‘It’s Time To Eradicate This Plant’



Rhododendron take about 13 years to reach reproductive maturity. It beggars belief that our National Parks Service cannot manage to remove new saplings once per decade and at least prevent the expansion of this pernicious plant. Having said that, it is time to get more ambitious and eradicate this plant once and for all.

Prof Eugene O’Brien
School of Civil Engineering,
University College Dublin,
Dublin 4.


Operation Rhododendron (Irish Times letters page)

33 thoughts on “‘It’s Time To Eradicate This Plant’

  1. Brother Barnabas


    Rhododendrons are Prof Eugene O’Brien’s ex-wife’s favourite plant.

    That’s an impressive level of malice.

  2. scottser

    halfway between the blue light and lamb doyles on woodside road there is a dingley-dell walk that leads you down to the roundabout at belarmine. it’s covered in huge mature rhododendrons on each side, flanked by old stone walls. you’d swear ogres and trolls live down there – it’s a great place to bring the kids for a walk. I for one would hate to see a final solution for rhododendrons.

    1. edalicious

      You wouldn’t happen to have a google maps link to where that is? Wouldn’t mind having an aul’ nose around myself.

  3. Rob_G

    I think he means just from national parks, and not a sort of denouncing-your-neighbours type of scenario.

  4. Harry Molloy

    Rhododendrons have medicinal qualities including the ability to cure cancer, aids, and paedophilia.

    No wonder they want to eradicate it.

  5. Spaghetti Hoop

    Used to volunteer a couple of weeks every summer to clearing these in Killarney and Glenveagh. An invasive pest; bad for the soil; bad for the indigenous woodlands and ecosystems. The Parks DO prevent the expansion as well as clear the mature growth. Maybe the Professor would like to sign up to the volunteering program?[http://www.groundwork.ie/workcamps.htm] It’s usually students and backpackers, Irish and international, that do the work under the guidance from the National Parks & Wildlife Service. It’s a continuing battle, but the recent media attention should accelerate the efforts though.

    1. Deluded

      Fair play Hoop, good chance you know one of my friends who used to be involved.
      I noticed it particularly in Donegal where it has replaced native species around fields and farmland (rhododendrons are an ecological desert- they don’t support animal and insect life like out native shrubs).

  6. martco

    drop of diesel does the job very well…forget likes of that expensive roundup stuff in woodies

    job done

  7. dave g k

    Rhododendron is a nice flower, evergreen. It lasts forever, but it can’t beat strand power.

    Therefore I’m calling on the government to invest heavily in this new sensation and fabulous creation of ‘strand power’.

        1. Deluded

          It’s a spectacular plant…
          … but I’m biased in that I appreciate the species displaced so it looks like poison to me.
          (This image is from the Knockmealdowns, the plant grows so thick it becomes impenetrable to hikers)

          I really like our golden waves of gorse with natural paths through them (and the blossoms smell like candy, they’re amazing!) or the bursts of whitethorn in May.

        2. Spaghetti Hoop

          The prettiest things can be so destructive…..it doesn’t belong in our ecosystem and is quite poisonous to our native oak and yew woodlands. One of the hurdles in its eradication program in the 80s and 90s was folk’s perception of it as a garden beauty.

        3. Deluded

          … interesting point Hoop regarding perception of an attractive garden plant… in contrast the wild mountains and sweeping forests were once dangerous and frightening and had to be dominated and tamed.

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