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Is Japanese Knotweed Poisonous?

What is it?

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, invasive weed that originates from Japan. Unknowing Victorian botanists brought the weed over to the UK because they liked its aesthetic appeal, its similarity to bamboo and the fact that the stems could grow large enough to be used as fences. Over time, however, Japanese knotweed brought more disadvantages than benefits and its rapid spread has caused stress for homeowners, landowners and developers.

Japanese knotweed was classified as a weed when the government realised that its growth was leading to the destruction of much of the surrounding natural flora. The extensive roots of the plant can also inflict costly damage to the walls and foundations of nearby homes if left untreated. The weed thrives in our climate and it’s able to grow up to a height of 3m in under 10 weeks.

Is it Harmful?

Whilst it can cause great harm to vegetation and property, Japanese knotweed is not poisonous to humans. It is a troublesome nuisance to the environment and those dwelling in it, as the plant draws all the nutrients from the surrounding area, depriving other plants of available food and causing them to wither and die.

Pets such as dogs and cats have shown no obvious reaction to eating the plant, but allowing animals to graze on the weed can cause its growth to spread even further as they dig, eat, chew or pull at the roots, dispersing them around the area.

Legal Implications

Realising the adverse effects that the plant can cause to property, animals and plant life, the government declared the weed one of the most invasive in the country and brought in a variety of guidelines so those who didn’t deal with it on their property could be prosecuted.

In the UK, homeowners could face a fine if they allow the invasive plant to spread from their properties. It is important that if you find Japanese knotweed yours on your neighbour’s property, you seek advice from a professional company like JKSL.

What You Need To Do

Every property owner is responsible for the management of their own premises and surrounding land for the possible presence of Japanese knotweed. This includes all areas of land registered under your name. You’re required to report this discovery to the authorities concerned and to keep a record concerning when and what might have brought the weed to your land.

Where to Get Help

Japanese knotweed can be eradicated through the help of removal experts. It’s important that you receive support from a professional service, from the correct identification of the plant through to its eradication and ongoing control. Trying to remove this invasive plant yourself can actually exacerbate spread as regrowth can be generated from even the smallest rhizome fragments.

JKSL are a trusted name, specialising in the prevention, control and removal of Japanese knotweed, with over 15 years’ experience. JKSL has developed strong and effective techniques for dealing with the plant, with the necessary equipment and technology to treat the weed with the seriousness it deserves. If you’re worried about the growth of Japanese knotweed on your land, then please contact us for a consultation.

What Next?

I believe I have a Japanese knotweed infestation.
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