Japanese Knotweed has been back in the media lately. An invasive plant notoriously difficult to get rid of. It was originally introduced into the UK by the Victorians as an ornamental plant. It was then used to strengthen structures such as railway embankments and canals. However, if left unchecked, it can cause serious damage to property, the value and can be very expensive to eradicate.
It is very common in many parts of the country, including South Wales. If you think you have an infestation, you should check whether or not it is Japanese Knotweed, or something else. Always err on the side of caution, though. And, if you do have an infestation at your property, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
How to spot Japanese Knotweed
When the plant is in foliage, Japanese Knotweed leaves are bright green and feature a signature shield or heart-shaped leaf. Each leaf has a pointed end and is arranged at staggered, even intervals along the stem. Leaves can be up to 14cm long, but don’t expect to see any during the winter, as the plants green foliage doesn’t last through the colder months.
Knotweed flowers are small creamy-white and form in loose clusters (panicles) in late summer or early autumn.
Not forgetting… Bohemian Knotweed
A hybrid plant formed from Japanese Knotweed and Giant Knotweed, this plant’s behaviour is similar to Japanese but more aggressive – achieving growth of 2-3 metres per day, with larger leaves and spread through the air in addition to contact, the plant is a significantly more vigorous variant.
Of the 4% of properties in UK affected by Japanese Knotweed, it’s estimated that 2% are affected by Bohemian Knotweed.
When buying a property, purchasers have, to some extent, some protection as the vendor must complete a standard property information form. This form declares whether the property or garden is, or has been, affected by Japanese Knotweed.
If you are the proud owner of a new property and suddenly find that you have some unwelcome vegetation in your garden, your position will be strengthened if you have asked the professionals assisting you to make specific investigations or enquiries on your behalf.
Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free initial 30 minute consultation with one of our specialists.