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.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org.