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How Japanese Knotweed can affect your property

How Japanese Knotweed can affect your property

7th May 2020

If you are a homeowner, looking to buy or have just purchased a property, you may or may not be aware of the potential problems that Japanese knotweed can have on your home.

This intrusive weed, also known as Fallopia Japonica, was imported to Europe by a German gentleman. Phillipp von Siebold introduced the plant back in the mid 19th century with the intention of it being used as an ornamental garden plant.

Thriving where water is plentiful the weed tends to take up root near lakes, ponds, riverbanks and canals but has also found its way into many gardens and grounds across the UK.

Rapid growth with reports of up to 20cm a day, Japanese knotweed can take hold, especially during the summer. Sometimes growing up to 10ft high and spanning large areas in very little time, it’s no wonder we have concerns when it comes to controlling this weed.

With Japanese knotweed also being so hardy, its reputation for damaging properties hasn’t gone unnoticed. If left to get out of hand this weed can cause damage to garden walls, drainage systems and driveways and even have an effect on the structure of your property.

Eradicating the weed comes with its own pitfalls, as the weed takes hold underground it can reappear after many years laying dormant. Digging up and spraying also seems to have little effect on this plant. Experts in the eradication of Japanese knotweed are advised to be called in if you do find it growing in your garden.

As a seller, failure to report the knowing presence of Japanese knotweed could also spark problems later on down the line. We would advise anyone selling to be upfront and honest from the start.

Identify the plant in question

Being able to distinguish one plant from another can be tricky. That’s why we’ve listed a few traits to help identify Japanese knotweed if you suspect it’s growing near your property.

Reddish purple spots cover the stems

Stems are hollow inside

Rings that resemble bamboo appear on the stems

Leaves are heart/shovel-shaped that form in zig zag patterns

At the height of summer, leaves turn from yellowy-brown to a deep green and can be as large as 14cm long. Towards the end of summer going into Autumn Japanese knotweed will produce clusters of small cream coloured flowers.

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