Japanese Knotweed Removal Plan of Action – What to Do & When
Japanese knotweed is never welcome news for a home owner or business site and if you’ve discovered you have it, then you need a Japanese knotweed removal plan and fast. One of the most problematic plant species in the UK, Japanese knotweed grows at incredible speed in all directions and is a master at multiplying. With no natural predator, Japanese knotweed can quickly get out of control.
Once established, Japanese knotweed is incredibly difficult to get rid of and if discovered in a home or property, must be dealt with as soon as possible. If left unattended, this invasive weed has the ability to penetrate all manner of building material, from patios and drains, to through cracks in concrete.
Unfortunately, the resistant root system and contagious nature of the rhizomes, means Japanese knotweed management isn’t easy. In this blog, we look at tried and tested Japanese knotweed treatment and how to implement a knotweed management plan ongoing.
Japanese Knotweed Identification
What does Japanese knotweed look like?
Japanese knotweed can be difficult to identify as it does look similar to a few other plant species, but the RHS horticultural society has a good overview on what to look for. Things to look out for are the bright green heart shaped leaves. The stems are a vibrant purple and hollow, similar to bamboo - another invasive plant which can require removal. They have small nodes at regular intervals. During summer time, the female species produces white floral sprays which can grow to around 12cm in length. In autumn and winter, the plant begins to turn brown with orange hue and stems become brittle and has a musty odour. Inside the stem is orange to yellow and darker from the centre. At the very base of the stem, will be the birth place of new shoots and rhizomes.
Japanese knotweed shoots
During spring time shoots emerge and look rather like asparagus tips, but with red tinges. The leaves begin rolled up around the shoot as they emerge, to then unfurl into the fledgling plant. These young leaves are green with red/purple trimmings.
If you think you may have Japanese knotweed, feel free to take a photo and send it to our friendly team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org . We offer free, no-obligation assessments.
Japanese knotweed damage
If left, Japanese knotweed is linked to several worrying problems, both to the individual, the business and environmentally. Some of these are:
- Aesthetic damage to domestic gardens
- Mortgage lenders refusing to loan finance for property
- Reduced property value
- Financial loss to homes and commercial business thanks to ongoing control costs, or delayed development plans
- Neighbourly disputes and legal battles
- Loss of biodiversity – knotweed rapid growth enables it to dominate natural species found in UK
- Riverbank erosion leading to increased flood risks
How to get rid of Japanese knotweed
You may be wondering how to treat Japanese knotweed yourself. The bad news is that it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to get rid of Japanese knotweed without professional help and it’s not an acceptable option to do nothing.
Also, you may find that without an insurance backed, Property Care Association (PCA) certified company, you cannot easily buy and sell your property either. Japanese knotweed must be reported in the ta6 form that is a required survey report of property exchange and it can impact on the value and mortgage. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors offers sound information on the legal position and required action for Japanese knotweed.
If you’re buying or selling a home, find out more information about the impact of Japanese knotweed when buying and selling homes here.
The better news is that different knotweed treatments are available according to your budget, preferences and objectives. Here at Japanese knotweed specialists, we begin with a full site survey which means we can provide you with exactly what needs to be done and how much it will cost.
Knotweed removal can be a long process that takes place over many months and even years, depending on the severity of the infestation. Other factors for treatment plans include maturity and extent of the plant, location, condition of the site it’s growing on and origin.
Japanese knotweed specialists ensure our treatment plan is completely transparent and we report back at every state of the process. We understand it’s a big expenditure and it’s important to us that our customers fully understand our intentions and our plan of action when removing knotweed.
Our comprehensive annual solution includes every attention to detail as you can see from our Japanese knotweed removal planner infographic.
We always look to immediately contain Japanese knotweed and prevent it from spreading any further. Below are some of the main knotweed treatments we use:
Herbicide Treatment includes weed control by spraying affected areas mostly in domestic gardens. Herbicide spraying is popular for those on a smaller budget who are keeping a smaller case of Japanese knotweed under control. Good if you’re not in any hurry, because herbicide treatment can take up to 5 years to completely kill the knotweed off. It can kill nearby plants and it isn’t adequate for those wishing to develop their land or property because of the nature of the rhizome system.
As the name suggests, stem injection involves injecting a concentrated dose of herbicide into individual canes. This is preferable for wildlife areas that you don’t wish to disrupt via spraying, which can affect and kill nearby plants. If Japanese knotweed is found near to water, stem injection is considered the ideal solution.
Excavation and removal
Literally digging out the entire area of Japanese knotweed can be the solution for construction sites. Moved out of building areas and to non-use, excavation and removal is the chosen method for developers who don’t wish to have their timeframe disrupted by knotweed. By excavating, you can deal with Japanese knotweed at a later time.
Expensive and quite extreme, it is possible to lift the entire area of Japanese knotweed out of the ground and seal it inside of a plastic membrane. The ‘burial site’ must be placed where it cannot be disturbed and there is a requirement to inform the environment agency, as well as clearly mark it on all site plans.
Killing Japanese knotweed
Once your Japanese knotweed is gone, we offer full 5 or 10 year insurance backed guarantee and are the first company to offer a 35 year guarantee to cover the length of your mortgage. We are confident that we can completely eradicate Japanese knotweed for good.
Japanese knotweed removal cost
The cost of Japanese knotweed treatment and removal entirely depends on which method is used and the area size, but all work carried out by the Japanese knotweed specialist team is guaranteed for anything between 5-35 years. As a rough guide, costs are:
- For areas smaller than 49m2, costs range from between £1,000 for herbicide treatment to £4,000 for full excavation and removal from site.
- For areas of 50-99m2, herbicide treatment starts at £3,000 and full excavation from £14,000.
- For large areas of 100-499m2, you could be looking at costs upwards of £3950 for herbicide treatment to £35,000 for full excavation.
- For severe infestations of 500-1000m2, herbicide starts at £5,000 and full excavation at £100,000
To find out more about the costs of Japanese Knotweed Removal, please take a look here.
Japanese knotweed success stories
We are pleased to say we’ve treated thousands of sites and homes with Japanese knotweed problems across the country and we can prove our management plans are extremely effective.
If you have Japanese knotweed, make sure you choose a PCA accredited knotweed specialist. By using Japanese knotweed specialists, you can rest assured that we are compliant with the PCA Japanese knotweed code of practice.
This means you can receive industry leading guarantees and insurance backed guarantees from anywhere between 5-35 years in cover.