NYSDEC Giant Hogweed Control Program
The NYSDEC Giant Hogweed Control Program will control the giant hogweed (GH) plants on your property free of charge. From late April through August, the program hires eight field crews across the state employing 12 field technicians. NYSDEC crews use the appropriate giant hogweed control method at each site. In general, herbicide control is used at larger sites with greater than 400 plants, root-cutting control is used at smaller sites with less than 400 plants, and flower/seed head removal is used at all sites to limit seed dispersal.
How do you report a site for control?
Call the giant hogweed hotline at (845) 256-3111 or email DEC and give detailed directions to the plant infestation (GPS coordinates and street address a plus), an estimated number of plants, and provide photos. Please make sure to not touch the plants when you take the photos. The best photos to take are:
- One picture of the whole plant - so we can see how tall it is
- Pictures of the basal (bottom) leaves
- Close-up of the stem where the leaf stalk connects
- Flower head (include one from the bottom/side so the number of flower rays/stalks can be roughly counted) - if only dead seed head from last year is available, that is okay, too
- Close-up of seeds
Email to the address above or send photos to:
NYSDEC Division of Lands & Forests
Giant Hogweed Program
21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561
What happens when giant hogweed is confirmed?
If giant hogweed is confirmed through the photos, the landowner will be sent a packet that contains a letter of notification, a document on control methods, and a permission form to be signed and returned to the NYSDEC. The form will give field crews consent to enter the landowner's property and control the giant hogweed plants. That site will be controlled some time between April and September and will be on a list to be revisited in following years until the plants are eradicated. When no more plants are found, the site will be monitored for three subsequent years.
The NYSDEC Giant Hogweed Control Program has received funding from a federal American Resource and Recovery Act grant, USDA-APHIS, USDA-Forest Service and New York State.
History of Control Program Activities
Since 1998 USDA, NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) and Cornell Cooperative Extension surveyed for this weed in New York State through the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey (CAPS). CAPS led to the detection of giant hogweed in approximately half the state's counties, with most records from the western portion of New York State.
In 2006 and 2007, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) forest health crews visited and confirmed new reported sites and gathered updated site information on known giant hogweed sites. In 2007, property ownership information was also gathered by NYSDEC using GIS and an outreach mailing.
DEC implemented manual control of GH plants starting in 2008 with three crews hired to control giant hogweed plants using a root-cutting control method. NYSDEC also began maintaining the GH hotline at this time. In 2009, two crews were hired to control the smaller sites using a manual root-cutting control method and one crew was hired to use herbicide to control the larger sites. In 2010 and 2011 DEC received an ARRA grant allowing the GH control program to double in size with five and six crews hired respectively to use either manual or chemical control methods.
In 2012-2014, state funds were used to hire six control crews. The USDA Forest Service supplied part of the 2014 funding through a Competitive Allocation Request Proposal (CARP). In 2012-2014, four partner agencies agreed to control GH sites within their boundaries: Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP), Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario (SLELO) and Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District (OCSWCD). In 2014, the Lower Hudson PRISM joined the statewide GH control effort. Accomplishments of the NY State GH control program from 2006 to 2014 can be found in Table 1.
|2006 & 2007||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014|
|Giant Hogweed Hotline||NYSDAM,
sites visited by DEC
|200 calls||660 calls||912 calls
|Web site visits||N/A||6,373 visits||10,770 visits||25,066 visits||307,444 visits||65,044 visits||345,665 visits||642,798 visits|
|Root-cut controlled||N/A||130 sites
|Herbicide controlled||N/A||N/A||146 sites
|Monitored* (no plants found)||N/A||64 sites||106 sites||139 sites||204 sites||282 sites||251 sites||354 sites|
|New sites||60 sites||122 sites||158 sites||341 sites||234 sites||179 sites||183 sites||226 sites|
|Sites with plants||346 sites||433 sites||539 sites||805 sites||959 sites||1,010 sites||1,188 sites||1,259 sites|
|Sites with no plants (after prior control)*||N/A||64 sites||106 sites||139 sites. 28 of these are eradicated sites.||207 sites. 55 of these are eradicated sites||339 sites. 97 of these are eradicated sites||348 sites. 149 of these are eradicated sites.||501 sites.
239 of these are eradicated sites
|DEC control staff hired||N/A||6 people
||13 people||13 people|
|Funding source||State & Federal||State & Federal||State & Federal||ARRA & Federal||ARRA||State||State & Federal||State & Federal|
* Monitored sites have had prior control but no GH regrowth/plants were found during the latest yearly field season's monitoring visit. After three consecutive yearly visits with no plants found, a site is deemed eradicated.
** Starting in 2012 we used a different but more consistent method of calculating the number of plants controlled by herbicide to allow for better comparison to future plant counts. 2012 and later calculations are based on the amount of herbicide used; prior year plant counts were calculated using crew plant density estimates.