Unsurprisingly, simply putting a plaster on the Japanese knotweed situation and hoping for the best won’t cure a problem that can ravage a property and do real lasting damage to much of the immediate surroundings. What will stop it in is tracks though, is seeking help from JKSL’s Japanese knotweed-busters.
They’re a bit like Ghostbusters, but instead boast an impressive track record for the removal of other unwanted house guests and garden gate-crashers, explaining why we’re many people’s first port of call should the dreaded Japanese knotweed take hold. Combining our experience – 15 years in the Japanese knotweed removal business and counting – with our extensive knowledge on the current industry regulation and accepted practices, JKSL can offer you the most cost-effective means by which to rid your land/property of this green menace.
Ok, so if it’s a menace, what ways do you have of stopping it?
We offer a full range of treatments which will rid your site of the ever-creeping knotweed, once our team have established the facts to determine the scope of the Japanese knotweed problem. We’ll be able to advise you of the best plan of action, conducting a full site survey in order to identify the degree of any infestation, together with pinpointing and noting the presence of watercourses and protected species which are of primary benefit for clients looking to develop the future of the site. Further detail is available on the Japanese knotweed Removal page, but here are the main treatments:
The first method worth mentioning is chemical treatment for Japanese knotweed, also referred to as herbicide treatment. Generally accepted to be the most cost-effective of the Japanese knotweed treatments available on the market, this comprises of spraying the foliage, with prepping for this taking place while the weed is relatively dormant. Typically consisting of separate treatments applied over a 24 month period, this follows the aforementioned groundwork, including flattening dead canes and removing any items that could potentially impede the new shoots in spring. With this in mind, you’ll already be recognising that the chemical approach isn’t a fast-track one, so if time is of the essence it may be worth considering another. It’s highly worthwhile if you have the time; what’s two years of treatment if it secures your property for decades?
Additionally, our specific chemical process is divided into two camps; one with the capability to stop Japanese knotweed in its tracks within two seasons, which for legal reasons is NOT approved for use by water or environmentally sensitive areas. The second chemical Japanese knotweed treatment is one of the only available products of its kind given the green light from the powers that be to be utilised near to water, although a form must be submitted to the Environment Agency if herbicide treatment is used near an open watercourse. The local agency for the environment must approve any chemical treatment near to a watercourse. This treatment effectively eradicates Japanese knotweed courtesy of repeat applications over a 3-5 year period.
Using excavation-based treatment for Japanese knotweed is a different story, offering a significantly quicker solution to a deep-rooted problem, if resolving the issue in the fastest time is your priority. Nine times out of ten, we will excavate the Japanese knotweed on-site and then seek to relocate the contaminated material elsewhere; be it via a dedicated on-site waste management area or a heat-welded geo-textile cell which is impenetrable to roots and buried underground. The cell burial method of taking care of Japanese knotweed involves the physical excavation and subsequent stockpiling of infested soils. Usually around 5 metres deep, the burial pit is lined with a root barrier on the bottom and sides, with all joints welded together and the stockpile backfilled into the burial pit. Following that, a root barrier then covers the surface of the infested soil, which is in-turn welded to the sides to complete the cell-like containment structure. The final piece of this jigsaw sees the introduction of a clean stockpile to a depth of 2 metres, with the remaining clean material used to backfill the previously infested area.
Using MeshTech, our in-house invention, provides an altogether different approach to the Japanese knotweed treatment. MeshTech is a revolutionary option for which we have to thank Dr Eric Donnelly, alongside JKSL for designing and implementing. Our bespoke and patented technology was developed in-house in collaboration with Dr Donnelly, providing another environmentally-friendly method of controlling Japanese knotweed; one which doesn’t necessitate chemical involvement and causes minimal impact at ground level. Another advantage of the MeshTech procedure is that it protects fertile areas against soil erosion; which is often an unwanted by-product when the knotweed takes a stranglehold on riverbanks.
It also instigates little, if any, disturbance to the flora and fauna in close proximity to the contaminated land, able to be implemented at significantly less cost than removal to a landfill. In terms of how it works, MeshTech pits the Japanese knotweed against itself to a certain extent, by way of forcing the superweed to sever its own stems as it grows and systematically presses up against the mesh. Additionally, the other weapon in its arsenal is that using this method exposes the plant to increased damage by frost and rot, weakening it further. Eventual death of the plant results through exhaustion of nutrient stores in the life-supporting rhizome.
This method of Japanese knotweed treatment describes the act of disposing of contaminated plant material via controlled incineration at the source, with the emphasis on minimising the risk of cross-contamination. This can only be carried out once the Japanese knotweed strands have fully dried out, where immediately after they can be burnt and reduced to a fine ash; essentially rendering them unable to regrow.
In terms of Japanese knotweed, it’s often asked whether or not composting could actually offer an effective lower cost treatment and recycling solution for Japanese Knotweed. It takes extra work compared to standard composting, which could actually cause a worse spread than you began with due to Japanese knotweed’s ability to regenerate from even small bits of rhizome. However, it has been proven that the process of composting Japanese knotweed can be induced in the event of appropriate heat (temperatures in excess of 50°C can kill rhizome) applied to the material to encourage cellular breakdown.
This would only take effect in carefully managed situations, understandably, but the disposal of Japanese knotweed via composting could be a much cheaper disposal route compared with the landfill and incineration methods otherwise championed.
Biological treatments to eradicate Japanese knotweed are currently under trial, but not available to the public. These would involve employing more eco-friendly tactics which – as it stands – comprise of the use of knotweeds’ more naturally-occurring predators, namely psyllids. JKSL closely follow the work of CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) and DEFRA (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), who began the psyllid release programme in Spring 2010.
So, which treatment should I choose?
There’s no one default answer, it’s best to conduct a site review, or at least have a more in-depth conversation, to determine the best method. One thing for sure is that it’s important to use a quality service like JKSL to ensure proper identification, as well as treatment and removal if required, so that you can deal with the issue right, first time. If you want to talk to our team in more depth about our services, visit our Contact page to get the phone and email details for your specific region.