Japanese knotweed – more than a mere weed
Most likely, you have not heard of the Japanese knotweed. You can even have it in your garden and not be aware of it. But what is the problem, is this other grass, or is it? It turns out that Japanese knotweed is a severe problem. It is such a problem that it is recognized as the most invasive non-native plant species in the United Kingdom, and the plant, as well as any soil contaminated with Japanese peas, is classified by the United Kingdom Environmental Protection Agency as controlled waste.
As its name suggests, the Japanese knotweed originated in Japan, where this resistant plant grew on the slopes of volcanoes. It was introduced in the United Kingdom in the 1820s as an ornamental plant due to its stems in the form of bamboo and pretty white flowers at the end of summer. However, without any natural predator in the United Kingdom and due to its rapid growth (up to 10 cm per day), this plant spread rapidly and did not allow the growth of native vegetation. It is interesting to note that all Japanese cabbage plants in the United Kingdom are female, so plants are not propagated by pollination. In contrast, new shoots of the plant are spread through fragments of rhizome (root), which can be covered by animals and natural processes or people through the movement of soil or even the inclination of flies.
What distinguishes the Japanese knotweed from other weeds is the damage it can cause. Knotweed is a recognized problem in the construction industry due to the damage it can cause to the construction of foundations, walls, and even asphalt and concrete. In its endless search for light, the knotweed will find and detect cracks or weak points on hard surfaces, such as the owner of the house, the car entrances and the yard. The boundary walls between real estate are not an obstacle, and this is where one of the other main problems associated with Japanese Knotweed comes into play.
Planting and cultivation
While planting or allowing the cultivation of the Japanese crest in the wild is an offense, as the owner of a piece of land, the law does not require that a knot be removed if it does not damage the adjacent property. This means that if, for example, your neighbor’s access road is damaged due to a knot that, as can be shown, originated on your property, for instance, under your fence, then you may be asked for accounts.
However, there is an even more severe problem when it comes to buying or selling real estate, where there is a Japanese knotweed on the ground or even on the adjacent land. Mortgage lenders do recognize the knuckle problem, and real estate inspectors are assigned to observe the plant and, as a result, are denied a mortgage. Now, this is a sufficient reason to pay attention to this weed!
Developer and owner
So, as a developer or owner, what can you do to solve the Japanese Knotweed problem? First, you need to identify the plant. As a perennial plant, its appearance changes over a year, but a quick search on the Internet for images of a thick grass will give you an idea of what you are looking for. So, if you think you have a goat, you do not want to try to solve the problem by yourself. Herbicides do not work without a prescription. They can impact the plant to a resting state, which gives the impression that it has killed the plant. However, up to 2 meters underground, the roots will survive and be ready to surprise you next spring. The bottom line is that you have to call a professional company that specializes in full settlement. In the end, it’s worth it.