Many weeds can spring up in the garden during the warm growing season and even the most experienced gardener will not always know what they all are. Usually, just pulling them up by hand or spraying them with weedkiller will do the trick and get rid of them for good. But there's one plant that tells a different story and, once it takes root in your garden, it can be almost impossible to get rid of.
This is Japanese knotweed, a plant native to the Orient that was brought to Britain in the early 1800s. You might well ask why anyone would import a troublesome weed to a country, but, back then, it was seen as an attractive and ornamental plant. Indeed, members of Victorian high society prized Japanese knotweed for its dainty, white flowers and pretty, heart-shaped leaves.
But they had no idea what they were dealing with and, when they realised they had a plant that grew almost out of control and took over everything else in the garden, they quickly got rid of it. Disposed of out in the wild and untamed, Japanese knotweed grew like wildfire and, ever since, it's been causing havoc to homes all over the country - presenting real risks to properties and the people who live in them.
Japanese Knotweed Troubles
If Japanese knotweed appears in a garden, it will rapidly spread and grow tall and wide - shooting up by as much as 20cm in a single day. That's when you know you really have a problem. The underground root system is the heart of Japanese knotweed woes, however, and as it grows and seeks out moisture, it can exploit fissures and cracks in walls, growing into them and expanding - causing structural damage along the way. The roots can also cause problems with underground piping.
In the UK, it's illegal to let Japanese knotweed spread on to neighbouring land or properties, and if it happens, you could find yourself in real legal trouble and possibly hit with a substantial fine. And because this non-native species is such a problem, it's not possible to dispose of it out in the wild either - this also carries potential legal difficulties and there are strict disposal rules that must be followed so that the weed doesn't spread further.
Anyone who has had Japanese knotweed in their garden and tried to sell the property knows all too well what a hard, if not impossible, task it can be. Mortgage lenders won't usually approve a loan for a house purchase that has Japanese knotweed on it, so buyers may be hard to come by. And it that wasn't bad enough, the presence of Japanese knotweed on a property can do serious damage to its value, causing it to plummet by tens of thousands of pounds.
Proper Japanese Knotweed Removal
If you try to get rid of Japanese knotweed yourself, it's probably not going to work. A lot of time, effort and money can be spent cutting it down, spraying the plant with weedkiller and even digging it up out of the ground - only for the weed to spring back to life and start growing all over again. It's the extensive root network that needs to be killed off, and doing that is no easy job.
That's why a professional Japanese knotweed removal firm is almost always required to get rid of this scourge of a weed. Professional removal firms will have access to potent herbicides not available to the public and they will use these over a number of growing seasons to kill the plant. If faster Japanese knotweed removal is required - if you're planning to sell or buy a property with an infestation, for example - they can perform an expert dig-out of the weed to ensure there's nothing left to start growing again.
With the best Japanese knotweed removal companies typically offering an insurance-backed guarantee of up to 10 years, you can sleep easy once again.