Japanese Knotweed Westbury on Trym discussed by South West Knotweed Removal Services

Most people think that Japanese Knotweed (also known as bamboo due to its bamboo-like appearance, Peashooters or Fallopia Japonica) is only found in rural and green areas, however, you will be surprised to know this is incorrect. Knotweed is now very prevalent in built-up areas in the UK with some of the “worst” cities and towns when it comes to Japanese Knotweed infestations. Japanese Knotweed Westbury on Trym has been found in some gardens and green areas and South West  Knotweed Removal are happy to come and assess if you do have the weed and advise you on the best methods for removal and control.

Factual Information about Japanese Knotweed

    • Japanese knotweed actually came to the UK in the 1840s and was a Chinese and Japanese plant species delivered to Kew Gardens to be planted
    • It rapidly became a favourite plant for homeowners and was subsequently planted in thousands of gardens across the UK
    • It can grow at an incredibly fast rate and has been known to grow 10cm a day from May until July
    • When fully grown it can be up to 3 metres tall
    • The weed blooms in late summer and becomes covered in tiny creamy-white flowers which can actually look quite appealing
    • It is known to grow rampantly along railways, waterways, parks and gardens and it is notoriously difficult to treat and control
    • Approximately £166m is spent every year in the UK to treat, control and remove the weed in the UK
    • The Government estimates it would cost £1.5bn to completely clear the knotweed in the UK
    • The weed can lie dormant underground for up to 20 years before suddenly re-growing and the reason for this is a mystery
    • Property owners failing to stop the spread of knotweed on their property can face fines and some extreme cases have known a prison sentence under ASBO legislation

How do you Identify Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese Knotweed Leaves are identified by a heart or shovel-shaped leaf which have a point at the tip whilst being staggered on the stem. There is normally one stem per node and this results in a zig-zag growth pattern. The leaves are a bright green colour.

Japanese Knotweed Flowers

Japanese Knotweed Flowers show as long clusters of creamy white flowers appearing towards the end of summer and into early September. The clusters can grow to around 0.5cm wide and up to 10cm long. The leaves remain as the flowers grow and this results in thick and dense foliage.

Japanese Knotweed Rhizomes

Japanese Knotweed Rhizomesare is the root of the plant which always grows extensively underground. The stem of the weeds is dark brown and the inside of the stem is an orangey colour. Fresh stems are crisp and snap easily. The rhizomes can grow 3 metres in-depth and up to 7 metres horizontally from the original plant. This is the part of the weed that is most likely to spread and just one tiny fragment (as little as 0.7g) can create a new knotweed plant and the regeneration process starts all over again.

Japanese Knotweed Stems

The weeds Stem can grow up to 2-3 metres tall, sometimes more, looking similar to Bamboo which is why it is often referred to as bamboo. They have nodes and purple speckles and as the plant matures the stems inside become hollow which makes them easy to snap specifically during winter when they become very brittle.

Japanese Knotweed Westbury on Trym Identification by Season

Knotweed Westbury on TrymSpring

Japanese knotweed is known to grow at its fastest during the springtime and can often reach 3 metres high plus. Its new shoots grow with a red/purple tinge and can look like asparagus spears. The leaves most often will roll up and are dark green or tinged with red.

Summer

In early summer, the plant is at its peak and can reach over 3 metres tall, by late summer clusters of creamy white flowers, will appear.

Autumn

In Autumn the leaves start to turn yellow and will look wilted, however, the foliage of the weeds remains dense. It can still be over 3 metres tall and the hollow stems start turning brown.

Winter

At the start of winter, the canes/stems of the knotweed will die off. Don’t be fooled by this as it is still very much alive, it just isn’t actively growing like in the spring and summer. The leaves will change to a yellow colour, into brown and then fall off. The hollow canes become dark brown and brittle and they give way against each other, falling to the ground. In springtime, as the weed starts to actively grow again, you will see the previous year’s canes lying underneath the foliage.

A Snippet of Japanese Knotweed Bristol News

Landlord Fined for Japanese Knotweed Jungle in Back Garden in Legal First”

(News Story Sourced from https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/)

A property firm which allowed a jungle of knotweed to grow into an 8ft-high jungle has been fined £18,000 in the first prosecution of its type.

The invasive plant has been spreading for 10 years and was blocking light to neighbouring homes.

Bristol City Council prosecuted the landlord MB Estate Limited using anti-social behaviour laws after years of complaints from seven residents.

Lawyers for the council believe it is the first time the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 has been used to tackle nuisance overgrowth.

Amie King moved into a property in Ash Road, in the Horfield area of the city, in 2007 and soon became plagued by “the forest next door”.

She told BBC Radio Bristol: “It’s worrying because it can affect the sale of our properties, mortgages – it’s the stress of it all. You don’t have anyone to help you.

“We had no idea what it was and were unsure of what exactly it was overgrown with – just big green plants. It’s like a forest, my children refer to it as ‘the forest next door’.

“We went through the council and for years they were unable to do anything because legally they didn’t have anything to use.

“For years and years, we’ve been banging our heads against a brick wall feeling like no one can help.

“The neighbours were completely fed up.

“They were delighted as I was to hear about this new law which the council can now use to prosecute private landowners. It hadn’t been used before in England.

“It’s really encouraging that not only did council agree to prosecute on our behalf we have also had a great result from it. This should fill people with a lot of confidence.”

MB Estate Limited was served with a community protection notice in May 2017 but, after failing to comply, were prosecuted using the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The company didn’t attend the hearing or sentencing and was fined £18,000 plus costs in its absence at Bristol Magistrates Court on December 4.

Councillor Kye Dudd, a cabinet member with responsibility for regulatory services, said: “Using this new Anti Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014, we suspect it is the first time a case like this has gone forward under that act.

“We became aware of this case back at the end of 2014 – the normal process is we try and resolve things informally with discussion and we have had hardly any engagement from this company.

“There was a no show at court so it was issued in their absence.

“It’s pretty poor behaviour which was maybe taken into account when the magistrate issued the fine.

“It is an eye-watering amount of money – £18,000 is quite a lot.

“It is unfortunate the council needed to resort to formal action, but we hope that this sends a message that appropriate action will be taken, when necessary, to protect the public.

“Knotweed has the potential to cause a significant nuisance to property owners, causing structural damage as well as anxiety over the effect on property prices and the ability to secure a mortgage.”

The firm was issued with a court order requiring it to remedy the situation and the knotweed has now been cut back.

Japanese knotweed was introduced to the UK around 200 years ago as an ornamental plant but is now common and widespread. It is “indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant”, according to the Environment Agency.

Under the provisions made within Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to cause Japanese knotweed to grow in the wild.

Since 2013, homeowners selling their property are legally required to state whether Japanese knotweed is present on their property.

This can make it difficult for buyers to obtain a mortgage due to the structural issues the weed can cause.

Japanese Knotweed at your property?

If you think you may have Japanese Knotweed Westbury on Trym you are not legally required to remove it, however, it is your responsibility to control it and not allow it to spread onto anyone less land, property or into the wild. If you leave it, it will spread rapidly and if it spreads onto someone else’s land or public land or property you may get fined.

Removing or disposing of Japanese Knotweed without expertise will cause it to spread and this is illegal, so it’s vital that you find a Knotweed NPCT qualified specialist who can advise you on the most effective way of controlling and removing the weed.

It is important that you use a Japanese Knotweed Specialist who will be able to formally identify it as there are several plants that are often mistaken for it, including:

    • Bamboo
    • Ground elder
    • Russian vine
    • Bindweed
    • Broadleaf dock

There are lots of myths that say you can remove Knotweed Westbury on Trym yourself, however, it is extremely difficult and there is a likelihood you will cause it to spread far more quickly and this is illegal.

Due to new legislation which covers the management, and removal of Knotweed, you should always work with a Knotweed Specialist who has the expertise and qualifications to control and remove it safely and successfully with strong chemicals.

There are many stories relating to Japanese Knotweed and the damage it can cause, however, it is just one of many plants in the UK that can cause problems to land, buildings and other structures. Other perennial plants can cause similar or worse damage to buildings and underground services and structures and a Knotweed specialist will be able to advise you of this.

South West Knotweed Westbury on Trym Removal Services

We cover the whole of Bristol and the surrounding areas in the South West. We also work in the West Country, as far North as Shropshire and into the Midlands & Birmingham areas.

We are a fully qualified (JKCS) Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor and we are experts in controlling Knotweed, other invasive plants and ‘general nuisance weeds’ which are found in and around the UK both for residential and property development sites.

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

If you think you could have Japanese Knotweed in Westbury on Trym then call us today on 0117 321 7799 or 07531 142316 and one of our experts will answer any questions or concerns you may have and we can arrange a no-obligation site survey for you which will identify the plant you have concerns with.

How do you find a qualified Japanese Knotweed Specialist?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has worked with the Property Care Association (PCA) to establish the PCA Invasive Weed Control Group (IWCG) trade body for Japanese knotweed specialists, which provides a register of vetted consultants and contractors which can be found here.

Invasive Non-native Specialists Association (INNSA) maintains a membership list of contractors and consultants which can be found here.

The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) has a directory of members offering invasive weed control which can be found here.

Trustmark Government Endorsed Standards has a ‘Find a Tradesman’ scheme including invasive weed controllers which can be found here.

Professional Japanese Knotweed Removal and Control Companies like South West Knotweed Removal will report on the risk of any Japanese Knotweed found for mortgage purposes offering suggested treatment plans and insurance-backed guarantees where it is needed.

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