Japanese knotweed is a perennially herbaceous plant which can grow up to 20cm a day and develop a stubborn root system that can establish itself over 2 metres deep into the ground. Introduced to the UK as an ornamental plant in the 19th Century, it was widely used to hide unsightly railway line features, causing the weed to spread rapidly throughout the rest of the country.
If you suspect knotweed to be growing either on your property or on any neighbouring land, it’s important that you take action sooner rather than later. Knotweed grows in a wide variety of climates and whilst it might be easy to spot once it’s grown in full force, it can be difficult to differentiate from a number of its relatives. Positive identification should be your first priority, so that you can take action against your problem.
Knotweed is more than just an unsightly weed. Capable of quickly colonising a garden, it’s root systems, known as rhizomes, are incredibly hardy and have no trouble in burrowing through driveways, cracking drains and even bringing down garden sheds. These roots cannot simply be yanked out, they require professional attention in order to be successfully and completely eradicated.
Although you can attempt to remove a knotweed infestation yourself, complete eradication is unlikely unless you hire a professional company to assess your situation. Knotweed is particularly resistant to traditional forms of weed control. Whilst it can be relatively easy to hack through the plant at a surface level, destroying it’s deep-set root system is a job that is virtually impossible to do by hand – attempting to do so could even worsen your problem.
Knotweed has the ability to reproduce from the smallest of fragments, meaning that if you disperse any shards of the plant whilst attempting to remove it you’re likely to see more shoots rising in a matter of days.
This regenerative ability renders conventional control methods risky. It also means that any plant matter you do remove must be dealt with responsibly. Due to it’s invasive nature, knotweed is classified as ‘controlled waste’; throwing cuttings into the bin is a criminal offence and you can’t get rid of them at a waste collection site.
In order to successfully tackle your knotweed problem and protect yourself financially it’s crucial that you hire professionals to inspect, identify and destroy it. These professionals should be accredited and trusted by insurance companies, so that you can obtain the correct paperwork to prove that your knotweed situation is under control.
Complete eradication of a knotweed infestation can take up to a few years, but you shouldn’t have to shoulder the entire financial cost of it, especially if you weren’t informed of it by the previous owner, if a surveyor failed to spot it before your purchase, or if it has spread from a neighbouring property.
If you need guidance on how to resolve a dispute involving Japanese knotweed on your property then contact us today, to see how we could help you.