“Be afraid. Be very afraid.” It’s a chilling line in a great horror film, but are the headlines right to apply it to Japanese knotweed? Read on to find out.
Japanese Knotweed Damage
To read the headlines about Japanese knotweed, you could be forgiven for thinking it a rampaging beast, carving swathes of destruction through innocent gardens across the UK.
Rest assured, it’s not quite that bad.
The main problems with Japanese knotweed are how quickly it grows, and how difficult it is to eliminate permanently.
While the plant can cause damage to your property, it does this by exploiting structural weaknesses, rather than causing them:
- It can grow through small cracks in walls, fences, driveways, and patios.
- As the plant pushes through these cracks, its growth exerts pressure, potentially weakening the structure in question.
- Japanese knotweed roots can also block up pipes and drains.
These problems are not unique to Japanese knotweed, however. Oak and poplar trees can cause blocked drains and structural damage with their roots. English ivy can lift roof tiles, pull away guttering, and its roots can penetrate cracks in the masonry.
Japanese knotweed poses more of a threat to the rest of your garden, and to local ecosystems, thanks to how quickly it grows and spreads.
Due to its rapid growth – up to 10cm a day in the right conditions! – Japanese knotweed can quickly overtake an area and outcompete the local plants, which impacts the local wildlife.
All of this means that its presence can devalue your property, and failure to disclose its presence when selling is grounds for legal action against you.
Japanese Knotweed Removal
It isn’t a legal requirement, but removing Japanese knotweed is a good idea for any landowner who discovers it on their property.
This is what the government guidelines state:
You must stop Japanese knotweed on your land from spreading off your property. Soil or plant material contaminated with non-native and invasive plants like Japanese knotweed can cause ecological damage and may be classified as controlled waste.
You do not legally have to remove Japanese knotweed from your land unless it’s causing a nuisance, but you can be prosecuted for causing it to spread into the wild.
Getting rid of Japanese knotweed is easier said than done. The plant’s root system can grow as deep as two metres, and the whole plant can regrow from a tiny section of its root rhizome. This makes it very hard to eradicate. Fortunately, we offer several different treatment plans to help you get this pesky plant under control.
If you are concerned about Japanese knotweed on your property, let us know. We can offer a free survey to put your mind at ease.
Contact Taylor Total Weed Control