A Welsh council’s decision to continue using a weed killer that has been linked causing cancer has been described as a ‘kick in the teeth for residents’.

Image: South Wales Argus

 

Torfaen council has decided to continue their use of a glyphosate-based weed killer on the invasive Japanese knotweed in a meeting this week, whilst continuing to monitor alternatives that are being developed. A motion to halt the use of the product and one to limit its use to preventing Japanese knotweed were both rejected before councillors voted to continue to continue using the glyphosate-based product.

A protest was organised out the council chamber in Pontypool ahead of the meeting, with campaigners urging council members not to vote for its continued use. In addition, around 700 people have signed a petition titled ‘stop spraying our towns with probable cancer-causing glyphosate’, which was presented to the council last year.

Councillor Fiona Cross who is a cabinet member for the environment said that there could be a ‘detrimental effect’ on the appearance of the county borough as well as structural issues if they were to stop using the weed killer without having a suitable alternative in place.

She also pointed out that the authority uses a low concentration substance which is endorsed by both the Welsh Government and European Union. Council leader Anthony Hunt backed up the previous statements saying the council must take a pragmatic approach but added that if a ‘better alternative’ was to become available, then the council ‘should look to use that.’

Independent councillor David Thomas, on the other hand, stated that the council should not take ‘unnecessary risks’ by using the weed killer and called for it to be scrapped. Councillor Elizabeth Haynes put forward a motion for the authority to stop using the product but an amended version was voted down. A second motion was proposed by Conservative councillor Huw Bevan, which called for the council to continue using the weed killer but not in ‘high public footfall’ areas.

Cllr Bevan said he understood there is ‘no other effective treatment’ for the invasive weed, but called for the authority to further limit the product’s use elsewhere. This motion was also rejected.

Campaigner Terry Banfield said the decision is a “total kick in the teeth for residents.”

 

Professional Knotweed Removal

Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we provide professional knotweed removal services that eradicate the presence of Japanese knotweed from your premises. Depending on the severity of your infestation, we offer two types of treatment plans; herbicide application programmes or excavation and removal programmes – both of which are conducted in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. Click below to learn more.

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For more information on our professional knotweed services, be sure to get in touch with a member of the Taylor Total Weed Control team today!

Bohemian Knotweed

Image: The Property Care Association (PCA)

 

A warning has been recently issued regarding a destructive ‘hybrid’ plant, known as Bohemian knotweed produced as a result of cross-fertilisation between Japanese knotweed and Giant knotweed.

The Property Care Association (PCA) says reports of the hybrid plants are on the rise. Also known as Hybrid knotweed, the plant could become a real concern if it gains a foothold nationally.

Dr Peter Fitzimons, group technical manager of the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group stated: “Bohemian knotweed, although less common, has been around for almost as long as the better-known Japanese knotweed, but is not always recognised.”

“As a result, it has remained largely below the radar, but the reason for concern is that these hybrid plants can be even more vigorous than the parent plants.”

“We also need to be alert as, in other parts of the world where Hybrid knotweed is more common, they are seeing signs of fertile seed production, known as backcrossing.”

“If so, this could be a major concern for the future as the existence of seed-producing hybrid knotweeds may enable these plants to spread even more rapidly.”

Listed under Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, Japanese, Giant and Hybrid knotweed are all deemed as invasive and potentially destructive plants. They are steadily becoming more of a nuisance to home and business owners up and down the country because of their ability to spread quickly via their rhizome network.

Fitzsimons added that “since the PCA formed the Invasive Weed Control Group in 2012, we’ve always maintained the position that whilst this plant is disruptive around buildings it can be brought under control using established techniques and processes.”

“However, its presence can impact on the ability to gain a mortgage and on the development cost of land. More research is needed to see what the impact is of Bohemian knotweed, but for now, we should be aware of the issue.”

If you have spotted Bohemian, Giant or Japanese knotweed near your home, and like many homeowners in the UK are worried about the potential impact these invasive plants can have on your property. Then please do not risk it and get in touch with us here at Taylor Total Weed Control.

We provide professional, effective weed control services that ensure knotweed is completely eradicated. You can find our range of knotweed treatment plans below.

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For more information on Bohemian knotweed, invasive plants or our treatment plans, then please do not hesitate to contact us today!

Recently, the Property Care Association (PCA) reviewed the EU Invasive Alien Species Regulations to assess whether there were additional species that should be controlled under legislation. The outcome of this review? 13 new species of plant were added to the list of 'Species of Concern'.

Of these plants, 2 are considered particularly likely to threaten homes in the UK. These are the balloon vine and the tree of heaven. Let's take a look at these invasive species so that you can detect and eradicate them quickly!

Balloon vine

Balloon Vine (Cardiospermum)

Belonging to the soapberry family, balloon vine is a climbing plant that can survive in tropical and sub-tropical conditions, so it's found all over the world. Like Japanese knotweed, this invasive species is capable of invading a garden area quickly, using its tendrils to climb and cling onto walls and surfaces.

The sweet heart-shaped domes of this plant meant that it was often cultivated as an ornamental plant. However, due to its invasive nature, it quickly established itself elsewhere. Balloon vine is already classified as a harmful weed in Australia and South Africa, and while there are no records of it appearing in the UK yet, it is highly possible that it will appear here in the coming years. Why? Because the balloon vine favours dry climates and soils and global warming is creating these ideal living conditions in pastures new!

Tree of heaven

Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus Altissima)

Found in mild conditions, the tree of heaven is a rapidly growing tree species that can reach heights of 49ft (15m) in as little as 15 years! The Tree of Heaven is native in China and Taiwan and has historically been used in herbal remedies and medicines. In the 1740s, the tree of heaven was brought to Europe where gardeners quickly learned to recognise it for its rapidly invasive nature and foul smell!

Like Japanese knotweed, this plant is capable of resprouting quickly when it's cut or damaged, this makes removing it completely incredibly difficult and time-consuming.

Currently, the tree of heaven has been contained to South-East England, but could easily spread across the whole of the country if it's not controlled properly. This devilish plant has earnt itself the ironic nickname "tree of hell".

Taking Action Against Invasive Species

There is an urgent need for coordinated EU efforts to prevent invasive species like the ones outlined above from spreading rapidly. Once an invasive species establishes itself in a country, it can easily move into bordering countries and beyond. One of the main targets of the 2020 Biodiversity Strategy is to improve the identification, prioritisation, control and eradication of invasive species before they have chance to establish in new countries (which explains the review and update of the Species of Concern list).

The Invasive Alien Species Order 2019 led to EU legislation being integrated into UK law on the 1st December 2019. This means we are legally required to help prevent, detect, eradicate and manage the species outlined in the EU Invasive Alien Species Regulations. You can see a full list of species here.

Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we identify and control a range of invasive species including the infamous Japanese knotweed. If you suspect an invasive species has made its way into your garden, don't hesitate to get in touch for a FREE weed removal consultation.

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British homeowners are being warned to not grow bamboo in their garden due to the potential dangers that the oriental plant can bring, with experts likening the effects of bamboo to the notorious Japanese knotweed.

Due to its screening capabilities and use within outdoor privacy measure, bamboo is an extremely popular choice for homeowners up and down the country, particularly within urban areas. However, its abilities to become highly invasive and out of control mean it can cause unpredictable and irreversible damage. Which, unfortunately, was the case for one homeowner in Reading.

The unnamed homeowner was forced to unearth her entire garden after bamboo grew to several metres in height and began to spread right across her garden towards her property, damaging her patio in the process.

Various forms of bamboo exist, namely ‘clumping’ and running’ that can have negative effects on surrounding areas. In this case, the ‘running’ bamboo found within the homeowner’s garden started to grow a large network of root and ‘rhizomes’, wreaking havoc on the property.

The rhizomes of bamboo are capable of spreading up to 30ft and if left untreated, can spread across and invade neighbouring property posing a huge threat to the foundations of homes.

Just like Japanese knotweed, bamboo has the ability to strangle plots of land as a result of its capability to damage property, breach brick, patios and cause cracks in concrete. It is known to thrive in a variety of soils, environments and temperatures with little to no maintenance. Experts have stated that if you do choose to house bamboo on your property to make sure you choose a clumping variety as opposed to the running types. It is also a good idea to ‘place it within a pot or bed which is lined with strong vertical root barrier designed to contain bamboo.’

A retired couple from Reading has said they were mis-sold their bamboo by a local nursery, stating they were promised it would not grow further than waist height and would not spread. However, the bamboo shot up and out damaging both the patio and approaching house.

Professional Removal Services

To ensure you’re not affected by the damaging effects of bamboo or Japanese knotweed, professional removal is required. If you have spotted bamboo or knotweed on or near your property and want to act fast before major damage can be caused, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Taylor Total Weed Control team. We have a number of treatment plans available for you to choose from.

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