Out Of control Japanese Knotweed Could Land You With a Criminal Record

Out Of control Japanese Knotweed Could Land You With a Criminal Record

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

At CYB Environment we know everything there is to know about japanese knotweed, we also know how destructive it can be. We have put together this blog to make you aware of the potential dangers of having Japanese knotweed on your property. But first, what is japanese knotweed?

What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese knotweed is an invasive species of plant which has bamboo-like stems and has small white flowers. This plant is part of the ‘Dock’ family and is notoriously difficult to get rid of. It is known as the phoenix in the plant world due to the fact that even fire can’t kill it off. It was originally brought to Britain for its beauty and was named the “most interesting ornamental plant of the year” in 1847. In its native homeland this plant is also kept at bay by the climate and also native insects that feed on this plant, whereas the environment in Britain allows it to grow out of control and become aggressive.

How can a plant give you a criminal record?

Japanese knotweed is a troublesome plant with huge destructive roots, they have been known to cause structural damage to many properties. The Home Office issued guidance on Japanese Knotweed in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act of 2014. They say a person who has failed to act upon the growth of Japanese Knotweed to the extent that it affects the quality of life of those around it could find themselves being served with a Community Protection Notice.

Failure to then comply with the notice would result in a criminal offence and a large fine (which can be anything up to £2,500 for an individual and £20,000 for an organisation). In Scotland and Ireland, businesses in the local area are already held responsible for making sure Japanese Knotweed doesn’t spread to the local areas as it threatens biodiversity, the economy and human health. Having Japanese knotweed on your property can affect potential house prices, if you are looking to buy or sell.

How do I know if I have Japanese Knotweed?

Large heart shaped green leaves, arranged in a zig-zag across the stem
Red tinged roots and bamboo-like stems
Dense clumps of overgrown plants
Clusters of white flowers around July time, that attract a lot of bees
Brown dead looking stems after it’s died back in September/November time

Did you know that japanese knotweed can grow up to 20cm a day? These plants will take over your garden/property and ensure that plants in your garden will receive less sunlight. Their roots run deep underground, ensuring that they will pop up all around your property. Japanese Knotweed is strong and almost impossible to get rid of without professional help, as it can grow through concrete and tarmac ruining roads, buildings and destabilising river banks.

How do we get rid of it?

If you believe you have identified a growth of Japanese Knotweed at your home or property then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

As a homeowner with Japanese Knotweed, you are responsible for ensuring that the plant does not spread into neighbouring land, whether it be privately or publicly owned.

Report Japanese knotweed to your local council if you have noticed that the plant growing unchecked on council land, or if it has spread onto your own property.

For any queries on the above or if you would like a free identification of a potential Japanese Knotweed plant, please contact us at info@cyb-environmental.com

japanese knotweed on railways

Japanese Knotweed On Railways

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive non-native plant pest and is considered one of the most problematic plant species in the UK and Ireland. The species was introduced to Britain in mid-19th century as an ornamental plant for large gardens, prized due to its imposing size and sprays of creamy white flowers.

Knotweed’s Sinister Nature

You may have seen these plants at railways while waiting for a train or simply passing a station, without realising the devastating effects that Japanese Knotweed has on the environment and on man-made structures. Please see the information under the title “how to identify Japanese Knotweed“, to be able to identify plants in your in area.

Japanese Knotweed thrives in non-restricted areas and out in the open near railways as the plant is not being disturbed and has ample access to sunlight and water. This allows it to spread rapidly and outgrow other plant species. Japanese knotweed has a vast underground rhizome system that can spread and grow rapidly, blocking drains, cracking tarmac and damaging foundations. Action to deal with knotweed may be necessary due to the risk posed to the safe operational railway.

Notifying Japanese Knotweed

If you believe you have identified a growth of Japanese Knotweed at a railway it is important to report it to National Rail or TFL depending on what region of the country you are residing. If the growth is close the boundary walls of the property, you will want to instruct a PCA accredited company such as CYB Environmental for a free site visit. Please note that here at CYB Environmental we provide reports at a fair price to provide evidence of Japanese Knotweed growths.

You may require a report in the incidence that you have reported a Japanese Knotweed growth at the rear boundary of your property to TFL or National Rail and time has passed with no action being taken. A report would provide evidence of this, with relevant photographs and a map stating the growth area of the Japanese Knotweed. We will also provide advice on how best to deal with the growth in the future.

As a homeowner with Japanese Knotweed, you are responsible for ensuring that the plant does not spread into neighbouring land, whether it be privately or publicly owned.

Report Japanese knotweed to your local council if you have noticed that the plant growing unchecked on council land, or if it has spread onto your own property.

For any queries on the above or if you would like a free identification of a potential Japanese Knotweed plant, please contact us at info@cyb-environmental.com

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Who Do I Report Japanese Knotweed To?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese Knotweed is a highly invasive, non-native plant and is considered one of the most problematic plant species in the UK and Ireland. This is mainly due to its highly invasive nature and its extremely rapid growth rate.

Once Japanese Knotweed Is Noticed

If you identify Japanese Knotweed on your land/property you will want to contact a PCA accredited company such as CYB Environmental. At CYB Environmental we ask that photographs of the suspected growth can be provided so that we can identify the plant. If the plant is in fact Japanese Knotweed, we will advise that a site survey is carried out to identify the best method to conduct on this particular area of growth.

It is important to note that it is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed in your garden, or on your land. If you have discovered the plant on your land then you are under no legal obligation to notify anyone about it or even treat the plant. You are, however, responsible for ensuring that the plant does not spread into neighbouring land, whether it be privately or publicly owned.

Who To Report To

You can report Japanese knotweed to your local council if you have noticed that the plant growing unchecked on council land, or if it has spread onto your own property. Local councils have a section on their website dedicated to Japanese knotweed, where you will be able to leave a message in regards to the issue.

The local authority will likely put a formal plan of action in place and provide you with evidence of its implementation. Please be aware that if the local council does put a plan in place, it will unlikely cover private land (i.e. a privately owned garden) and will not be sufficient for lending in the future. If you are lending against the property in future, an insurance backed guarantee will have to be applied for by a PCA accredited contractor.

If the growth is located on private land, we suggest you write to the homeowner/landowner directly. This can open discussions between neighbours on how to deal with the problem plant and we are happy to organise a site visit to discuss with both parties.

Japanese Knotweed In Open Areas

Japanese Knotweed thrives in non-restricted areas and out in the open due to the access to light and water. Railway embankments can have a high growth areas because of this. Japanese knotweed has a vast underground rhizome system that can spread and grow rapidly, blocking drains, cracking tarmac and damaging foundations.

Action to deal with knotweed may be necessary due to the risk posed to the safe operational railway. If you believe you have identified a growth of Japanese Knotweed on a railway embankment, it is important to report it to National Rail or TFL depending on what region of the country you are residing.

If the growth is close the boundary walls of the property, you will want to instruct a PCA accredited company such as CYB Environmental for a free site visit and a formal report. We can provide reports to provide evidence of Japanese Knotweed growths and their location in relation to property and underground services.

For any queries on the above or if you would like a free identification of a potential Japanese Knotweed plant, please contact us at info@cyb-environmental.com

what if neighbour has japanese knotweed

What To Do If Neighbours Have Japanese Knotweed

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive non-native plant pest and is considered one of the most problematic plant species in the UK and Ireland. This is mainly due to its highly invasive nature and its extremely rapid growth rate. The species was introduced to Britain in mid-19th century as an ornamental plant for large gardens, prized due to its imposing size and sprays of creamy white flowers.

Immediate Action Once Discovered

During the spring and summer months, Japanese knotweed has been reported to grow as quickly as 10cm a day. However, there is no research to support how fast it spreads underneath the ground. Japanese Knotweed has an extensive underground rhizome system that can spread up to 7 metres horizontally and 3 metres deep. Due to this extensive growth, it is important that once Japanese knotweed has been identified in the area or neighbouring garden that a plan is in place to further stop the spread of the plant.

The first call to make would be to a PCA accredited company, as they will be able to provide you with a Japanese Knotweed report with photographic evidence of growths of Japanese Knotweed on neighbouring properties. This will not only protect yourself in the long run, but encourage the problem to be dealt with in a professional and legal manner, by placing the growth under a formal management plan. Speaking to your neighbour initially about the issue and tackling the problem together is always a good place to start. Sometimes though, if a neighbour is unresponsive or being negligent, it has been known for court action to be taken.

Please see the Laws of Japanese Knotweed that may relate to neighbouring properties:

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 does not specifically mention invasive plants; however, guidance has been released by the Home Office providing information on how Community Protection Notices can be applied to Japanese Knotweed. In effect, the updated legislation means that if a neighbour ‘fails to act’ regarding controlling, or preventing the growth of Japanese Knotweed, then, providing certain criteria are met, a Community Protection Notice could be issued requiring action to be taken. Breach of any requirement of a Community Protection Notice, without reasonable excuse, would be a criminal offence, subject to a fixed penalty or prosecution.

Common Law

Under common law, with respect to private nuisance, an offence may have been committed where the actions of a land owner are causing a substantial and unreasonable interference with another person’s land or his/her use or enjoyment of that land. Where reasonable action is not being taken to remediate nuisance caused by Japanese Knotweed, common law may apply.

For any queries on the above or if you would like a free identification of a potential Japanese Knotweed plant, please contact us at info@cyb-environmental.com

japanese knotweed removal swansea

What Damage Can Japanese Knotweed Cause?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

During the spring and summer months, Japanese knotweed has been reported to grow as quickly as 10cm a day. However, there is no research to support how fast it spreads underneath the ground.

Japanese Knotweed has an extensive underground rhizome system that can spread up to 7 metres horizontally and 3 metres deep. The spread of Japanese knotweed can be increased by the breakage or disturbance of the ground and the spreading of the plant to new areas of the garden or site. Due to this extensive underground growth, it can be a difficult job removing Japanese Knotweed Remove: (and a costly one to be exact).

Japanese Knotweed infested soil cannot be disposed of in general waste, Japanese Knotweed material needs to be taken to a licensed landfill using certified haulage vehicles.

How Japanese Knotweed Causes Damage

Japanese Knotweed is a self-propagating plant, meaning that it spreads and grows from fragments of the plant itself. This makes the control of the plant very difficult, especially when homeowners and neighbours have been cutting it back without realising, accidentally spreading the Knotweed in the process.

Japanese Knotweed thrives in non-restricted areas and open areas such as fields, rivers and railways if the plant is not being disturbed. Allowing it to spread rapidly and outgrow other plant species. Japanese Knotweed affects ecosystems by crowding out native vegetation and limiting plant and animal species diversity. It also has the potential to affect water quality and has an impending flood risk. Aquatic organisms are less able to process knotweed leaf litter compared with the native vegetation it displaces and this has the potential to alter food chains.

Japanese knotweed has a vast underground rhizome system that can spread and grow rapidly, blocking drains, cracking tarmac and damaging foundations. The plant can grow through thin cracks in walls and slabs, causing the wall to collapse due the friction and movement of the plant.

For any queries on the above or if you would like a free identification of a potential Japanese Knotweed plant, please contact us at info@cyb-environmental.com

How Do You Eradicate Japanese Knotweed?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

It is widely written and a common misconception that Japanese Knotweed can be eradicated from a site if placed under a herbicide treatment plan. Unfortunately, this is not the case! Although the Japanese Knotweed growth may seem to have stopped growing after herbicide treatment, it is in fact, in a state of forced dormancy. Movement of the soil could invigorate more growth meaning the herbicide programme would have to be re-started! Herbicide application is not regarded as an ‘eradication’ technique and we would suggest speaking to a specialist before any development is started, regardless of the number of years the Japanese Knotweed has been dormant or under treatment.

The Difficulties Of Removing Japanese Knotweed

Eradicating Japanese Knotweed is notoriously extremely difficult. The only way to totally eradicate the plant is to remove all infested soil from the area including the whole rhizome structure. You do not want to leave any behind! The process on site in principle is simple: follow and remove all underground rhizome growths until the root structure of the plant is no longer visible. Completing this task sounds easy but can be extremely difficult when you factor in the expansive coverage of ground that Japanese Knotweed can infest, along with the licencing which is required to legally dispose of the material.

The complete eradication and removal of Japanese Knotweed can be costly, but this is the only method to ensure no growth remains on site and building works or garden maintenance can be carried out without the major risks of future damage and spread. Without the removal of this problem species, homeowners are risking spreading the growth around their property, along with fines if disposed of illegally.

For any queries on the above or if you would like a free identification of a potential Japanese Knotweed plant, please contact us at info@cyb-environmental.com

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How To Kill Japanese Knotweed

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese Knotweed is a highly invasive, non-native plant and is considered one of the most problematic plant species in the UK and Ireland. Japanese knotweed is extremely hardy and can cope under stressful conditions, where other species would not. This being the case, Japanese Knotweed does not give up easily and killing it can be something that is best left to the professionals!

Methods Of Eradication

The only way to eradicate Japanese Knotweed is to completely remove the plant and its rhizomes from the ground and disposing of in a licenced landfill. Some believe that if they remove the above-ground growth, then the plant will die. This is not the case. The above-ground growth of Japanese Knotweed can be removed and incinerated at a licenced facility, however, this will not kill the plants underground growth and the plant will continue to grow. Japanese Knotweed has an extensive underground rhizome system that can spread up to 7 metres horizontally and 3 metres deep, this can make it extremely hard to kill on site.

After establishing that the only way to ‘kill’ Japanese Knotweed is to completely remove all of the infested soil and take it off-site to a licensed landfill, what else can be done to control Japanese Knotweed? The most popular and cost-effective method of dealing with Japanese Knotweed is to control its growth through persistent but monitored herbicide application. Herbicide application is a good way to control the plant and place it into a forced dormancy underground – stopping it from growing and spreading. Applying herbicide to the leaves of the plant at specific times of the year and by a trained professional, allows the herbicide to travel to the root of the plant via photosynthesis.

Japanese Knotweed certified surveyors will be able to determine the amount of chemical to use depending on the maturity and extent of the growth. This will ensure that the growth does not get ‘flooded’ with chemical and receives the correct amount to have the greatest long-term effect. If the chemical is over-applied to the leaves of the Japanese Knotweed plant, an adverse effect can happen which affects our ability to control the growth. If over application occurs, the plant will have an adverse reaction, but not one you want to see! You will see the plant begin to form smaller, triangular-shaped leaves and in much greater numbers than before. These new leaves have a much smaller percentage of coverage compared to healthy leaves, therefore, we can get far less herbicide onto the leaves and gaining control is very difficult, sometimes impossible. This type of growth is called ‘Bonsai growth’ and herbicide control is difficult, sometimes impossible and would require full removal.

We would suggest that Japanese Knotweed treatment is completed by a certified professional for best results and would never advise anyone to attempt themselves. It is important to instruct a PCA Accredited company such as CYB Environmental to put an herbicide treatment programme in place and ensure that the growth is treated properly, professionally and with the potential of providing an Insurance Backed Guarantee for lending purposes in the future.

For any queries on the above or if you would like a free identification of a potential Japanese Knotweed plant, please contact us at info@cyb-environmental.com

How To Correctly Identify Japanese Knotweed

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive non-native plant pest and is considered one of the most problematic plant species in the UK and Ireland. This is mainly due to its highly invasive nature and its extremely rapid growth rate. The species was introduced to Britain in mid-19th century as an ornamental plant for large gardens, prized due to its imposing size and sprays of creamy white flowers.

Identifying Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed plants have a Creamy white colour, 0.5cm wide. It forms clustered panicles that can grow to 10cm and bloom in the very late summer around August/September time. The stem of the plant grows in zig-zag pattern, with green, purple and red speckles visible on the cane itself. The cane is hollow and grows to 2-3 metres in height. Can Grow up to 2cm a day. Japanese Knotweed leaves are a light green with red or purple flecks. Heart or shovel-shaped with a pointed tip and shoots out from nodes in a zig-zag pattern. New leaves are rolled up with dark red veins, mature leaves can grow up to 20cm. Japanese Knotweed can grow up to 10cm per day during late spring / early summer, with the plant typically growing up to 2.1m (7ft) but can grow up to 3m (9.8ft).

Japanese Knotweed is a self-propagating plant, meaning that it spreads and grows from fragments of the plant itself. Japanese Knotweed has an extensive underground rhizome system and if you were to snap a piece of the rhizome you would see that inside of Japanese Knotweed rhizome is a bright orange colour and this is how we are able to determine whether plant is in fact Japanese Knotweed.

Dead canes of Japanese Knotweed can also be mistaken for doc plants and vice versa, with the dead cane looking woody. Mature canes of Japanese Knotweed are thick and strong like bamboo.

For any queries on the above or if you would like a free identification of a potential Japanese Knotweed plant, please contact us at info@cyb-environmental.com

how fast does japanese knotweed grow?

How Fast Does Japanese Knotweed Grow?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive non-native plant pest and is considered one of the most problematic plant species in the UK and Ireland. This is mainly due to its highly invasive nature and its extremely rapid growth rate. The species was introduced to Britain in mid-19th century as an ornamental plant for large gardens, prized due to its imposing size and sprays of creamy white flowers.

Japanese Knotweed’s Rapid Growth Patterns

During the spring and summer months, Japanese knotweed has been reported to grow as quickly as 10cm a day. However, there is no research to support how fast it spreads underneath the ground. Japanese Knotweed has an extensive underground rhizome system that can spread up to 7 metres horizontally and 3 metres deep. However, from experience, underground rhizome growths reach approximately 2m in depth and width. Japanese Knotweed can grow up to 0.3 – 0.4 metres per week, meaning that in just 10 weeks a cane of the plant can reach up to 3-4 metres.

The spread of Japanese knotweed can be increased by the breakage or disturbance of the ground. This is why it is important to underline the future plans of a site and to establish what method of treatment should be put in place prior to works. Laws are in place to prevent the spread of the highly invasive plant: Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 – “You must not facilitate the spread of Japanese Knotweed in the wild.” Failure to comply with the act could result in large fines.

Why Japanese Knotweed Is Hard To Eradicate

Japanese Knotweed is a self-propagating plant, meaning that it spreads and grows from fragments of the plant itself. A common mistake is to trim the plant once it is overgrown and put the fragments in common waste. Japanese Knotweed plants must be taken to a licensed landfill or licensed incineration centre, once removed from a site.

Please see the relevant law put in place to ensure the appropriate care is taken when disposing of the plant: Environmental Protection Act 1990 – “Waste containing Japanese Knotweed is classified as ‘controlled waste’. As such, you must observe the appropriate duty of care for its proper handling and disposal“.

It is important to note that when applying herbicide to the plant, it is the leaves that will hold the herbicide prior to photosynthesis that allows the herbicide to travel to the root structure of the plant and cause it to lie dormant underground. If disturbed, we may see new growths and the treatment programme will have to re-start.

If undisturbed and untreated Japanese Knotweed plants will continue to grow rapidly and thrive in damp and non-resistant areas. Causing external and internal damage to boundary walls of properties, gardens and outer buildings.

For any queries on the above or if you would like a free identification of a potential Japanese Knotweed plant, please contact us at info@cyb-environmental.com

can you eat japanese knotweed

Can You Eat Japanese Knotweed?

By | CYB Japanese Knotweed Removal & Management Blog | No Comments

Japanese knotweed has a reputation as an aggressive, noxious weed, and it’s well-deserved deserved reputation comes from its growth patterns, extending up to 3 feet (1 m.) every month, sending roots up to 10 feet into the earth. However, this plant isn’t all bad because certain parts of it are edible.

Disclaimer

This article by CYB Environmental seeks to provide insight in the prospects of potentially eating Japanese Knotweed, as research, as well as trial and error, shows that parts of the plant are edible. However, this article is solely for theory and should be taken with an imaginary context. Before consuming Japanese Knotweed, be sure to contact your doctor or do your own research.

About Eating Japanese Knotweed

If you’ve ever wondered, “is Japanese knotweed edible,” then you’re not alone. There are actually a number of “weeds” that can be useful in this way. The stems of Japanese knotweed have a tart, citrusy flavor, much akin to rhubarb. Better yet, it is a rich source of minerals, including potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and manganese, as well as vitamins A and C.

Before you gather an armload of Japanese knotweed, however, it’s important to know that only certain parts are safe to eat, and only during certain parts of the year. It’s best to gather shoots when they’re tender in early spring, generally under about 10 inches (25 cm.) or less. If you wait too long, the stems will be hard and woody.

Methods Of Preparing Japanese Knotweed

So how can you eat Japanese knotweed? Basically, you can use Japanese knotweed any way you would use rhubarb and the shoots are interchangeable in recipes for rhubarb. If you have a favored recipe for rhubarb pie or sauce, try substituting Japanese knotweed.

You can also incorporate Japanese knotweed into jams, purees, wines, soups, and ice cream, to name just a few. You can also combine Japanese knotweed with other fruit such as apples or strawberries, which complements the tart flavor.

Further Disclaimer About Japanese Knotweed

The contents of this article are for educational and gardening purposes only. Before using or ingesting ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes or otherwise, please consult a physician, medical herbalist, or other suitable professional for advice.

For further information on Japanese Knotweed and the possibilities of removing it from your garden completely, be sure to contact our experts at CYB.