Rhododendron Invasion Across the UK

Very large rhododendron
The dangers of the spread of rhododendron ponticum across the UK, and how to clear rhododendron

Rhododendron ponticum is causing severe damage to our flora and fauna, destructing many native habitats throughout the UK. Rhododendron is extremely fast-growing – once established, native plants and young trees cannot grow due to the lack of light through its thick canopy. When native plants and grasses disappear, animals, insects and butterflies cannot survive, and our important biodiversity is lost.

Rhododendron thrives in damp, mild conditions, and poor acidic soils. Self-seeding bushes soon spread, forming large impenetrable areas. Lack of management and control has allowed Rhododendron to invade large areas of woodland, wetland, heathland and countryside across the UK.

Time to take control

TreeClear UK after a successful rhododendron infestation clearance

The management of rhododendron is of great importance to the future of the UK countryside. By removing rhododendron, we can restore our woodlands, estates and wetlands – turning them back into a valuable asset. Controlling rhododendron encourages natural regeneration of native species – attracting insects, bees and butterflies, and increasing the biodiversity of the site.

The Treeclear advantage

Treeclear UK Ltd offers various options for the removal of rhododendron depending on the the size, density, location and ground conditions. 


Our excavators are light weight with low ground pressure. They are designed to reduce damage to the existing flora as well as work on boggy terrain.

Cutting heads

Over the past 10 years we have designed and developed a disc mulching head for rhododendron and other woody vegetation. These high output mulching heads are are extremely fast – enabling us to clear large areas in little time.

Tracked carriers

Low ground pressure, light weight and extremely powerful – these machines are fitted with either a 3-meter-wide twin disc or 2.7-meter-wide drum mulching heads. Tracked carriers are ideal for larger areas of rhododendron mulching on various types of terrain. 

Why mechanical clearance

Flailing offers a fast and cost-effective way of dealing with tall, dense and impenetrable rhododendron on various sites. With a layer of mulched material over the surface, the site looks clean and tidy and is easy to travel across. The mulched debris can act as a matrix which creates a microclimate encouraging the growth of mosses, ferns and other native species. 

Follow up control

Once mechanical flailing has taken place, the majority of the stumps will be damaged – allowing insects, fungi, water and frost to penetrate them, causing them to rot and die. Some of the stumps will re-sprout requiring further control by the application of herbicide. Treeclear UK can advise you on future control methods and the ongoing management of your site.

Get In touch

For advice on Rhododendron removal, contact our team today.

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