Japanese knotweed is an extremely invasive plant. It is not native and is a perennial. The crux of the matter is that you must get rid of it if it is growing on your land. There is government legislation controlling it, owing to the invasive nature and destructiveness of its method of growth. It is identified in spring by its reddish-purple fleshy roots, which grow from dark pink buds at ground level.
Japanese knotweed has the potential to damage property and other plants. If it is growing on your land, it will damage your garden and property. Complications arise when it spreads to land that you do not own, or public land. If it spreads into the wild because of your neglect, you will be liable for damage under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. For more information on this plant, one of the best sources of information is at https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=218. The bamboo-like stems grow from rhizomes deep underground and can reach over 7 feet in height. It should not be confused with other plants, such as Russian vine and Himalayan honeysuckle. If in doubt, call in the experts.
Ways to eradicate this weed
There are three main ways to deal with this problem weed:
1. Digging it out of the ground
This can be attempted, but the root system is extensive. Furthermore, any waste must be taken away by a registered carrier to the landfill site. Under no circumstances must you compost Japanese knotweed in your garden. It is possible to burn the weed after digging it up, but disposal of the waste after burning is still controlled, and all residue must be dealt with by registered carriers as above.
2. Calling in the professionals
This is the best option. You may need Land Remediation Services, so look no further than http://www.ashremediation.co.uk/ Otherwise, have a look at the British Associations of Landscape Industries website to find other Land Remediation Services.
3. Chemical treatment
This is also a good option that can be considered even if you are normally opposed to the use of chemicals in the garden. There are approved chemicals; it goes without saying that these should only be applied strictly following the manufacturers’ instructions. It is essential to cut back the stems before applying chemicals.