potential IAS Regulation - Invasive PlantThe Baloon Vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum) a climbing shrub that is already classed as invasive in Australia, South Africa and Southern States of the USA. Something to look out for – no UK NBN records so far but one CABI record in France. Associated with drier climates/soils so global warming might increase the likelihood of arrival here especially in frost-free areas.


3. Japanese Hop

Japanese Hop - Potential IAS Regulation - Invasive PlantLastly, Japanese hop (Humulus japonicus; Humulus scandens) which hails from temperate-climate regions of China/Japan and is another plant already listed as invasive in North America. Like all ‘hops’ it is closely related to cannabis but unlike the common hop is absolutely no use for making beer at all (just in case you were wondering….).


For those wanting to see the full list

For all those that may want to find out more about invasive plants now covered under the IAS regulation, you can do so by visiting the European Commission website on the List of Alien Species.

As always, your Association is always here to help and you can always contact our PCA Technical Specialist Peter Fitzsimons on 0844 375 4301 or email for any help or advice the you may need.

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