Japanese Knotweed Bath – Treatment and Control by South West Knotweed Removal Experts
Do you think you may have Knotweed at your property?
Are you worried it’s going to cost you a huge amount to remove it?
Are you concerned it could impact your mortgage or the potential to sell your property?
Japanese Knotweed is a perennial weed that will grow and propagates quickly if not managed by a knowledgeable expert. It is a weed that suppresses other plants and flowers growing around it as its crown and rhizomes (root system) spread extensively underground. Its shoots die off above ground in the winter months and re-emerge again in late spring, early summer. It’s a frustrating weed as you will think you have it under control and then it comes back thicker, stronger, covering a larger area.
Any established shoots can grow over 9-10ft high and can colonize the soil within a few years. There is some information around which says you can eliminate the roots with chemicals yourself, however, you need an NPTC qualified person to apply any chemical substances as a result of new legislation which covers the control and removal of Knotweed.
Some articles say it is possible to remove Knotweed yourself by digging it up and without professional experience, however, it is an extremely hard procedure and in most cases, you will help the weed to spread further due to the tiny rhizomes that quickly colonise the soil when being dug up. In the peak of its growing season, 60% of the Knotweed plant are its roots below ground so removal is very challenging and one tiny fragment of crown or rhizome will make it spread wildly from. A knotweed expert like South West Knotweed Removal Bath can advise you of the best method of control and removal and have the qualifications and experience to manage it for you.
How to get manage Japanese Knotweed Bath?
There are several accepted methods of removing and controlling Knotweed and a Knotweed Professional like South West Knotweed Bath will be able to give you advice about the best and most effective approach to take.
Stem injection is a low impact way of control and removal over several growing seasons and there is little likelihood of disturbing or killing the plants and flowers growing around it. The stem injection method is normally used for smaller areas of Knotweed where it has established itself between plants and vegetation that you want to maintain, where there is a watercourse close by and if you don’t need the removal and control process to be immediate. The stem injection method can be used in dry or inclement weather conditions but the soil cannot be disturbed following the treatment. The stems have to be thick enough to be injected so it’s not a method that would be used on new areas of Knotweed where the stems are small. Stem injection is most effective from late summer onwards and offers maximum effect when the plant is in its flowering period.
Foliar Spray Application
Foliar spray application is a method used a lot and is amongst the most favourable control methods along with stem injection. The technique is used to treat the Knotweed over several growing seasons. Dependent on how big the area of Knotweed is it is frequently sprayed 2-3 times in the first year and once in the following years. The chemical used is an Environment Agency approved herbicide as in the stem injection method, it requires dry weather and the soil to remain undisturbed in subsequent years in order to work. If there is lots of vegetation growing in and around the knotweed then a specialist may advise against this method as the spray can harm the plants living around it. You also wouldn’t use this method if the Knotweed is close to a watercourse where the chemicals could run into causing damage and pollution which you can be seriously fined for. The method is best used in late summer and has the maximum effect when the weed is in its flowering stage.
Weed Wiping Method
The weed wiping method is when the leaves of the Knotweed are wiped with a sponge soaked in the necessary herbicide. Again it is a low impact treatment and it doesn’t kill the foliage around it and there is minimal risk of the chemicals running into a waterway. Its use, however, is dependent on the size of the area of Knotweed as it is a very labour intensive process. Weed wiping is often used instead of the stem injection method when the stems of the knotweed aren’t thick enough for the injection of the herbicide to be effective.
This is a blended treatment method that makes use of stem injection or foliar application, to begin with. The Knotweed is then dug up from the ground including its roots and the whole areas soil removed. the soil is carefully moved to a different location (stockpiled) and any ‘new shoots’ are subjected to additional herbicide applications. The Knotweed is then encouraged to grow in the stockpile so it is ready for the subsequent herbicide treatment. Procedures are put in place to ensure that the knotweed infested soil is not allowed to spread to otherwise clean areas of the site or from the stockpiling. This method can be used on sites when the removal of the Knotweed needs to be quick and not done over several seasons so is particularly beneficial to building and development sites as work can start without delay.
Cell Burial/Root Barrier Method
Cell burial is also known as a root barrier method is a treatment used when there is enough space on a site to make a cell burial or where a root barrier system can be used which prevents the substantial costs of transporting the soil and waste to landfill. Cell burial buries the Knotweed waste to a minimum depth, or if encapsulated inside a geo-membrane it can be closer to the surface of the ground. Root barriers can be installed both vertically and horizontally when there is a risk of cross-boundary contamination. Again, it is a method often used on development sites when construction needs to start quickly.
Excavation & Removal Off-Site
Evacuation and removal off-site is a legitimate and quick control option that has its advantages for development sites if done by an expert and carried out correctly, however, there are a great deal of Knotweed specialists who are not advocates of it, mainly because it raises considerable logistical challenges and there is a big cost element to the process. There is a higher risk of the Knotweed spreading as well as the cost to securely transport the material to a designated and authorised landfill site. There is also the significant duty of care requirements under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 when using this process. Excavation & Removal should only be used as an absolute last resort.
Is Knotweed Harmful to People and Animals?
Japanese Knotweed isn’t poisonous and harmful to animals or people like some other very invasive plants can be. It isn’t harmful to touch, nonetheless, you always employ extreme care to avoid inadvertently allowing it to spread.
Japanese Knotweed may possibly be known as ‘poisonous’ by developers and property owners due to its extremely invasive growth, the capability to spread from a tiny particle left and how difficult it is to eliminate completely.
Some Knotweed Myths (some of which are taken advantage of by some contractors for financial gain)
- “It will grow through solid concrete”
- “It will destabilise foundations”
- “It will cause structural damage”
- Property affected by Japanese Knotweed is not mortgageable
In simple terms, if the groundwork or construction of a property has been carried out to a satisfactory standard, then Knotweed will not grow through solid concrete. It doesn’t destabilise solid foundations and it is highly unlikely to cause any structural damage. These claims are deceiving, to say the least, and in many cases, entirely untrue.
However, in certain situations, if the foundations, concrete or pipework are old and have pre-existing cracks or fractures in them then Knotweed will unquestionably make use of any weak point in its search for light and water and will rapidly establish itself. This will normally exacerbate the original crack and possibly cause more damage to the structure.
South West Knotweed Bath – Removal, Treatment & Control
South West Knotweed Removal Specialists covers the whole of Bath and the South West. We also carry out contracts in the West Country, as far North as Shropshire and into the Midlands & Birmingham areas.
We are a family run, fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS) and we specialise in controlling and managing Japanese Knotweed, other invasive plant species and ‘general nuisance weeds’ that are found in the UK for residential and commercial premises as well as development sites.
We also offer tree services, such as pollarding, crowning, pruning, felling, through our NPTC chainsaw operators, all of whom possess a vast amount of practical experience in the forestry industry.
Our Qualifications & Accreditations
- City & Guilds NPTC Level 2
- Principles of Safe Handling& Application of Pesticides (PA1/PA6)
- Principles of Safe Handling& Application of Pesticides near water (PA6AW)
- Herbicide Stem Injection
- Property Care Association
- The Control & Eradication of Japanese Knotweed Surveyor’s Training Course
- Qualified Technician (PCAQT) in Japanese Knotweed
- Accredited Surveyor in Japanese Knotweed JKCS
We advise anyone who thinks they may have Japanese Knotweed Bath to exercise extreme caution and ensure that the contractor/business they use to undertake the control programme is qualified to do so, follows the industry codes of practice and has the right insurances to do so.
Call us today on 0117 321 7799 or 07531142316 and one of our Knotweed Control & Removal experts will be able to answer any questions you might have and arrange a site visit to identify Knotweed and advise you of the best management, removal and control method.
Martyn works for South West Knotweed Removal as a marketing specialist. He takes great pride in creating quality content regarding Japanese knotweed.