Getting rid of a knotty problem

Some frequently asked questions about Japanese Knotweed

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What does a knotweed look like?

Japanese knotweed is also known by the Latin name Fallopia japonica. It can be easy to spot, with thick stems that look like bamboo and grow up to seven foot high. The canes develop a purple-blotched stem, with heart-shaped leaves.

Identification is vital. Japanese knotweed can be confused with other plants including Russian vine and Himalayan honeysuckle.

What’s the problem?

The Environment Agency has called Japanese knotweed “indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant.”

That’s because it spreads so rapidly. Through the winter months, the plant dies back to ground level but by early summer its growth stifles all other plants’ development.

Japanese Knotweed damages property when its roots can crack concrete, harming foundations as well as blocking drainage pipes. It can also cause damage to cables and water pipes. Roots release chemicals into the soil and this is what hampers the germination of other plants as well as growing up to ten centimetres a day, smothering surrounding growth of plants.

Where does it come from?

Guess what, Japanese knotweed is originally from Japan. It’s also seen in China and Korea– and on the side of volcanoes.  

Why shouldn’t you tackle it yourself?

The main cause for concern is you decide to dig out this plant without professional help is what you can then do with it, as it’s identified as a 'controlled waste' under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This means it has to be disposed of at specially licensed landfill sites. On no account should Japanese knotweed should never be included with any normal household waste or added for collection in green waste collection schemes.

We are a specialist Japanese knotweed contractor and registered waste carrier. That means we can skilfully and safely remove the weed from site and dispose of it safely.

Is having Japanese knotweed in your grounds against the law?

It’s not illegal to have the plant on your property; it is against the law to allow it to spread, including allowing the roots to spread underground into neighbouring property.

Importantly, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, because the plant is classed as “controlled waste” that means it’s illegal to dig it up and remove it from your property unless it is disposed of at a licensed landfill site.

Under the provisions made within Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to cause Japanese knotweed to grow in the wild.

If the Japanese knotweed has a "detrimental effect of a persistent or continuing nature on the quality of life of those in the locality", this can lead to prosecution under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The solution

If you’re worried about the spread of Japanese knotweed then contact our expert team in the environmental sector on 0330 128 9898.

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