When Japanese knotweed is found on or near properties, it can pose an array of potentially expensive problems for a number of different parties. Firstly, homeowners that spot knotweed near their property may begin to worry about its far-reaching and invasive rhizomes growing through buildings and foundations causing hundreds, maybe thousands of pounds of structural damage.

Secondly, estate agents worry as Japanese knotweed near properties may pose a risk to potential sales. And lastly, property developers fear unbudgeted costs through knotweed treatment costs and site delays if not dealt with properly from the very start.

With all of these potential problems, it comes to no surprise that many people take to dealing with Japanese knotweed themselves, however, as knotweed becomes more problematic due to its ability to spread easily if managed incorrectly, much legislation on the management and removal of knotweed now exists. One of the most commonly asked questions surrounding knotweed and its removal is "can Japanese knotweed be burnt?

To make things easy to understand, the experts here at Taylor Total Weed Control are here to tell you. 

Can I Burn Japanese Knotweed

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It is agreed amongst professionals and experts that the invasive plant Japanese knotweed can cause problems to homes and properties as a result of its ability to grow and spread at an alarming rate. But can Japanese knotweed cause subsidence? Taylor Total Weed Control is here to help you find out! 

Before we can look into whether knotweed can cause subsidence, we must first try to understand what subsidence means. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the term subsidence means 'the process by which land or buildings sink to a lower level'. Therefore, the understanding is whether Japanese knotweed possesses the ability to cause lands or buildings to sink, leading to extreme structural damage.

Many varying opinions exist on this topic, with some arguing that knotweed does cause subsidence and some arguing that it doesn't. We're here to offer our professional opinion on the matter to try and answer the questions as best we can as well as letting you know how Taylor Total Weed Control can help if you've spotted knotweed on or near your property and are worried about the potential damage it can cause.

Can Japanese Knotweed Cause Subsidence

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What to Do If You Find Japanese Knotweed Infographic

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Salt spilling from a salt shaker

Salt is very versatile - it can make virtually any meal taste better - but sadly, there are some problems that salt can't solve.

You may have heard that salt can be used to kill garden weeds, and there is some truth to that. Applying salt to an unwanted plant can cause the plant to dehydrate and ultimately die.

But should you actually try this? The RHS don't recommend it: "The use of bleach or salt to kill weed on paths and drives is strongly discouraged, as this can cause pollution and damage plants."

Besides, Japanese knotweed is no run-of-the-mill garden weed. It takes a lot to eradicate this invasive species once and for all - a mere sprinkling of salt just won't do it!

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Like an unwanted house guest, Japanese knotweed can be difficult to get rid of. Patience and persistence are key to getting the job done properly.

Japanese knotweed plant

Photo by Leonora Enking (View Original)

As we discussed in our blog about Japanese knotweed's growing cycle, this invasive species may appear to die off completely during the winter months. But appearances can be deceptive.

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For reasons discussed in our DIY Japanese Knotweed Removal blog post, we DO NOT RECOMMEND attempting to get rid of Japanese knotweed on your own. Instead, get in touch with a specialist contractor who knows how to deal with this invasive species and ensure that it does not spread elsewhere.

How to kill Japanese knotweed

Photo by dankogreen (Flickr)

Broadly speaking, there are two ways to kill Japanese knotweed:

  • Herbicides - spraying the plant with weed killer

  • Excavation - digging the plant up and either burying it or safely disposing of it at an approved landfill site

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Garden spades in the soil

We usually treat Japanese knotweed by spraying the leaves with herbicides. A typical knotweed treatment programme consists of multiple herbicide applications over a period of 3 years, followed by a 2-year monitoring period to ensure that the problem is under control.

If time is of the essence, excavation is a quicker (but more expensive) alternative to the above. Heavy excavation machinery is used to dig up the affected area; this may be combined with spraying for optimum results.

Learn more about our Japanese knotweed treatment plans

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 Goat with grass in its mouth

As many British homeowners are sadly aware, Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant species that's strong enough to grow through concrete and cause significant damage to buildings and roads.

For this reason, the presence of Japanese knotweed can reduce a property's value by as much as 20% - it's notoriously difficult to sell a house with Japanese knotweed, and getting rid of it often takes multiple applications of herbicide over a number of months.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a species of animal willing to eat our Japanese knotweed problems away?

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Japanese knotweed plant

Japanese knotweed is known for causing havoc in gardens across England and Wales. This aggressive invasive species spreads fast and can cause structural damage to homes and buildings. Its presence may even decrease the value of your home or discourage mortgage companies from lending to you, so it is vital that you tackle the issue properly.

 

What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese knotweed is a strong and fast-spreading perennial plant. While not native to the UK, it can be found in numerous locations throughout the country. It spreads quickly due to its aggressive rhizome root system - these rhizomes can grow up to 4 metres deep, meaning they require treatment and disposal by specialist teams to remove the plant.

Japanese knotweed can look very similar to other decorative plants, so be sure to read our Japanese knotweed identification guide and learn what to look out for in your garden.

 

Who is responsible for removing Japanese knotweed?

In England and Wales, it is a criminal offence to encourage the growth of Japanese knotweed or allow it to spread. Clearing the weeds as soon as possible is key if you don't want to damage to your property or run into legal trouble.

If Japanese knotweed is on your property, it is your responsibility to organise its removal. The plant can be cleared via excavation or through a herbicide treatment. It is strongly recommended that you arrange this with a professional, qualified specialist, as there are many regulations governing how to dispose of Japanese knotweed.

If there is Japanese knotweed in a neighbour's garden, you should discuss this with them if possible. It is not a crime to have Japanese knotweed on your property; however, if the knotweed spreads to your land, you may be able to take legal action against your neighbour for creating a nuisance.

In 2014, a law was introduced allowing local governments to penalise people for not taking adequate steps to eradicate Japanese knotweed. Talk to your local council's environmental team, who will have the authority to encourage your neighbour to address the problem if necessary.

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

 

I'm renting a property - is it my landlord's responsibility to get rid of Japanese knotweed?

Check your contract to see whether you are responsible for the removal of Japanese knotweed. Some landlords may put clauses into contracts that agree the tenant is responsible for removing invasive plant species. They may assist you with the task due to the aggressive nature of the plant and the potential damage their property.

Once you have figured out who needs to clear the weed, it is time to act. Taylor Total Weed Control's treatment options start from £750 (plus VAT), making tackling this problem easy and affordable compared to other weed removal specialists. Our team of technicians will be able to assess the extent of the damage and best advise you on how to address the issue with a free survey.

Call us today on 029 2039 7554 to arrange a free weed removal consultation, or get in touch for more help and advice on clearing Japanese knotweed.

Request a Free Japanese Knotweed Survey >

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!

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