Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive plant and a major problem for property owners and developers in the UK. Its rapid growth can damage and undermine driveways, buildings, and other structures. Its roots can also extend up to 30 feet underground and appear through lawns and patios. It is a significant risk to human activities and the environment, so its presence is governed by legislation. Mortgage lenders will often not lend on properties where it is present, and developers are required to eradicate it on sites that they manage.
It is difficult to kill, and can continue to grow for years after it has been killed, making it a nuisance for residents and businesses. The plant is able to withstand a range of conditions, including a lack of sunlight and deep shade, high salt levels in soil, and dry climates. Infestations are commonly found along rivers, streams, and river banks, in low-lying areas, and around old homes and farmsteads.
While it is possible to use herbicides to control japanese knotweed, this is not a recommended approach. Chemicals used on this plant can have a detrimental impact on the health of local wildlife, and even cause harm to people who come into contact with it. In addition, glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, has been linked to cancer and may disrupt the gut bacteria of pollinating insects.
The best way to deal with a knotweed infestation is to seek professional help. A PCA qualified surveyor will be able to verify the identity of the weed and recommend the most effective removal method for the site. They will take a range of factors into consideration, such as the location and the scale of the infestation, as well as the cost and time frame.
A variety of methods can be used to remove japanese knotweed, depending on the size of the infestation and how much disruption is caused. In most cases, the rhizomes must be removed to guarantee complete eradication. This can be achieved using chemical treatments, which usually require several years to take effect, or by excavation and removal. This option is typically more expensive, but it can be a more cost-effective and quicker solution than a long-term treatment programme.
If you are concerned that your property is infested with Japanese knotweed, or are planning to develop it, you should seek the advice of a PCA member japanese knotweed specialist near me as soon as possible. They can carry out a homeowner survey, which is normally free of charge, and advise on the best way to proceed. They can provide an accurate estimate of the cost and time frame of the removal process, and can work with neighbours to reach a shared solution if necessary. They can also assist with obtaining funding and overcoming legal hurdles if required.