Rootwave Pro Trials

Rootwave Pro Technology

The Exmoor Non-Native Invasive Species (ENNIS) project is trialling an innovative organically acceptable method of treatment, Rootwave Pro technology. This technology forces electricity down through the plant, raising temperatures and boiling plant cells. Please watch the video below, produced by the manufacturers Ubiqutek, to find out more about Rootwave Pro.

Since 2005 we have been treating knotweed species using the conventional method of targeted spraying of glyphosate and have seen a large reduction across the National Park. To find out more please visit our Exmoor Knotweed Control Programme page.

However, there are many sites that we have been unable to treat because the knotweed falls on organically certified land where the use of herbicide is not possible. This land provides a serious hub for further invasion of INNS and the risks associated could intensify if more landowners convert to organic status with increased environmental awareness. There is also some controversy surrounding the use of glyphosate as a herbicide and the future of its application is uncertain. It is important that we find a solution to address INNS on organically certified land and have an alternative to glyphosate if its application is banned.

The trials

Rootwave Pro in action

Rootwave Pro has proven to be very effective on annual weeds and was first trialled on Japanese knotweed in 2016 by the Environment Agency in Gloucester. In 2017, before the ENNIS Project, we began trialling Rootwave Pro on selected knotweed sites, working with Ubiqutek to carry out one treatment a year.

As a result, the knotweed was showing signs of stress, throwing out many small shoots and struggling to reach a similar stand height to that which was present before. It was clear that Rootwave Pro was having an effect but one treatment a year was not enough.

With thanks to the Water Environment Grant we have been able to purchase a Rootwave Pro machine in order to continue this work, increase the number of sites and intensify the treatment. The ENNIS Project now aims to carry out up to four treatments a year and further trial Rootwave Pro on more invasive species including montbretia (Crocosmia Crocosmiiflora), skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) and giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum).

We have received lots of interest in our Rootwave Pro trials locally, nationally and internationally so we have produced some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help answer some of your queries and provide some more information of what we have found so far. You can find out more in our Rootwave Pro factsheet and FAQs.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

We need your help!

We are working closely with volunteers and local communities to survey and map invasive species within the National Park which will help guide our work controlling them in the future. Please visit our Get Involved page  if you would like to report an invasive species you have seen while exploring the National Park or are interested in volunteering with us.

We can also give advice, so if you have an invasive species on your land that you are looking to control please do not hesitate to get in touch by email or phone.