Has Japanese Knotweed removal on your property suddenly and unexpectedly become a pressing issue ?
Have you been considering purchasing a property or perhaps you’re already the proud owner of one where Japanese Knotweed seems to have sprouted up and taken root ?
Well, before you go any further, it’s important to understand the potential hazards associated with this intrusive and fast spreading plant and the optimal strategies for safe and effective Japanese Knotweed removal.
What is Japanese Knotweed ?
Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an invasive perennial plant that hails originally from parts of East Asia.
It has been sprouting across the United Kingdom since the Victorian era when it was introduced as an ornamental plant.
Since then this hardy knotweed has spread throughout Europe and North America where its complex root structure and it’s ability to to regrow and spread from fragments of it’s own rhizome or stem make it it a particularly unwelcome visitor on your property.
Characterised by its bamboo like stems, green / purple speckled leaves and often tightly knitted clumps of small white buds, Japanese Knotweed is particularly troublesome as it can cause structural and foundational damage to walls, roads and buildings and can rapidly colonise gardens, yards, driveways and pathways.
And although innocuous-looking Japanese Knotweed is far from a harmless visitor to your domestic or commercial property.
It’s a serious menace to both homeowners and potential buyers, eroding not just your property’s value, but even its very foundations.
In some cases it’s presence has been known to diminish property prices by 10 to 40% depending on the scale and severity of the infestation.
And this can even be with a treatment plan in place, without a plan it can render your property unsellable.
Not only can the presence of Japanese Knotweed devalue your property, it can also be a massive structural problem.
Its roots and root structure can be deceivingly powerful and extensive, capable of breaking through masonry and weak or compromised concrete foundations, making the problems caused much more severe.
How Can I Remove It ?
The first step in safely and effectively getting to the root of your Japanese Knotweed problem is to identify exactly where it’s located on your property, and whether there is just one infestation or several smaller ones.
Remember the distinctive bamboo like stems, green and purple speckled leaves and tight white flower bud appearance.
The first port of call for Japanese Knotweed removal should always be to get a free quote from an experienced knotweed removal company.
These are often cost free with no obligation and will give you a good idea of the scale of your infestation and treatment methods available and associated costs.
Remember, although some people do successfully remove weaker infestations, this is actually quite rare and can create bigger problems further down the line if not done correctly.
With a professional contractor removal methods will vary depending on the nature of the infestation and could include herbicide treatments to kill the plant, ideally using environmentally friendly methods to to ensure that surrounding plants and wildlife are unaffected.
Herbicide treatments are generally the cheapest option but it takes at least a few seasons to be fully effective.
Excavation of the plant is also an option and involves physically removing the roots from the ground, along with any affected soil. This again must be done in an environmentally friendly manner as the disposal of Japanese Knotweed waste can only be done at licensed landfill sites as there are legal requirements in place and failure to adhere to these can result in fines and / or legal action.
Excavation is usually immediate but can be much more expensive due to the cost of the infested soil disposal.
Thirdly, there is the option to bury the plant. This must be done extremely carefully to ensure there is no spread and covered with a barrier to prevent it from growing back.
Depending on the size, scale and nature of the infestation there is always the option to combine these methods but again that will depend on the severity and exact nature of the individual infestation.
You should always get a full treatment and management plan in place and an insurance backed guarantee for peace of mind.
Remember, although the presence of knotweed on your property can be quite disturbing at the time, quick identification and initial management of the infestation can ensure no further spread and the complete eradication of knotweed from your property so act quickly and nip the problem in the bud !