Contact Us  >Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business as usual - we can still provide all our services while observing social distancing rules.

Do You Need a License to Remove Japanese Knotweed?

If you have spotted Japanese knotweed on or near your property and are wondering if you need a licence to remove it – in short, no you don’t,

The legal standing surrounding Japanese knotweed across the UK varies. In England and Wales, the primary legislation relating to knotweed is ‘Section 14(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981’. In Scotland, this is still the predominant piece of legislation but in effect has been superseded by the changes which came into force with the ‘Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2012’. The law surrounding the management and control of knotweed across the UK, however, is practically the same.

Japanese knotweed is categorised as an invasive species, and it is the responsibility of the owner of the land where it appears to prevent it from spreading into neighbouring properties or into the wild. The removal of Japanese knotweed must also be performed with extreme due care and attention due to the sensitivity regarding its ability to spread. Currently, there is no legal obligation to remove or treat knotweed, just as long as you’re not encouraging or allow it to grow.

Guidelines set out by the government state that anyone wanting to use chemicals to treat an infestation of knotweed must do the some or all of the following:

  • Make sure anyone spraying holds a certificate of competence for herbicide use or works under the direct supervision of a certificate holder
  • Carry out a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health assessment
  • Get permission from Natural England if the area is protected, for example, sites of special scientific interest
  • Get permission from the Environment Agency if the plants are near water

The use of pesticides and chemicals in treating Japanese knotweed is governed by ‘The Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986’ and required any person who uses a pesticide to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health of human beings, creatures and plants. Once knotweed has been treated with chemicals, it will have to be disposed of in the correct way. Off-site disposals fall under the ‘Environmental Protection Act 1990’, which states disposing of Japanese knotweed must be conducted by a licensed waste carrier as stated in ‘Waste Regulations 2011’ and disposed of within a licensed facility. Relevant transfer notes must be completed and stored. If knotweed has not been treated before off-side disposal and simply removed, then it is not classed as hazardous waste. If certain pesticides have been used, however, then the waste moves into the hazardous category requiring a consignment note as set out in the ‘Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005’.

In 2013, the UK government stated that any person that fails to control Japanese knotweed along with other invasive weed could receive an anti-social behaviour order. On-the-spot fines of £100 can also be issued, potentially rising to £2500 if prosecuted. Companies also face fines of up to £20,000 if prosecuted

Professional Knotweed Removal

It is highly recommended that, if you have Japanese knotweed on or near your property, you use experienced professionals that know what they’re doing. If not, you risk allowing the knotweed’s rhizomes spreading even further, causing not only potential increases in damage later on in time but prosecution for facilitating the spread of knotweed. So, to avoid any of these issues, be sure to get in touch with the team here at Taylor Total Weed Control! Our Japanese knotweed specialist can identify and confirm the presence of knotweed on your property and devise a relevant plan of removal to ensure it is properly eradicated. You can learn more about our knotweed removal services below.

Japanese Knotweed Removal >

If you have any questions regarding our Japanese knotweed treatment or removal, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us today!

Types of Weed Killer

With so many types of weed killer available on the market, it can become quite confusing when comes a time when you have to pick the right one. A range and variety of herbicides will more than likely have you scratching your head whilst looking at a wall of products standing in aisle six. To make things a little easier for you, we try to break down the main types of weed killer that you can buy, their characteristics and when they are suitable to use.

The types of weed killer include contact, systemic, residual, selective and non-selective. It’s important to note that before buying any type of weed killer, selecting and using the wrong type on your lawn or affected area can cause serious harm. Also, the most popular herbicide, ‘Roundup’, is a contact, systemic and non-selective weed killer.

 

Contact Weed Killers

As its name suggests, this type of weed killer kills weeds as soon as they come into contact with it. Here, the herbicide is consumed by the stomata (tiny openings) of the plant’s leaf. However, in order for the weed killer to be effective, the stomata need to be open. These are only open when the plant is actively growing and throughout the day whilst the process of photosynthesis is taking place. Therefore, contact weed killers need to be applied to the target plants during the growing season, to green, living foliage and early in the day. This gives the herbicide the whole duration of the day to work its way into the stomata.

Contact weed killers are used by many homeowners and lawn care enthusiasts as they have no impact on the garden soil surrounding the target plants. A popular type of contact herbicide is glyphosate, when applied, becomes locked inside soil particles, making it unavailable to plant root, resulting in it becoming redundant in the soil. Contact weed killers take approximately two weeks to take full effect and are a superb choice for tackling and controlling annual weeds. To manage perennial weeds, however, two or maybe three applications of contact herbicide are required.

 

Systemic Weed Killers

The majority of herbicides fall under the category of systemic weed killers. This means that on entry into the plant, the herbicide works its way through the plant’s transport system to target and kill all of its areas. An example of a systemic week killer in action would see it entering a plant through its foliage and working its way all the way down the plant until it reaches the roots, where it eventually kills the weed completely.

 

Residual Weed Killers

These type of weed killers are also referred to as soil acting weed killers. Careful consideration must be taken when selecting and using these herbicides as their application will poison the soil surrounding the target plant, rendering it inactive and useless for growing any further plants, weeds or flowers. The majority of residual weed killers sit in the soil for months, preventing any form of growth from taking place. However, lesser plants such as algae and lichens are not affected by these herbicides. The ideal areas to use residual week killers are hard-standing areas such as paths, driveways and patios and not areas where you may grow plants or vegetables in the near future.

 

Selective Weed Killers

These herbicides work to kill a particular plant whilst leaving surrounding soil and plants unharmed. For example, certain selective weed killers aim to only target broad-leaved plants such as buttercup, dandelion and daisy, whilst having zero effect on narrow-leaved plants such as grass. As the two types of plants are two early evolutionary divisions within the plant kingdom, they have two very different vascular and transport systems. Meaning selective herbicides can be created to target one of these two plant types.

 

Non-Selective Weed Killers

As you may have already guessed, non-selective weed killers are herbicides which work to kill everything that they come into contact with, similar to contact weed killers. Unlike contact herbicides, however, non-selective weed killers will kill or severely damage any and every plant that they touch. It is therefore extremely important to take extra care when using and applying this type of herbicide. Be sure to never spray during windy conditions, never walk over areas that may have been sprayed previously, cover plants that are near the target weed and handle chemicals and knapsacks sprayers with care.

Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, you’ll be glad to hear that we use appropriate weed killers whenever necessary. Matching both the weed type and the result that you’re looking to get. Our team of weed control specialists have years of training and experience in the use and application of herbicides, so you can rest assured knowing that your lawn or effected area will be in safe, professional hands.

To learn more about our weed control services, simply click below. You can also get in touch with a member of our team if you would like to enquire about weed control treatment on your property.

Our Weed Control Services >

Japanese Knotweed History

Japanese knotweed is one of, if not the most invasive plant in Britain. As its name suggests, the plant is native to Japan, where it is known as “itadori”. One interpretation of this name is ‘remove pain’ which alludes to the plant’s painkilling properties and use in various medicines to treat a variety of ailments ranging from cardiovascular diseases, fungal infections and skin inflammations. Knotweed’s young leaves and shoots, once peeled, are also edible and are consumed in various ways through the inclusion in various recipes. In the UK, however, Japanese knotweed is being used more frequently in food supplements as a result of its resveratrol content (also found in red wine).

In Japan, knotweed grows freely on mountainsides, volcanoes and open spaces, which is a little different compared to the UK. There, knotweed has natural predators that come in the form of invertebrates, fungi, ash deposits from volcanoes and an erratic climate. In Britain, however, there are no natural predators to limit the spread of knotweed. So, how did it even get here in the first? Let’s find out.

Introduction of Japanese knotweed to Britain

German physician, botanist, and traveller Phillip Franz von Siebold found Japanese knotweed growing on the side of a volcano and planned to use it as an ornamental plant that could be used in residential gardens. The discovery was widely celebrated and as such, was named the ‘most interesting new ornamental plant of the year’ by the Society of Agriculture and Horticulture at Utrecht in Holland. In 1954, Seibold sent a shipment of various plants including knotweed to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, which was then shared with the Gardens in Edinburgh. This is where the plant began to spread as is was then sold commercially by nurseries.

The main pattern of distribution of knotweed was through intended planting and distribution, although this was before its invasive and destructive capabilities were realised. Using watercourses and soil transported during construction and road-building, knotweed began to spread naturally throughout the UK. However, Ann Connelly, an expert in knotweed, stated evidence from the 1960s that showed the plant had been deliberately placed in Welsh coal-mining valley as it was good for stabilising loose soil.

It is only able to survive thanks to its deep root system, which is the main cause of the huge problems found within garden and properties all across the UK. With nothing to combat its spread, knotweed can grow unchallenged and to devastating effect. At its most aggressive, the plant can grow up to 20cm per day, breakthrough concrete or tarmac with ease and push its roots 3m deep into the ground. It also has the ability to overpower almost all other plants, totally swamping them and preventing them from getting any sunlight.

As a result of its destructive nature, it is now an offence under section 14(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to “plant or otherwise cause Japanese knotweed to grow in the wild” and is now classed as “controlled waste" under part 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This requires disposal at licensed landfill sites. On March 9th 2010, the decision was taken to release into the wild a Japanese psyllid insect, Aphalara itadori. Its diet is highly specific to Japanese knotweed and shows good potential for its control. Controlled release trials began in South Wales in 2016.

Japanese knotweed removal

Due to knotweed’s ability to be easily spread, it requires specialised treatment and removal by trained, qualified professionals. Here at Taylor Total Weed Control, we provide expert identification and removal services that ensure the Japanese knotweed on your property is in fact knotweed and is then properly eradicated. We offer a choice of two survey and treatment plans that you can choose based on the severity of your knotweed infestation, which you can browse below.

Our Japanese Knotweed Treatments >

 

For more information on our knotweed removal services, be sure to get in touch with a member of our team today. We’ll be more than happy to help!