HOW FAST DOES JAPANESE KNOTWEED GROW?
Japanese knotweed has become a major issue for many UK property owners. It has been described by the Environment Agency as “indisputably the UK’s most aggressive and invasive plant”. The weed is extremely durable and able to grow practically anywhere, which is why it has spread like wildfire across the country.
If left untreated, Japanese knotweed can have disastrous effects. It can wreak havoc among natural eco-systems by blocking sunlight to other plants, causing them to wither and die. Japanese knotweed can also lead to soil erosion and bring about flooding when it grows on river banks. The persistent nature of the plant and its thick root system means that it’s able to grow through weaknesses in pavements, pipes and even concrete. Japanese knotweed is also capable of damaging the foundations of houses, inflicting thousands of pounds worth of damage on the owners.
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HOW DID IT GET HERE?
Japanese knotweed was brought to the United Kingdom by botanists during the 1850s as a plant specimen at Kew Gardens. The plant became a favourite with Victorian gardens because of its appearance, with gardeners adoring the dainty white flowers and stems that were reminiscent of bamboo. They found it beneficial that the plant was able to grow in any conditions and at a rapid rate. Little did they know what that rapid growth would lead to.
The widespread popularity of the plant soon became a curse as authorities realised that its spread could not be contained. Ever since then, Japanese knotweed has been a resident of the UK and has spread around the country, bringing risks to homes and businesses.
HOW FAST DOES IT GROW?
According to a study done by the University of Leicestershire, the primary pattern of Japanese knotweed distribution took place through the sharing of cuttings and then through improper disposal of unwanted plants. Additionally, Japanese knotweed managed to spread through watercourses and movements of soil for road-building and construction. Even the smallest fragment of the plant that has been discarded in the soil can mean that it is contaminated and the knotweed is likely to regrow.
The plant is native to Japanese volcanic landscape, where such a climate meant that it could be controlled. Regular deposits of ash would keep the plant relatively small, while it could still survive thanks to large energy stores in its deep roots. However, in the UK where the climate is drastically different and moist, this plant has the chance to grow at an astounding speed. Japanese knotweed has become one of the fastest-growing invasive weeds in the UK. It earned such a title because during summer, its peak growth period, it can grow up to 10cm per day.
It might seem that emerging shoots are not much of a nuisance at first. However, since the plant can grow so quickly and without warning, it will get out of control quickly and cause plenty of damage if left untreated. Its strong roots can grow down to 3 metres deep, thus causing damage to buildings.
HOW TO STOP IT
It can often require several years to ensure that the threat of Japanese knotweed growth has been fully removed from a property, with several methods usually applied by an expert. That said, initial measures can have a hugely helpful impact and our team here at JKSL are able to visit your property and swiftly assess the extent of the infestation. We’ll then discuss the best solutions with you, which could include chemical treatment, excavation and removal, or our own MeshTech process, which is the most environmentally friendly option.
Our teams have been helping to eradicate the threat of Japanese knotweed around the UK for over 15 years. We work closely with all government guidelines. We’re proud to be able to offer a 100% success rate and warranty options of up to 10 years to give you the peace of mind that the weed will not return.
I believe I have a Japanese knotweed infestation.
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