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what's the difference between and weed and a plant?

The line between 'good plants' and 'weeds' is often very blurred. Some plants may be considered weeds in some gardens, and welcome guests in others; it all depends on whose garden you're looking at. Of course, while there are no hard and fast rules, there are plants that are (more or less) universally considered 'pests' or 'problematic' - take Japanese knotweed for example. These tend to be the weeds we look out for when we do a survey of your garden! If you'd like to find out what makes a plant a weed, just keep reading.

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Judge's gavel

If you've noticed Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) growing in your neighbour's garden - and your neighbour isn't doing anything about it - then you may be considering legal action.

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Looking for a qualified Japanese knotweed specialist in Cornwall? Get in touch to arrange a FREE survey.

Certificate of Japanese knotweed training in Cornwall

We are pleased to announce that David, our man in Cornwall, has completed his training with a local course provider and is now qualified to treat Japanese knotweed.

If you live in Cornwall and you've noticed this invasive plant growing on or near your property, please don't hesitate to contact us - we'll arrange a visit and advise you on what to do next. Alternatively, click the link below to send us a photo so that we can take a look and confirm whether or not the plant in question really is Japanese knotweed.

Send Us a Photo >

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knotweed spread on shoes

If you know anything about Japanese knotweed, you'll know how much damage it can cause if left unchecked and how easily it can spread. 

Being one of the fastest-growing plant species that we have here in the UK, it's important to understand the nature of knotweed and the things that are needed to slow down or prevent it from spreading altogether. 

But just how easy is it to spread knotweed? Can Japanese knotweed spread on shoes? In this blog, we examine knotweed closer in relation to its ability to spread and what you can do to stop it. 

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If you love spending time in your garden, caring for your lawn, plants and wildlife, you'll know that one of the hardest and maybe most annoying jobs that you have to do is control your weeds. Some stay away once removed but some may keep coming back. 

If you find yourself constantly removing the same weeds that just keep coming back, then this blog is for you! Here, we take a look at why some weeds continue to grow after you've removed them and what you need to do to ensure they stay away, forever!

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japanese knotweed

24th - 30th May is Invasive Species Week! This entire week is dedicated to educating people about invasive plants and weeds that can crop up in urban and outdoor spaces. The aim of this week is to help homeowners and professional feel more confident about identifying & treating invasive species. 

For many people, it can be hard to determine whether the strange plants that appear in their gardens are friends or foes. While most plants that you see in the garden are perfectly harmless, there are a small group of invasive plants that can cause some real damage both structurally and financially if they're left to grow wild. 

More About Invasive Species Week >

Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we are experts in dealing with invasive plant species including, the dreaded, Japanese knotweed. We are registered with the Property Care Association. What does that mean? Well, it means that all of our staff are qualified to deal with invasive species, that our work is completed to a high standard, and that we're keeping up to date with the latest industry developments. It's always important that you look for PCA registered specialists when you're dealing with invasive species.

 

Is Japanese knotweed an invasive species?

For those of you that don't know what Japanese knotweed is, it's an invasive weed that came to the UK at the end of the 19th century. Since then, the weed has spread wildly throughout the UK and can be found everywhere from railway lines to gardens and commercial plots. One of the reasons that this weed is so feared is because it can cause structural damage (by growing through walls and driveways), and it can prevent you from getting a mortgage.

Sadly, few people are able to identify Japanese knotweed when they see it, and since this is one of the fastest spreading invasive species, it has a tendency to get a lot worse very quickly. Hopefully, during Invasive Species Week, you can get to know Japanese knotweed and other invasive species a little bit better. That way, we can all work together to control the spread of these unwanted weeds.

 

How to identify Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed looks very similar to plants like bindweed, Russian vine and bamboo. For that reason, it's often incorrectly identified! Here are a few tips that can help you identify knotweed - no problem. 

  • Leaves - Young leaves are a deep burgundy colour and will be furled around the asparagus-like stem of the plant. As the leaves mature, they will emerge as green love-hearts with red veins.
  • Stems - The dense, woody stems of Japanese knotweed are similar to bamboo. Look for a hollow stem with malleable shoots that grow in a zig-zag pattern.
  • Flowers - Japanese knotweed has small off-white leave that contrast with the burgundy around the stem.
  • Rhizomes - The rhizomes or roots of a Japanese knotweed plant are bright-orange on the inside and dark brown on the outside.

Read more: Japanese knotweed identification

Despite the resources available online, you still might not be 100% sure if the weed in your garden is Japanese knotweed or not - that's okay! We have a handy feature that allows you to submit a photo of the suspect weed for our expert technicians to analyse. This means we can help you identify invasive species in your garden without even attending your property! Not sure if it's knotweed?

Submit a photo >

 

What should I do if I find knotweed on my property?

Finding an invasive plant species on your property is always worrying, and your instincts might tell you to panic and attack it with all the weedkiller you have in the shed. This is NOT a good idea, and it certainly won't get rid of the problem for good. As Property Care Association-registered Japanese knotweed experts, we recommend that you do the following:

  • Confirm whether or not it's Japanese knotweed or another worrisome invasive species. You can use our helpful guide above, submit a photo, or request a survey from one of our professional technicians. It's better to be safe than sorry!
  • When you've got confirmation that you have in fact got an invasive species like Japanese knotweed in your garden, get in touch with a removal specialist. By law, you do not have to remove an invasive species from your own property, however, you can face legal action if you allow it to spread onto neighbouring land!

Read more: Japanese Knotweed: 3 Things to Do Right Away

 

What should I do if my neighbour has knotweed?

Invasive species on neighbouring land can be just as concerning as invasive species on your own land! That's because plants like Japanese knotweed can spread onto your property and create damage within a matter of months. Start by reaching out to your neighbours and notifying them that you suspect they have knotweed - they might not know! Chances are, they will seek professional help to get the problem under control quickly, but if they don't and the knotweed spreads onto your land, you might be entitled to compensation. Allowing invasive species to spread onto private property is classed as a private nuisance. 

We can offer:

  • Japanese knotweed monitoring programs - documenting the invasive species on your neighbour's property and monitoring the spread. 
  • Formal notification letter - informing your neighbours of their legal obligation to prevent the invasive weed from spreading to your property.

If you do need to take legal action, we also offer a great expert witness service, whereby our experts will provide evidence of the knotweed dispute in court.

Read More: What to Do if Your Neighbour Has Japanese Knotweed

So there you have it, a little introduction to invasive species week and Japanese knotweed. We hope this helps you understand the problems that can come with invasive species.

As always, if you have any questions about Invasive Species Week, or if you'd like to talk to us about knotweed on your property, drop us an email at: sales@taylortwc.co.uk.

Property Care Association

If you've ever experienced any issues involving invasive weeds which have led you to do some research online, the chances of coming across the Property Care Association (PCA) are pretty high. Why? Well, the PCA is an independent trade association that represents professional property care specialists who need to meet stringent criteria before becoming members. Which includes the management of invasive weeds. 

This may not make a whole bunch of sense and could still lead to some confusion, so in this blog, we take a closer look at the PCA, who they are, what they do and why it is important to use a PCA-accredited when it comes to anything related to your property! 

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japanese knotweed seven metre rule

When it comes to buying a house, Japanese knotweed can really throw a spanner in the works. We've talked about the ways that Japanese knotweed can cause issues for people buying or selling houses time and time again, and it still remains a prevalent problem for homeowners across the country.

If housing surveyors find signs of Japanese knotweed on or near a property that you're interested in buying, then it can prevent you from getting a mortgage. Usually, lenders will put the application on hold until a specialist company has been contracted to deal with the problem. Of course, this can be a real pain for potential buyers who are desperate to get moved into their dream house quickly!

What is the seven-metre rule?

In a recent news report, it has come to light that lenders "informally abide" a seven-metre rule which means that if the knotweed is located more than seven metres (23ft) from your house, then you should be granted a mortgage - no problem. That being said, the lender will still want to know that you & the current owner of the property have come to an agreement about the professional removal of the knotweed. 

After all, Japanese knotweed is one of the most prevalent weeds and has a habit of spreading thick and fast. If the source of the problem is seven metres away from the house today, it could've spread onto the property within a matter of months. For that reason, it's important that both the buyer and the seller work together to find a solution to the problem. 

How can we help?

Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we've been called countless times to assess a potential Japanese knotweed infestation at a property on the market. Sometimes, we find plants that look like Japanese knotweed (but aren't), in these circumstances, the house sale can continue without a hitch. However, if we confirm that the invasive plant is in fact knotweed, then we can provide a quote for treatment as well as a 5 or 10-year insurance-backed guarantee which will give your lenders confidence to proceed with the sale.

While you may have seen DIY methods of removing knotweed on the internet, these rarely are effective. Those that are effective, only last for a short period of time before the nasty knotweed rears its head for a second time. That's why if you're buying or selling a house with a Japanese knotweed problem, you should always seek the help of professionals.

Read More: Can You Get a Mortgage on a Property with Japanese Knotweed?

What happens when I request a survey?

If you'd like us to help you deal with a potential Japanese knotweed problem at a property you're trying to buy, you should start by requesting a survey. We will aim to attend the property within 2 working days of your enquiry (dependant on location). At this point, we will assess the knotweed and draft a report that you can take back to your mortgage lender/current homeowner. 

Whether the knotweed is on the property or seven metres away, your mortgage lender will require you to arrange a treatment program before the sale goes ahead. Luckily, we offer a few different treatment plans, all of which are reasonably priced and highly effective. Here's a brief overview of our treatment options:

  • Herbicide application program - This is an affordable program that many buyers choose because it's not too invasive. If you choose this treatment, we will attend the property at regular intervals and apply specialist herbicides to the knotweed. Our herbicides are available to specialist Japanese knotweed technicians only and will effectively kill the knotweed at its source.
  • Excavation and removal - If you're looking for a quick and effective way to remove the knotweed before it has chance to spread, our excavation and removal program could be the way to go. Our specialist technicians will attend the property and excavate the plant and any affected soil. We also offer a soil sifting service which means the excavated land can be placed back into the ground once the knotweed is removed. 

Request a Japanese Knotweed Survey >

If you have any questions about our Japanese knotweed treatment plans, or if you'd like to arrange a survey at a property you're trying to buy, don't hesitate to give us a call on 029 2039 7554. Alternatively, drop us an email at sales@taylortwc.co.uk and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Ragwort

If you have a love and passion for horses, you'll know first-hand the effects that toxic weeds such as ragwort can have on livestock. Although beautiful to look at, ragwort has the ability to cause serious problems for your horses, especially if left unchecked. 

In this blog, we take a closer look at ragwort, find out exactly what it is and the ways in which you can control it in your paddock to stop it from harming your horses. 

So, to find out how to keep your horses safe from dangerous ragwort weeds, read on! 

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Knocking on door

Warmer temperatures are here again, and while it's nice to be able to go outside and enjoy the sunshine for a change, the pleasant weather unfortunately also means that we can expect a boom in Japanese knotweed growth any day now.

The Property Care Association (PCA) are already warning that Japanese knotweed is ready to "take off", so it's important to be vigilant and keep your eyes peeled for the tell-tale signs of a knotweed infestation.

How to Identify Japanese Knotweed >

Unfortunately, there are people out there seeking to take advantage of the problems that Japanese knotweed can cause. We have heard numerous reports of companies knocking on doors and encouraging people to sue their neighbours for allowing knotweed to encroach on their property.

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