Control of Horsetail (Equisetum ssp.)

Often confused with Mares-tail

Key Services

  • Herbicidal treatment
  • Onsite burial
  • Reduced Excavation & Disposal

The Horsetail species are often confused with Mares-tail. Although similar in appearance there is no direct relationship between the two. Horsetail is considerably more widespread and capable of thriving in numerous conditions as well as growing through porous surfaces such as tarmac.

The Horsetail family of plants has the ability to propagate and regenerate from either sections of the rhizome (underground stem) or via the production and dispersal of spores, usually borne in mid spring. The spores produced by Equisetum tend to only remain dormant for a few days, with visible germination occurring in approximately seven days. This would imply that the majority of infestations that are found within areas of hard landscape are probably caused through the spread of rhizome sections during ground works/construction works. Damaging and spreading the rhizome leads to a profusion of new plants, in a similar manner to Japanese Knotweed.

Often, the only solution to control the weed is to take a top surface scrape of up to 1metre and either bury at depth or dispose of offsite.

On completion of the aforementioned works eradication cannot be guaranteed because, although the main body of the rhizome system usually lies in the top 400mm, fibrous filaments difficult to see by the human eye can extend from the plant to 3 metres deep. Therefore further herbicidal treatment or the installation of membrane may be required.