Finding Japanese knotweed in your garden can be quite a punch in the gut. Unfortunately, it's now your responsibility to ensure that this invasive plant species does not spread from your property to somebody else's (law explained here).
Calling in a specialist contractor to take care of your Japanese knotweed problem can be costly - accordingly, it's not unusual for desperate homeowners to attempt a bit of DIY Japanese knotweed removal.
However, we DO NOT RECOMMEND removing Japanese knotweed yourself. The UK has strict laws in place to limit the spread of Japanese knotweed, and if you accidentally help this alien species to spread further, you may be prosecuted. Instead of taking the DIY approach, you're better off getting in touch with an experienced professional who knows how to control Japanese knotweed properly.
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Why shouldn't I remove Japanese knotweed myself?
Because you can get into serious trouble if you do it wrong. To quote the UK government's advice on how to dispose of Japanese knotweed:
"You could be fined up to £5,000 or be sent to prison for up to 2 years if you allow contaminated soil or plant material from any waste you transfer to spread into the wild."
Even a tiny fragment of Japanese knotweed root can grow into a whole new plant if it finds its way back into the soil. For this reason, knotweed must be handled with extreme care at all times, and there are rules about how you can dispose of it.
Again, we DO NOT RECOMMEND removing Japanese knotweed on your own. It's far safer to use a specialist contractor who's registered with the Property Care Association.
That said, we know that some people will ignore all warnings and attempt to clear away Japanese knotweed on their own anyway. With that in mind, we've put together a few DIY Japanese knotweed removal tips for those who are determined to do it themselves, regardless of the risks.
DIY Japanese knotweed removal tips
If you're determined to take on the sinister soil-dweller from The Land of the Rising Sun by yourself, it's not a decision to be taken lightly.
The slightest misstep could see the roots spread further and totally monopolise your garden. This may even have a negative impact on the value of your home.
As such, it's important get it right first time. To avoid accidentally spreading the plant, follow these tips...
1. Act quickly.
Japanese knotweed is notoriously difficult to get under control so early action is vital - this is no time to sit around and smell the roses.
Take action as soon as possible to nip the problem in the bud and catch your knotweed nuisance before it gets out of hand.
2. Remove all traces of the plant's roots.
The best way to take assertive action in your knotweed war it to get to the root of the problem by attacking the roots. Sadly, this is easier said than done and can be a lot more difficult than you might think.
Japanese knotweed roots (more properly called 'rhizomes') can bury themselves up to two metres below the surface. Worse still, it only takes a small piece of rogue root to grow into a new plant and potentially spread further.
3. Don't rely on 'alternative' treatments.
Alternative Japanese knotweed treatments and natural remedies - such as coffee, lime and vinegar - are very much like trying to cure a serious illness without prescription medication or surgical treatment. The evidence of their success is dubious at best.
When it comes to Japanese knotweed, there is no substitute for herbicides and specialist chemical treatment. While it may be tempting to go down the organic route for the health of your garden and the health of your pocket, the chances of it working is slim.
4. Be thorough.
The regenerative powers of Japanese knotweed are pretty remarkable. Even the smallest of remains boast surprising resilience and can regrow into an entirely new plant, making wholesale eradication an arduous yet necessary process.
In order to fully rid your property of Japanese knotweed, it's crucial to tackle every part of the wily weed. Failure to do so will only result in the issue returning down the line.
Professional Japanese knotweed removal
While it is theoretically possible (and legal) to remove Japanese knotweed from your property by yourself, the odds of achieving permanent success via the DIY route are slim.
In fact, for those looking to sell their property, a professional treatment plan may be a pre-requisite in order to stand any chance of selling in the first place. Many estate agents and mortgage lenders will need assurance from a professional that the problem is under control before any headway can be made.
If you want to maximise your chances of getting rid of your Japanese knotweed, it's best to call in the pros. Japanese knotweed specialists will be fully equipped with the tools and techniques necessary for an everlasting eviction.
At Taylor Total Weed Control, we have over 15 years' experience in Japanese knotweed removal. Our expert team of weed removal specialists are well-versed in the art of knotweed war and more than capable of tackling the most vicious of vine infestations.
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