As the seasons begin to change and we start spending more time outside again, you might have noticed an unwelcome weed in your garden: Japanese knotweed. Thanks to its notorious growth and strength, discovering Japanese knotweed isn’t something to take lightly. If you think you’ve spotted the invasive plant on your premises, here’s the steps you need to take to ensure the infestation doesn’t get out of hand.
Why is Japanese knotweed so dangerous?
While the plant itself is harmless, its speedy growth and strong roots can cause devastation to the environment around it. Japanese knotweed’s roots can grow through even the toughest of man-made materials like concrete and tarmac, meaning that it’s a particular problem for homeowners or landowners looking to build. As well as this, the speed with which the plant can grow and spread means it can quickly overtake natural flora and fauna. If left to grow unattended, this can damage wild habitats, and stop natural ecosystems from flourishing.
No matter how widespread your Japanese knotweed infestation is, Ebsford Environmental have extensive experience in working with a wide range of solutions to remove the plant and rhizomes from your property, without creating any further damage.
How to get rid of the plant for good
Unfortunately, the severity of a Japanese knotweed infestation means it can often take up to 3 years for the weed to be fully eradicated, so if you’ve spotted the plant on your property, be prepared for a lengthy removal procedure. However, developments in environmental technology mean that there are now a variety of removal options available, depending on the kind of environment the plant is growing in, and how quickly you want it removed. Whichever way you choose to get rid of the weed, it’s crucial to ensure every last root and rhizome has been removed. This will stop any future infestations from cropping up, either in your garden or further afield in your local area.
The least invasive means of removing Japanese knotweed involves a herbicidal treatment or strong weedkiller to try and kill the roots off. Although you can carry out this method by yourself, it’s always advised that you seek professional advice because of just how quickly rhizomes can spread if dealt with incorrectly. For this procedure to be a success, the herbicide needs to be applied in the winter at first, once the plant has naturally died back during the colder months. Once the stalks and roots have been disposed of, the herbicide needs at least three more applications over the course of several seasons to ensure the entire area has been effectively treated.
If you’re looking for a method of removal that will solve your Japanese knotweed problem sooner rather than later, off-site removal is your best bet. During this process, the soil in which the plant is growing in, as well as the knotweed itself, is excavated and taken to a licensed disposal site. It is illegal under UK law to dump or compost Japanese knotweed because of the risks it can pose to natural wildlife, flora and fauna. So, finding correctly licensed transportation and disposal sites is crucial if you decide to go for this option.
Another less disruptive method for getting rid of Japanese knotweed permanently is to bury the entire affected area in different soil within your premises. If you’ve discovered knotweed on your property early on, before it has had the chance to grow out of control, this could be a great option for you.
On-site burial involves excavating the contaminated soil, applying a herbicide to kill the roots and rhizomes, and burying it in an unaffected area within your property. If you own commercial premises with a lot of land area, this could be a great option for you, as you don’t have to go through the process of finding a licensed disposal site, but simply transport to carry the hazardous plant from one part of your site to another.