The autumn and winter months are a relief for people with Japanese knotweed on their property. It's a time of respite in the battle with this exotic plant that seemingly just cannot be killed off. But will it finally just shrivel up and die in the bitter cold of winter?
Japanese knotweed certainly grows rapidly during the summer months, and if not tackled, it will soon take over entire gardens, homes and anything else in its way. Many property owners grow alarmed when they think they have got the better of this beast of a plant, only for it to shoot back up and expand like wildfire once more.
Brought into the UK in the 1800s as an ornamental plant, due to its attractive, heart-shaped leaves, people soon grew tired of its wild-growing ways and threw their once-beloved plants out. Left to grow out of control, Japanese knotweed has gone on to become one of the most invasive plant species in the world.
Peculiar Property Problems
Apart from growing unstoppably in gardens or anywhere else on a property, Japanese knotweed poses real risks to the property itself — and therefore your pocket. If it's growing near to a wall or the side of a building, the roots can easily identify cracks and weak parts of the structure and invade them. As it grows, it can cause walls and other areas of a building to split, resulting in serious structural damage. The root system can also damage water pipes as it searches for moisture, and this can interfere with drainage pipes, occasionally even lifting them right up.
Then there's the matter of buying or selling a house with Japanese knotweed growing on it. It's a sure bet you won't be able to do either unless you get rid of it — the professional way — and get a solid, insurance-backed guarantee that the job was done right. Mortgage providers will usually insist on this, and if you don’t effectively deal with this difficult weed, it could result in a lowering of your property’s value.
There are also legal issues to be aware of with Japanese knotweed. It’s not illegal to let it grow on a property, but if it encroaches onto a neighbouring one, you could be slapped with a police notice. Hefty fines and a prison sentence may follow if the problem is not properly dealt with. And even if you dig up Japanese knotweed and try to dispose of it, it can’t just be thrown out into the wild, where it will start growing rapidly again.
What Is the Japanese Knotweed Removal Cost?
At this stage, you might be wondering that the Japanese knotweed removal cost is. The answer is, it depends. A series of herbicidal treatments done over a period of time by a professional Japanese knotweed eradication firm is generally fairly low-cost. But it does take quite a number of treatments, and up to a year or more for it to be effective and kill off the entire plant system.
For property owners who cannot wait — especially if they’re buying or selling a property — the only real solution is a professional dig-out of the plant. This extracts the problematic root network so there’s nothing left in the soil to start growing back. This procedure can be carried out in a number of days, and can be costly. But when you stand to otherwise lose a substantial amount of money through a lost sale or purchase, or property damage, it’s a wise investment.
So with all this in mind, can you just hope that winter will finally kill of the Japanese knotweed infestation on your property? Probably not. The deep and expansive root system is well insulated underground, and will be ready to send up new shoots and reactivate existing ones once the warmer days of spring come around. Kill it off before it gets a chance, and protect your precious property.