Japanese knotweed, described by the Environment Agency as “indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant”, is a growing menace right across the UK.

Most worryingly for us home owners is the threat that the weed poses to property sales.  Lenders are taking the presence of Japanese knotweed (JKW) very seriously and in some cases refusing to lend on blighted properties.

The Daily Mail reported this year that small building societies such as Skipton and Leeds will decline mortgage applications on properties where JKW is present and others such as Barclays Bank, which also owns the Woolwich, and Santander, will decline them unless work is undertaken to remove it.

What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese knotweed was introduced to Britain in the 19th century as an ornamental plant.  Over time it has become widespread in its range of habitats, including roadsides, riverbanks and derelict buildings.  It  out competes native plants and animals.

JKW2    JKW4  JKW3

How JKW Spreads

It spreads through its crown, rhizome (underground stem) and stem segments, rather than its seeds.  The wed can grow a meter in a month and can cause heave below concrete and tarmac, coming up through the resulting cracks and damaging buildings and roads.  Studies have shown that a 1cm section of rhizome can produce a new plant in 10 days.

What to do if you see Japanese Knotweed

Contact us immediately.

We would be happy to provide a FREE survey and advice on how to deal with the situation.  It is very important that you take action otherwise you may be deemed as causing a private nuisance to surrounding properties (in some cases) – nevermind endanagering any future mortgage application.

What we would do

If we confirm that you have JKW on your site then we would reccommend to you a course of chemical treatment through the use of selected herbicides.  This may or may not be accompanied by some excavation depending on the site.

DO NOT cut and dispose of the stems yourself.  The 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act made it illegal to plant Japanese knotweed in the wild or to allow it to grow by carelessly disposing of unwanted cuttings or soil.

Don’t worry!

Although JKW is a pest it is still just a plant and we can help you sort it out!  The biggest threat of all comes not from the JKW itself but from inaction when it is discovered.  Like most problems it will not just go away – rather the opposite.  Please do get in touch with us right away as our team can propose a solution.

Contact Angus now on 07714343158 or email gus@trees4scotland.com if you think you have this suspicious plant lurking in your garden or near your place of work.

Thanks to the Environment Agency for their continued good work and up to date information.  More information and a selection of recent press articles on the subject can be found below:

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/wildlife/130079.aspx

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2370938/Japanese-knotweed-invasion-halting-house-sales-buyers-denied-mortgages-blighted-properties.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/plants/10171425/Ive-gone-to-war-with-Japanese-knotweed.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningadvice/10168884/Japanese-knotweed-the-tarmac-smashing-thug-invading-our-gardens.html

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/sep/08/japanese-knotweed-house-sale