Broad-leaved dock can be found throughout the UK, it is a native species commonly found on waste grounds, farmland, hedgerows, road side verges, woodlands and gardens and thrives in high nitrogen environments.
What’s the problem?
Broad-leaved dock can quickly spread creating dense stands which outcompete other species.
The species is slightly poisonous and can cause sickness in livestock, the milky sap can also cause mild dermatitis.
Each plant can produce 60,000 seeds a year, which can survive for up to 50 years in the soil making complete eradication difficult.
Deep taproots enable the plant to establish and thrive in a range of environments, fragments of taproots are able to produce new plants.
Broad-leaved dock is an injurious weed species and is listed under the Weeds Act 1959.
What are the legal implications?
The Weeds Act 1959 aims to prevent the spread of listed species onto private land (Ragwort, Broad-leaved dock, Curled dock, Creeping thistle, and Spear thistle).
The Act allows for powers of enforcement requiring land occupiers to take action to control infestations to prevent the spread of injurious weeds onto neighbouring land.
Failure to comply with enforcements can result in penalties and convictions.
Broad-leaved dock spreads via seeds which are dispersed by wind, water, animals and machinery and has the potential to spread large distances.
The plants have deep taproots which can grow to depths of 1.5m. Buds on pieces of broken taproot can create new plants spreading infestations.
Broad-leaved dock can hybridise with Curled dock, another injurious weed species.
Broad-leaved dock is a tall perennial species which typically grows to 1m in height.
It forms large oval leaves up to 25cm long
Flower spikes appear from June to October and have numerous clusters of reddish-brown flowers, these spikes die down once seed is produced.
Seeds have a toothed wing structure which aids dispersal.
Broad-leaved dock can be successfully treated with herbicide, applications are most effective whilst the plant is actively growing (April – October). Established infestations will require treatment over a number of years.
If you have concerns over Broad-leaved dock on your land, if you are unsure of your legal responsibilities, or, if you would like a quotation for control, please contact one of our specialist surveyors. Treatment costs start from £380.00 + VAT.