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Trees, Shrubs, Grass and Weeds

Weed Control areas

We are responsible for controlling the weeds on council owned land, including highways, parks and open spaces, housing sites, schools and other council buildings. The maintenance regime within each type of site will be different and the responsibility lies with the department or site as outlined below:

Parks and Open Spaces – Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure 

Housing Sites – Housing Services 

Schools – Each school is responsible for the maintenance within their grounds 

Other Council Buildings - Contact the building user for advice

Transport for London Trunk Roads – A12, A406, A1400

Unless you have the appropriate licence and direct approval from the Council, it is against the law for anyone apart from the Council's contractor to apply weed killer on public land.


For weed control purposes the highway includes:

Hard Standing Surfaces

  • Pavements to the back line that borders other properties.
  • The road gullies/gutters and approximately 12 inches/30cm into the road. It does not extend further into the highway for safety reasons.
  • Central reservations – gullies/gutters only.

Soft Landscaping Surfaces

  • Shrub beds
  • Rose beds
  • Hedge bases
  • Tree pits

The following areas require weed control within the roads of Redbridge:

  • 500km of road, including pavements
  • 50,000 square metres of shrubs and rose beds and hedge bases
  • 10,000 tree pits

The main way weeds are controlled is the application of a weed killer. The maintenance regime on hard surfaces and soft landscaping surfaces is slightly different:

Hard Surfaces: The frequency of treatments throughout the borough varies depending on the growth rate of the weed within the areas. Some areas experience a greater amount of weed growth than others, due to a number of reasons, including:

  • Neighbouring vegetation
  • The make-up of the road and pavement surface – weed growth is generally greater on paved areas than tarmacked areas

Frequency of treatments vary between 2 and 5 times per year.

Soft Surfaces: All soft surfaces are treated with weed killer 3 times per year

For the majority of roads and pavements within Redbridge, the weed killer is applied manually by a member of staff, who walks the street with the weed killer within either a knapsack on their back, or a lance, where the weed killer is located within the lance.

On rural roads (areas that generally do not have footpaths) and central reservations, a specially equipped vehicle is used to apply the weed killer as it is considered too hazardous to apply it manually.

The dead weeds are not generally removed once they have died, but disperse naturally. Where weed growth is prolific, the street cleansing team may remove the larger weeds when they have died. If the weeds have not dispersed after 2-3 weeks of the weeds dying then you can report them to the street cleansing team to have the weeds manually removed.

Types of Weed Killer

There are 2 types of weed killer that are used in Redbridge:

Contact weed killer

This controls weeds that it comes into direct contact with and is absorbed by the plant, so it also reaches the root system of the plant. It becomes inactive on contact with any other surface, e.g. paving or soil. This weed killer is used on both hard and soft surfaces. We use Roundup ProVantage which is a Glyphosate based weed killer.

Residual Weed Killer

This is used on soft surfaces only and is applied directly to the soil, where it creates a shallow barrier on the surface of the soil, that inhibits any seeds within that area, from germinating; this means it prevents weeds from starting to grow.

This weed killer is normally applied only once in the year. The success of this weed killer varies greatly, depending on weather conditions. Extensive or heavy rain can dilute the weed killer and wash it out of the ground. We use Pacaya which is a herbicide that contains flazasulfuron.

On occasion, a moss killer is also applied to areas where there is significant moss growth.

All weed and moss killers used are approved and licensed for use and are only applied by fully trained, qualified operatives.

How long does it take for the weeds to die?

This can vary depending on the type of weed and the weather conditions. Generally, the weeds will take 2-3 weeks to fully die. However, grass tends to die a lot quicker and broadleaf weeds (such as dandelions) can take longer.

Some weeds are more resistant to the weed killer and may take much longer to die. In some cases, certain species of weed are removed manually due to their resistance to the weed killer.

Weeds take longer to die if the temperature is low (below 8 degrees Celsius) or high (above 30 degrees Celsius).

Weed Control Programme

A schedule is agreed between ourselves and the contractor prior to the start of the season. Any amendments during the year are agreed by both parties. The contractor provides us with a weekly update on the progress of the work programme. The contractor is also required to carry out an element of self-monitoring and submit the results to us. We then carry out sample monitoring of the contractors self-monitoring.

All treatments, on hard or soft surfaces, are carried out between February and November/December.

The work programme is subject to change as weed killers cannot be applied in unsuitable weather conditions:

  • During or immediately after rainfall
  • High or gusty winds

The programme may also be amended during periods of extremely high temperatures (above 30 degrees Celsius), for the safety of the operatives.

Hard Standing: Current Treatment number 2

Programmed to be completed in order shown within a 9 week timescale (weather permitting)

Ward Date treatment 2 completed


Clementswood 02/06/2020
Valentines 05/06/2020
Mayfield 09/06/2020
Newbury 13/06/2020
Barkingside 19/06/2020
Hainault 27/06/2020
Seven Kings  
Ilford Town  
South Woodford  
Wanstead Village  
Wanstead Park  
Find which ward your road is in 


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