Specialised new training aimed at the eradication of Japanese knotweed was launched at the influential BIGGA BTME Turf Management Exhibition in Harrogate last week.
Cheshire-based Reaseheath College and Stem Injection Systems (Europe) used the show to jointly promote training in the use of an innovative new direct stem injection system which is set to augment traditional chemical spraying and 'dig and dump' treatment methods for non-native invasive plants.
The hand-held stem injection applicator works by delivering a measured dose of herbicide into the stem of the plant rather than just to the leaf surface. This means it targets only the plants injected and there is no environmental risk of spray drift, run-off or contamination of watercourses and other sensitive vegetation. Injection directly into the plant stem means the method is unaffected by rain or wind and can be applied in all weathers throughout the growing season which assists in dramatically reducing treatment times for the removal of Japanese knotweed to a single season.
Reaseheath College, based in Nantwich, which has one of the biggest horticultural departments in the country, has devised a specific training course in the use of the new equipment and is looking for accreditation with a national awarding body.
Head of Horticulture Ian Benison said: "We are delighted to be able to work with such a forward thinking and rapidly expanding company towards developing and delivering training for the control of Japanese knotweed. We are expecting a great demand from industry because there are no other courses like this in the country."
Stem Injection Systems (Europe), based in Stockport and part of the Cityscape group, is a market leading specialist in the treatment and management control of a range of invasive plant species. Joint managing director Richard Podmore said: "This latest training module is an extension of our ongoing partnership with Reaseheath which has already significantly increased treatment awareness of Japanese knotweed amongst horticultural students.
"We are delighted to be involved with a college renowned for its horticultural excellence and share its confidence that this latest stem injection training module will be very popular across the industry."
Richard Podmore, Joint Managing Director, Japanese Knotweed Control,Tel : 0845 643 1165