Japanese knotweed shoots are similar to bamboo in appearance, sporting a reddish-brown hue on the stems. Young Japanese knotweed might also feature leaves that are shovel-shaped. Around the sites of sprouting Japanese knotweed plants, gardeners, landowners, and homeowners will also locate clusters of dead stems. As the UK’s most aggressive plant, it can grow through dead foliage and cracks in robust building materials, such as brick and concrete.
Originally introduced in the UK during the Victorian era, Japanese knotweed plants were designed to give gardens and open spaces a decorative aesthetic. Whilst they can be nice to look at, they pose considerable issues for homeowners looking to sell a property as the plants can significantly damage buildings and solid materials.
How to Identify Young Japanese Knotweed
Addressing Japanese knotweed early can prove to be incredibly invaluable. Specialists can support you by completing surveys on residential homes and commercial sites, helping you understand the implications Japanese knotweed could have on your properties. As well as causing significant damage to domestic buildings and commercial premises, it can also carry its own financial implications impacting property owners and mortgage lenders. Houses with Japanese knotweed may not be as appealing to buyers, especially if the problem has not been properly assessed. This could cause delays with house sales. That’s why early identification and treatment are better.
The below indicators should you help identify potential Japanese knotweed sprouts before they develop further.
Purple or Reddish-Brown Sprouts
Due to its colourful stem, Japanese knotweed can be mistaken for decorative garden shrubs such as Siberian Dogweed. Whilst Japanese knotweed shoots are eye-catching, they can be the first indicator towards potential structural and legal issues. Japanese knotweed is problematic for domestic buildings due to its rapid growth and strong roots. However, it can also affect other plants and vegetation.
As Japanese knotweed starts to sprout, its roots (rhizomes) emerge from the ground, which creates a similar appearance to bamboo. Fully grown, Japanese knotweed stems are hollow, thin, and green with red flecks. From the exterior, they appear very similar to bamboo shoots in their structure. This bamboo-like appearance is also seen in Japanese knotweed shoots.
Dead Shoots Clustered Together
In winter months, Japanese knotweed plants tend to die back causing debris of broken stems. During this time, they are brittle enough to be snapped by hand. Although this might create the impression that the plant is dead, the widespread root network is very much thriving. Using simple gardening techniques to manage the infestation can cause greater problems in the long term.
Young Japanese knotweed sprouts can develop with a prominent leaf on show. They are likened to shovel, shield, and heart shapes, creating a distinctive appearance alongside the purple and reddish stems. When the plant begins to sprout, it mimics a very similar colour to the stems.
Sprouts from Dead Foliage, even Building Materials
The root system of the Japanese knotweed is very aggressive and can grow through cracks or weakpoints in the most robust building materials, such as brick and cement. Best described as invasive, young Japanese knotweed can sprout from dead foliage and even structural foundations. Japanese knotweed growing on or in the ground around your property could also attach a stigma when trying to sell your home. In addition, allowing it to spread to neighbouring properties and the wild could be costly.
Aggressive Plant Growth
Unfortunately, the plant is also considered fast-growing. In some instances, Japanese knotweed can grow by up to 20cm a day. Although self-identification is possible, specialists will need to tackle and treat the plant. It is the responsibility of the landowner to report and prevent germination once it has been discovered. It is possible to be prosecuted for allowing Japanese knotweed to spread into the wild.
Spot and Act – Japanese Knotweed on Your Property Needs Urgent Treatment
Japanese knotweed grows at an alarming rate and continues to cause structural and legal problems for home and landowners. Professional support and guidance are always available from Japanese Knotweed Specialists.
Get in touch today to receive a quote from an expert consultant. We can supply an identification survey and discuss Japanese knotweed removal.