Freegling plants is great, but there are some invasive species that should not be allowed to be spread. After conversations on Central in June 2022 (https://discourse.ilovefreegle.org/t/plants-specifically-tree-sapling-queries/5096), we reviewed the content of this page and concluded we do need to be careful about some specific plants, but that no saplings or trees are illegal to give away.
https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=530 has some good information. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) there are nearly 40 plants that are banned from being shared or propagated, the most common are:
Yellow Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus)
The sale or exchange, or export in any living form from your garden including the spread into neighbouring gardens of Yellow Skunk Cabbage [Lysichiton americanus] was prohibited as an invasive alien plant under the EU Regulations in March 2016.
From the RHS website :-https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/details?plantid=1209 "From March 2016 The EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species will prohibit the sale and exchange of this species. Gardeners who already have it in their gardens must ensure it does not spread further.
A suggestion to kill the plant is and allow it to then be disposed of as organic matter is to simply place it in a doubled bin bag (or as many as necessary) sealed with an air excluding knot and leave it to rot for a year or so. Taking it to the recycling alive would be an offence and risk spreading it further.
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
A close relative of cow parsley, it can reach over 3m (10ft) in height. It is potentially invasive and the sap can cause severe skin burns. It is widely distributed in the wild and poses a serious risk to people who are unaware of its potential for harm.
Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
Bamboo-like stems shoot to over 2.1m (7ft), suppressing all other growth. Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 includes Japanese knotweed and other invasive non-native plants.
The full list (at 2019) is:
- Acacia saligna (Acacia cyanophylla)/
Golden wreath wattle
- Ailanthus altissima/Tree of heaven
- Alternanthera philoxeroides/Alligator weed
- Andropogon virginicus/Broomsedge bluestem
- Asclepias syriaca/Common milkweed
- Baccharis halimifolia/Eastern baccharis
- Cabomba caroliniana/Fanwort
- Cardiospermum grandiflorum/Balloon vine
- Cortaderia jubata/Purple pampas grass
- Eichhornia crassipes/Water hyacinth
- Elodea nuttallii/Nuttall's waterweed
- Ehrharta calycina/Perrenial veldt grass
- Gunnera tinctoria/Chilean rhubarb
- Gymnocoronis spilanthoides/Senegal tea plant
- Heracleum mantegazzianum/Giant hogweed
- Heracleum persicum/Persian hogweed
- Heracleum sosnowskyi/Sosnowsky's hogweed
- Humulus scandens/Japanese hop
- Hydrocotyle ranunculoides/Floating pennywort
- Impatiens glandulifera/Himalayan balsam
- Lagarosiphon major/Curly waterweed
- Lespedeza cuneata (Lespedeza juncea var. sericea)/Chinese bushclover
- Ludwigia grandiflora/Water-primrose
- Ludwigia peploides/Floating primrose-willow
- Lygodium japonicum/Vine-like fern
- Lysichiton americanus/American skunk cabbage
- Microstegium vimineum/Japanese stiltgrass
- Myriophyllum aquaticum/Parrot's feather
- Myriophyllum heterophyllum/Broadleaf watermilfoil
- Parthenium hysterophorus/Whitetop weed
- Pennisetum setaceum/Crimson fountaingrass
- Persicaria perfoliata/Asiatic tearthumb
- Prosopis juliflora/Mesquite
- Pueraria lobata/Kudzu vine
- Salvinia molesta (Salvinia adnata)/Salvinia moss
- Triadica sebifera (Sapium sebiferum)/Chinese tallow
From Gov.uk (Moving prohibited plants, plant pests, pathogens and soil - GOV.UK:
You must have a licence to import, move or keep any plants, parts of plants or seeds listed in Schedule 6 of the [Plant Health (EU Exit) Regulations 2020]([(The Plant Health (Phytosanitary Conditions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020)The Plant Health (Phytosanitary Conditions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020]
[Updated Legislation from Gov.uk]:
ANNEX 13List of plants, plant products and other objects for which a UK plant passport is required for their movement within Great Britain or for their introduction into Great Britain from a CD territory. Includes many things but specifically ‘Plants of Abies Mill., Larix Mill., Picea A. Dietr., Pinus L. and Pseudotsuga Carr over three metres in height, including felled or fallen trees, other than fruit, seeds, leaves or foliage.
There are also threatened plants that freegling helps, for instance Marsh Marigold in particular has the "Status: Amber - Vulnerable and Near-Threatened" (from the Plantlife website:-http://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/discover-wild-plants-nature/plant-fungi-species/marsh-marigold)
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