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How To Identify Japanese Knotweed

We are often contacted by distressed individuals who are dealing with accusations and claims due to simply not knowing that they had Japanese Knotweed on their property. In the height of the growing season, Japanese Knotweed is generally an attractive plant and we have had stories of people watering and pruning it to suit to their garden. Of course, as the weed has spread and become harder to manage, it has raised concerns to both the owner and neighbour and with a click of the search tab – ‘Japanese Knotweed Claims! Claim your compensation today!’Before you know it, the neighbour has instructed solicitors and the owner is in distress.

This is just one example of how individuals can unknowingly land themselves in trouble for an innocent mistake. We are aiming to raise awareness of the plant and the implications it can have so this situation can possibly be avoided in the future, starting with how to identify Japanese Knotweed.

Japanese Knotweed Through The Seasons

Japanese Knotweed in the spring will appear in reddish shoots which resemble asparagus. These can then grow up to 2cm a day, formulating thick bamboo-like stems which will then start to develop smooth, green, heart-shaped leaves.

In the early summer, the stems are hollow which purple speckles. The leaves are bright green and appear to alternate along each side of the stem in a zig-zag pattern. The plant will now start to grow even more rapidly, reaching a maximum height of up to 3 metres!

By the late summer, clusters of creamy white flowers appear on the plant. These provide a great source of nectar for insects so look out for an influx of insects to your garden when identifying Japanese Knotweed in the summertime.

As we move into the winter, the leaves will fall from the plant and the canes will die. The canes turn brown and have a dark orange centre. Do not be fooled by dying appearance because without effective treatment, they will be back to invade your garden the following spring!

For photographic reference, check out our identification section on our website https://www.japaneseknotweedexpert.co.uk/faq/identifying-japanese-knotweed-2/.

Just by simply knowing how to spot Japanese Knotweed can save you a lot of hassle in the future. The earlier it is identified, the earlier licenced professionals such as ourselves can start to remediate the issue.

If you think you have Japanese Knotweed growing on your property, send a picture to our email info@japaneseknotweedexpert.co.uk for a free identification service.

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Our Advice…

As a potential home-buyer, you may have been warned about Japanese Knotweed. It’s invasive and destructive nature can cause structural damage to buildings and walls and the mere presence of Japanese Knotweed on or around the boundary of a property can result in a depreciation of its value. For many who are looking to get on the property ladder, the mere mention of ‘depreciation’ might make them run a mile, but the presence of Japanese Knotweed can be an extremely useful bargaining chip for getting up to 10% of the market value knocked off!Japanese Knotweed Flowers

There are some leg-work and initial outlay on the home-buyers part, but for many, it’s worth the effort for the overall saving. As a starting point, a site survey is required to help in the formulation of a management plan. These in tandem give an accurate idea of devaluation costs, which can then be relayed to the vendor and estate agent. A typical spraying and injection treatments costs, on average, around 2-3k. Once these costs are accounted for the home-buyer stands to potentially make a saving of £5,000 off the asking price.

If you think you may have Japanese Knotweed growing on a property you are looking to purchase, give us a call on 0800 1337 444, or e-mail us at info@japaneseknotweedexpert.co.uk to explore your options! 

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Why is Japanese Knotweed such a problem?

 

Japanese Knotweed is a bamboo-like plant with hollow stems and green heart-shaped leaves. It grows rapidly and can grow up to 10m a day in the height of the growing season. Its roots and rhizomes can grow up to 7m radius and 3m depth and if it is found near any habitable space, it can undermine the structural integrity of the building.

 

As Japanese Knotweed has no natural predators in the UK, it is very hard to maintain and requires methods such as herbicidal treatment and excavation to remove the threat that the plant imposes to a property. If the plant is not maintained and as a result encroaches onto a neighboring property, the neighbouring property can sue on private nuisance grounds.

 

If you are planning to sell your property with Japanese Knotweed present, this can cause many complications. Most mortgage lenders refuse to offer mortgages for properties affected by Japanese Knotweed making it very hard to sell and in some cases the presence of Knotweed has reduced the market value of properties by many thousands of pounds. However, if you have a Treatment plan in place that is conducted by a PCA accredited company which offers a 10-year insurance guarantee, mortgage lenders will provide a mortgage with the assurance that the weed is under control.

 

All of the above can be avoided if the problem is caught early if a management plan is put in place as soon as possible and the weed is treated by a licensed professional such as ourselves.

If you have a plant growing on your property which you suspect as Japanese Knotweed but are not entirely sure send a photo to ourselves at info@japaneseknotweedexpert.co.uk for a free identification service.

 

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When we talk about Japanese Knotweed, we often reference the detrimental effects it can have on the property, especially depreciation in value.

Beyond that, Japanese Knotweed has a significant impact on our environment, and it is another reason Japanese Knotweed Expert is so passionate about eradicating it.

In its Japanese habitat, the growth of Knotweed is limited due to environmental factors. For example, it grows on active volcanos and is regularly smothered by volcanic ash and landslides. Pests, fungi and diseases also attack the weed, keeping it in check and limiting its invasive potential.

In the UK, conditions are much more favourable for Japanese Knotweed, which allows it to run amok and wreak havoc on our environment. Because it grows so rapidly and spreads like wildfire, Japanese Knotweed can displace native vegetation, impact on the diversity of insects in the area and increase the risk of flooding due to soil erosion. Around water, Japanese Knotweed can damage river-banks and cause blockages within infrastructures such as sluices and drains.

For the above reasons, it is so important that Japanese Knotweed is addressed as soon as it is discovered. Not only could it leave you out of pocket, but it could also overrun your property, smothering wildlife and leaving you at risk!Close up of Japanese Knotweed

Contact us today to rid yourself of Japanese Knotweed for good! 

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Getting lost in the legal jargon which is thrown at you once you instruct a legal professional is a rabbit hole too many of us take a trip down, make sure you know what a P35 report is and when you might need one.

Generally, Japanese Knotweed disputes are easily resolved once an individual takes responsibility for the presence of the weed and ensures that it is eradicated in line with the specific rules and regulations put in place. However, in some circumstances where the origin of the Japanese Knotweed is harder to determine, or in situations where the landowner is denying liability, you may need to consult your solicitors on the best way to proceed down the legal route.

Japanese Knotweed is classed as a ‘Schedule 9’ plant and in relation to this, Section 14(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 states that “if any person plants or otherwise cause to grow in the wild any plant which is included in Part 2 of Schedule 9, he shall be guilty of an offence”. Due to this, we see time and time again, instances where individuals have taken legal action against landowners who have allowed this highly invasive weed to encroach onto their sites.

Typically, your solicitors will firstly arrange for an initial vetting report which will give them the basic details of the Japanese Knotweed they will need to know before being able to decide as to whether or not the case can be taken to court. Once they have the initial vetting report, this is usually when solicitors will arrange for the P35 Report.

Part 35 Compliant Reports are specific documents which answer the questions solicitors will need to know and use in their court case. Typically, these P35 reports are used to determine the cause of the origin of the Japanese Knotweed and therefore pin liability to the correct person. P35 Reports are usually taken around a week to compose due to the in-depth analysis required to fully investigate the situation at hand. If you are not proceeding down the legal route, you usually won’t require this service.

Our MD is the only registered expert on the UK Register of Expert Witnesses for Japanese Knotweed and so if you think you may need a P35 Expert Report, get in touch with us today on 0800 1337 444!

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We all hear the horror stories about how Japanese Knotweed reduces property values by 100% and is notorious for bringing house sales to a grinding halt, much to the dismay of many vendors. Japanese Knotweed Expert speaks to a single mum of 2 who was unfortunate enough to be blighted by this prolific weed.

*names have been changed upon request

JKE: Hi Kelly*, thank you for coming in to see us today.

Kelly: No problem, thank you for inviting me in. I want to get my story out to as many people as possible.

JKE: We can definitely help you do that – let’s start from the beginning; how did you come across the Japanese Knotweed (JK) growing in your garden?

K: Well I’d been renting my property off my landlords for about 7 years and I was finally in a position where I could put an offer in as I knew that they were looking to sell as soon as possible. I thought because I already lived there, it would streamline the whole process and hopefully make it a lot less stressful and I really loved the house, so it seemed like a no-brainer.

JKE: Had you known that there was JK growing in your garden up until that point?

K: No. I never even knew what JK looked like! I knew that the plant was there because I remember noticing how it used to appear to die back for the winter and then it would start growing again in the spring-time as if it had come back to life! It never really occurred to me that it might be a dangerous plant because it always looked so pretty during the warmer months.

JKE: So when did you come to realise that it was an issue?

K: It was only when I had my own survey done, that I come to learn about JK and when my mortgage application was refused, I knew I needed to sort it out. I couldn’t risk losing our family home, but I didn’t really know how I could fix the situation. Luckily my landlords were really helpful and were kind enough to bear with me whilst I was looking into different ways to secure my mortgage.

JKE: What was the extent of the growth?

K: There wasn’t much really, it was growing in the border which runs along the boundary of my garden. I think in the survey report it was said there was around 10sqm. I always wonder what the outcome would be if there was a lot more!

JKE: Was there any damage, to your knowledge?

K: You could tell the roots had started to lift the cobbles that edged my border, it really used to worry me though because it was close to the boundary wall on the left-hand side and I knew it was only a matter of time until the JK brought that to the ground.

JKE: It’s lucky we caught it when we did!

K: You guys really helped me out! I know for a fact I wouldn’t be living in my house today if you guys didn’t step in when you did.

JKE: Would you say you were kept up to date with the whole process?

K: Definitely. From start to finish your team members were great and you were always happy to answer my questions, and as you personally know I had a lot of them! I am so glad I chose such a good company because you really gave me peace of mind and reassured me when I thought buying my house was not a possibility.

JKE: Thank you Kelly, we’re glad we could have been of assistance and it’s so good to hear you’ve been happy with the company! 

Would you like to know more about us? Click here to find out more. If you think you have Japanese Knotweed growing on your property, please get in touch with the Experts today on 0800 1337 444.

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Originally introduced by Victorian gardeners in 1839, Himalayan Balsam is now one of the most invasive species in the UK. It is known to be the largest annual plant in Britain, and you are likely to see it growing along riverbanks and streams due to the rate at which it has spread. How is it that such an attractive plant is now listed under Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981?

Himalayan Balsam can tolerate low light levels and due to the extent of the growth, it creates a pseudo woodland meaning that any other plants growing within close proximity are shadowed, therefore inhibiting their growth. Add this to the fact that it can erode riverbanks, therefore, result in flooding, it comes as no surprise that allowing Himalayan Balsam to spread into the wild can lead to prosecution.

Identification of Himalayan Balsam is very important, as it is advised that if you note the presence of it in your garden, you should take steps to remove it from the site. Each plant can produce as much as 800 seeds and therefore removal should be undertaken in the winter months when the plant is in a dormant state. Himalayan Balsam has serrated green leaves which span approximately 5-8cm and the flower itself is pink/purple in colour throughout the summer months. The stem is green in the autumn months but tends to change into red colour towards the end of the year.

If you think you may have Himalayan Balsam growing in your garden, get in touch with the experts today on 0800 1337 444.

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What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, invasive weed, it is rapidly becoming one of Britain’s most invasive weeds. Japanese knotweed can remain dormant for over twenty years, but once it begins to grow, it can spread at a length of 1.2 metres per month and up to a whopping 10cm a day in the summer. It develops a series of underground roots and shoots, referred to as rhizomes, which can grow out for several metres from the original stand. To find out more, click here.

CPD Japanese Knotweed Course

If you work within an industry where Japanese Knotweed poses a real threat, whether that be through your client’s property, your development site or even legal disputes, our Japanese Knotweed CPD course may prove to be invaluable for you!

CPD is an important part of any professional’s development in the workplace. Make sure you are booked onto our next event, which will ensure you are kept up to date with any changes in Japanese Knotweed legislation.

In today’s culture of “where there’s a blame, there’s a claim” can you really afford to be sued for negligence?

Get in touch on 0800 1337 444 or email info@japaneseknotweedexpert.co.uk to book onto the next CPD course now!

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If you live in the UK, you will have noticed the incredibly mild winter we have just had. While typically a lot of us will be happy to have seen the back end of it, those of us who have a Japanese Knotweed infestation on their premises will have a feeling of dread when they see the tell-tale red shoots coming back up earlier in the year than expected.

 

Around this time of year, you can expect to see Japanese Knotweed shoots starting to come through with red/purple speckled stems. You may also notice that the Japanese Knotweed plants may have leaves that are furled with red veins running through them – by the end of the month, these leaves will have unfurled fully, displaying their distinctive heart shape. The leaves also alternate in a zig-zag formation; this being one of the key characteristics to look out for when identifying the invasive weed.

 

Treatment at this time of year is usually not recommended as it can be ineffective, waiting until mid-May, when the plant has had a chance to develop, is a lot more likely to have more of an impact on the weed, as there is a lot more green growth to absorb the active ingredient in the herbicide.

 

 

If you think you have Japanese Knotweed growing in your garden and need identification, please feel free to contact us or email us a picture at info@japaneseknotweedexpert.co.uk!Or to find out more click here.

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What is Japanese Knotweed?

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, invasive weed, It is rapidly becoming one of Britain’s most invasive weeds. Japanese Knotweed can remain dormant for over twenty years, but once it begins to grow, it can spread at a pace of 1.2 metres per month and up to a whopping 10cm a day. It develops a series of underground roots and shoots, referred to as rhizomes, which can grow out for several metres from the original stand. It is characteristic by its hollow, purple stems and heart-shaped leaves. If you need more information on this, we have a page dedicated to helping our clients to identify Japanese knotweed.

If you work within an industry where Japanese Knotweed poses a real threat, whether that be through your client’s property, your development site or even legal disputes, our Japanese Knotweed CPD course may prove to be invaluable for you!

CPD is an important part of any professional’s development in the workplace and ensuring you are booked onto our next event ensures you are kept up to date with any changes in Japanese Knotweed legislation.

In today’s culture of “where there’s a blame, there’s a claim” can you really afford to be sued for negligence?

Get in touch on 0800 1337 444 to book onto the CPD course now!