Two words can consistently strike fear into the heart of any site owner.
This is why it’s essential to know how to manage the treatment and eradication of Japanese Knotweed.
Let’s start by separating myth from reality. What is Japanese Knotweed and what damage can it do?
Japanese Knotweed is an aggressive weed which, in the UK, spreads aggressively via its fibrous rhizome. This root system, deep out of sight and underground, can if unchecked seriously affect your property.
In winter, Japanese Knotweed dies back, which is why site owners and even surveyors can miss its presence. Come spring however, it emerges and by early summer bamboo-like stems can shoot up to several metres in height.
Over the last twenty years, our teams at Valley Landscape Management have dealt with Japanese Knotweed at residential and commercial sites and my first piece of advice is not to panic. With the right expertise , it can be managed, and properties protected.
It is good to know that Japanese Knotweed cannot grow through solid concrete. If it finds weaknesses in surfaces or cracks in walls, it can establish itself but given that the root system of a large tree can cause structural damage, then why are trees are not viewed as a menace? As with trees close to property, correct management is essential.
As to why it has earned such a terrifying reputation, many mortgage companies and lenders have a part to play here. It is now established practice for them to stipulate that Japanese Knotweed growing on a property or within seven metres of a habitable space will deter lending unless an approved treatment plan is in place.
The result of this means that if Japanese Knotweed is present, it can have legal and cost implications and can deter leaseholders from taking up occupancy.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 sets out landowner’s responsibilities regarding the control of Japanese Knotweed. Added to this the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act of 2014. It makes provision for a Community Protection Notice to be issued requiring that action is taken to control and prevent the growth of invasive species.
This means that whilst it isn’t illegal to have the plant on your property, owners are responsible for its control.
A planned approach to managing Japanese Knotweed and protecting your site
First, we start with a site visit as the plant is sometimes confused with other weeds, such as Russian Vine, Docks and Dogwood.
Then we select the right approach depending on site requirements, from the straightforward use of chemical treatments through to comprehensive excavation and removal when rapid eradication is essential for development projects.
Most importantly, Valley Landscape Management is accredited and once we begin to treat and manage Japanese Knotweed, we guarantee our treatment plans and can provide an Insurance Backed Warranty for the treatment of Japanese Knotweed on your site.
Here’s how it works:
Year 1 – Treat the Japanese Knotweed and reduce coverage
Year 2 – Monitor and check for regrowth. Treat as necessary.
Year 3 & 4 – Follow up inspections
With no new growth identified over a two-year period, a site can be signed off and a 10-year warranty issued.