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Rhododendron ponticum

Friend or Foe

Foresters hate it gardeners love it

Gardeners are often perplexed when landowners chop down or grub out rhododendron growing wild in woods and other habitats....

A native of SE Europe and Western Asia, this 19th century introduction has escaped and spread from parks, gardens and ornamental plantings to native woodland and other valuable habitats.

For gardeners with a large garden Rhododendron ponticum can produce a quick screen or shelter with an attractive flower in the spring. It grows well on almost any type of soil, but thrives on peaty or sandy soils.

From the forester’s point of view, despite its attractive show of spring flowers, invasive rhododendron can be a real headache producing dense thickets where little else can survive.

As well as woodland, rhododendron can also colonize and swamp valuable heath and grassland habitats and even sand dunes.

Rhododendron's ability to regenerate rapidly from seed, suckers and rootlets means it is invasive, forming tangles of impenetrable evergreen vegetation.

This habit has left it few friends amongst conservationists and forest managers.
If you have the space Rhododendron ponticum offers a real alternative to the now out of fashion leylandii conifer hedging. The reasons the forresters hate it is the same reasons it makes a great sound barrier.




 

 

Rhododendron Ponticum

Rhododendron bud

Makes a great sound barrier

 

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