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HOW DOES JAPANESE KNOTWEED SPREAD?
Japanese knotweed is becoming an increasingly dreaded presence as homeowners become more aware of the damage that this highly invasive weed can cause to their properties. As it began to take over the wildlife of Britain over the years, the weed initially embraced by Victorian gardeners for its beauty has turned into an invasive presence that threatens to damage property and destroy surrounding plant life.
You may be wondering; can one plant really be that bad? Isn’t it fairly harmless greenery like the others? Here is a glimpse of just a few reasons why it is so problematic:
1. Japanese knotweed grows at a high rate. It can grow up to 10cm per day during its peak season.
2. It is very difficult to get rid of it on your own. You have to seek the help of a Japanese knotweed removal expert or risk causing further spread by treating it yourself.
3. Its growth on various properties around Britain has resulted in the prices of houses and land falling drastically. Recent cases have seen the value of houses drop by 30-40% due to its presence.
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BACK TO ITS ROOTS
Revisiting the original question; how did the nation actually find itself in this knotweed mess? To answer that, let’s look back into history. Japanese knotweed was brought to Britain from Japan in the 1850s by a botanist who found it growing along volcanoes. Its beauty attracted him the same way it attracted the Society of Agriculture & Horticulture in Holland in 1847. From then, it began being accepted by many, was sold in nurseries by 1856 and got to reach many parts of Britain.
We’ve already looked at its rate of growth, so here we’ll consider how it spreads further afield. This wild weed can produce seeds; but surprisingly, it’s not possible for the seeds to germinate. Instead, it spreads by means of the stem, rhizome and crown, in the following ways:
Stem: New Japanese knotweed plants can grow from the green stems nodes in water or in soil.
Crown: This part of the stem is able to survive composting and drying. If you want to dispose of using either the method of drying or composting, cut the stems right above the crown. It is able to spread by producing new canes once it contacts soil or water.
Rhizome: Even the tiniest piece of rhizome can grow into a plant. Breaking up of the rhizome into small pieces stimulates it to produce small buds; these then grow to form each new plant. Never accept top soil that has not been checked for this underground stems, you may spread them in your vicinity without your knowledge.
HOW DO I GET RID OF IT?
I believe I have a Japanese knotweed infestation.
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