It can be tempting to try out DIY Japanese knotweed removal if you suspect you may have it on your property. However, you should be aware that DIY Japanese knotweed removal can not only be incredibly complex and time-consuming but can have some serious environmental and legal implications if not completed by certified gardeners.
You are not under any legal obligations to remove Knotweed from your own property (although it is advised) but the moment it encroaches upon your neighbour’s land or affects natural wildlife you are in violation of the law. This could potentially lead to prosecution, fines, or even imprisonment for up to two years. Since just one piece of Knotweed the size of a fingernail can produce a new plant, growing at the rate of 1.2 metres per month, therefore the chances of it spreading beyond your boundaries are extremely high.
Even if you think your case is small enough to attempt DIY Japanese knotweed removal, the chances are the job is bigger than you think. Individual plants can cover several square metres of land below the ground and can remain dormant for over 20 years. Do not cut it down or try to dispose of it in your bin or a skip as it is classed as “Controlled Waste” (see Sec. 34 Environment Protection Act 1990) and you can be prosecuted by the Environment Agency.
Even if you do not attempt a DIY Japanese knotweed removal, ignoring the weed can cause additional problems:
- If not dealt with, it can take over several metres of land, therefore costing even more to deal with.
- Potential prosecution and compensation claims against you!
- It will come-up through tarmac, concrete and damage drains and buildings; breaking their concrete foundations.
- It damages the environment, which can also lead to legal action.
- You may not be able to get a mortgage or re-mortgage a property with Japanese knotweed growing near it.
The removal and disposal of Japanese knotweed involves careful planning to ensure you are in line with strict environmental legislation. In the UK, Knotweed does not spread via seeds. Instead it spreads when small pieces of the plant are broken off. It can also be spread through:
- Water – if the parent plant is close to a river or stream
- Moving soil which contains them
- Fly tipping cut or pulled stems
DIY Japanese knotweed removal is not worth the time and stress it can cause!
If you think it’s Japanese knotweed, do not touch it. Contact us for professional advice on your next steps: early treatment is always the best option.