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, there are 2 which are considered most 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 (Cardiospermum)

Belonging to the soapberry family, Balloon vine is a climbing plant that can survive in tropical and sub-tropical conditions and is 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 (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 These 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 & 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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