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Horsetail (often referred to as Mare’s tail) – This is an under-rated problem, but Clearsafe Japanese Knotweed are getting a growing number of calls regarding the treatment and eradication of this plant, due to its ability to destroy new tarmac and poke through cracks in paving. We believe the problem is growing because of a lack of awareness surrounding its ability to spread on the wind using spores. The plant is very simple but robust which makes it quite resistant to non-specialist weed killers. It also has a deep root or rhizome system like Japanese Knotweed that makes it very difficult to dig out or kill with a single herbicide application.
Himalayan Balsam – If Horsetail is an under-rated problem, this is overrated. We normally recommend people to deal with this themselves, although we are happy to provide mortgage reports with advice on self-eradication. If you just want to get rid of it, just keep pulling it up before the seed-pods form for a few years and you should beat it because the seeds don’t last more than a few years in the soil. Don’t waste your money on herbicides which will have an effect on other plants.
Giant Hogweed – After all the publicity in the last few years, it’s surprising we don’t get many calls for Giant Hogweed; most calls are mistaken identifications with Common Hogweed. Having said all this, Giant Hogweed is definitely one to call in the experts as soon as you notice it, due to the potential for serious injury. Contact with the plant can make your skin photosensitive, so that you can suddenly develop painful burns. The seeds can be very long-lasting so it needs to be dealt with.
Bamboo – Invasive Bamboo is also a growing problem whose story bare many similarities to Japanese Knotweed. Used as an ornamental plant, many varieties are invasive with runners firing up to 30 feet underground before re-emerging as a separate infestation; it can also be very difficult to kill and can cause damage to buildings. This may be a source of neighbour disputes in years to come and even mortgage refusals. We’re also seeing Bamboo infestations springing up in natural environments from either introduction by well-meaning individuals or fly-tipping of old pot plants!