What is Japanese Knotweed?
Japanese Knotweed is the most dangerous weed in the UK, with the ability to cause damage to the environment, biodiversity and properties of all types. Due to its naturally aggressive nature, crowding out all surrounding vegetation and wildlife, it is especially important that you tackle any growth of this species as soon as possible.
With the ability to break through seemingly impenetrable barriers, including concrete, brickwork and even road tarmac, the risk of allowing Japanese Knotweed to spread unchallenged can be damaging to more than just your property. As such, it is an offence to plant or encourage growth of Japanese Knotweed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
How do I know if I have Japanese Knotweed?
Finding and recognising Japanese Knotweed can be a difficult task. In winter months, it is especially hard to discover due to the plant’s dormant state. However, summer presents an advantageous opportunity to locate infestations of this invasive weed and eradicate it effectively.
Key identifying features of Japanese Knotweed are its zig-zag stem growth pattern and the speed at which its vegetation can spread, covering entire areas of your property with fairly smooth mid-green leaves.
However, the biggest threat is in what you cannot see. Under the ground’s surface, there will likely be a whole network of roots, also known as rhizomes. These strong, flexible and hard-to-remove roots will penetrate up to three metres downwards and spread up to seven metres in any direction.
Dangers of Japanese Knotweed
The danger of Japanese Knotweed predominantly comes from the way it can impact your house, including surrounding land and any nearby buildings and structures. The further it spreads, the more expensive its eradication will be.
If you are deemed responsible for its spread, you could also end up in a costly legal battle with other property owners who are affected. Ultimately, the rhizome system can grow from even the smallest stem and exploit small and unidentifiable cracks, with the ability to weaken a building’s structure and stability.
Japanese Knotweed needs to be handled by experts, and often, amateur treatment is either ineffective, or can lead to further spread. If you believe this species may be plaguing your property, the safest thing to do is promptly call a specialist for a consultation.
How does Japanese Knotweed impact property sales?
One of the biggest dangers of Japanese Knotweed growth is it can make a property unfit for sale. Mortgage providers typically refuse to lend on properties where this species is present. Even if growth has been spotted on nearby land, your chances of effectively selling the property may be damaged. Therefore, until all Japanese Knotweed has been cleared from your site, it could have a devastating impact on your future plans.
How can I get Japanese Knotweed removed from my residential premises?
There are a number of ways to eradicate Japanese Knotweed. Each method depends on the extent of the growth and your budget for handling the situation. Generally, opting for cheap and quick services from weed removers will not actually solve the problem and re-growth could take place in the near future.
Therefore, each removal process should start with a comprehensive evaluation of the growth spread and a detailed plan of action from a professional Japanese Knotweed removal company.
Residential excavation: This site clearance technique requires heavy machinery to access the property, which can be difficult in compact residential locations. Also, it can be an expensive choice that includes additional charges for transportation and landfill services. Nevertheless, this is the quickest and most effective way of permanently eradicating the species.
Herbicide: Eradicating Japanese Knotweed with herbicides involves the use of specialist treatment solution designed to destroy the weed and prevent it from growing back. Due to the nature of these herbicides however, which could contaminate local watercourses, it is crucial that they are applied by qualified operatives with experience.
Seek professional advice
If you believe you may have Japanese Knotweed on your property and are unsure about the best course of action, please get in touch on 020 8769 7321 or fill in our online contact form.