Our Services - Vegetation


Why do we treat weeds?

Weed growth can trap litter and debris. Weed growth in road gullies and channels can slow down and prevent our drainage systems from working. Weeds can damage paved surfaces, displace kerbstones and crack walls making maintenance difficult and costly, as well as many people finding it unsightly. 

When do we spray weeds?

We spray the weeds on the pavements and the edge of the road once a year. We start our weed spraying in the summer and can only carry it out in good weather.

Our weed spraying programme

What if the weeds are in Eastbourne?

We do not carry out weed control in Eastbourne. This is carried out by Eastbourne Borough Council. You can contact them on: trees@eastbourne.gov.uk

My road has been sprayed but it has not killed the weeds?

The type of spray we use enters the plant through its leaves and breaks down the weeds' cell structure rather than killing it on contact. The spray makes sure that all parts of the plant are destroyed and slows down any regrowth. This means that once the weeds have been sprayed it can take between 10 and 14 days for the herbicide to take effect.

Why was there nothing coming out of the spray jet on the weed control vehicle?

If the vehicle is travelling between sites it will not be spraying until it has reached the next site.

Spraying only takes place where there is a kerb and channel. If there are no weeds present in the kerb and channel no spraying will take place.

Can we spray on windy days?

When spraying on windy days, special low drift spray jets are used and vegetable oil is added to the mix. This increases the droplet size and reduces the spray drift.

Will herbicides harm my baby or dog, cat etc?

We use a herbicide which has been nationally approved as safe for use. It is applied at a ratio of 5% herbicide to 95% water. At this approved rate of application, it is harmless to all mammalian species and birds. It is also approved for use near watercourses.

Speed of spraying vehicles

In rural areas the spraying system on board the vehicle is designed to spray at up to 30mph.

In urban areas the mini tractors have a top speed of 8mph but the average spraying speed is around 4mph. It is impossible for the tractors to exceed 8mph.

How we deal with Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed requires repeated treatments to keep it under control. We have a list of highway land locations which have Japanese Knotweed. Treatments take place between May to June and again in October to November.

Each stem of knotweed needs to be around 1m - 1.5m tall and bearing enough leaves for the herbicide to take effect. The growth is sprayed with a herbicide and left to die off.

How we deal with Common Ragwort

We hand pull common ragwort where it causes a nuisance on the highway, however it is also known to be of good value to wildlife

How we deal with Giant Hogweed

We treat Giant Hogweed on the highway, when and if it occurs.