A pre-historic plant is invading our driveways, our pavements, our gardens…..

As the above suggests, Horsetail has actually been around on planet Earth for quite some time. It is a derivative of larger plants that grew some 270 million years ago, during the carboniferous period, and is a relative of the fern.

As planet Earth is getting more populated, more developed, there is becoming an ever increasing conflict between man and nature. Horsetail has always been perceived to be a nuisance for keen gardeners. It is native to the UK, feathery in appearance when mature, that spreads quickly via rhizome and spores to form a dense carpet of foliage, crowding out less vigorous plants in soft landscaped areas, such as flower beds.

By comparison to other plants that are invasive, such as Japanese knotweed, Horsetail is fairly subtle in appearance, however, is also becoming an ever more noticeable problem within areas of hardstanding such as pavements and driveways, exploiting weaknesses through cracks and joints. Developers are now having to increase their awareness of the potential issues which Horsetail may cause post-construction. As a result, more measures to monitor and prevent the spread of this hardy and persistent plant are having to be implemented at the early stages of a development.

Similar to Japanese knotweed, an appropriate mechanical remediation strategy and/or herbicide treatment programme will likely be required to eradicate the Horsetail infestation. All works are recommended to be undertaken by an invasive plant specialist.

Contact JKSL today, if you are being invaded by this pre-historic plant!

Jonathan Harris
Senior Surveyor