What is Japanese Knotweed?

Many health benefits are ascribed to the therapeutic use of Japanese Knotweed. Scientifically, this plant is known as Fallopia Japonica, a common weed found growing wild in tropical and subtropical climates. The medicinal properties of Japanese Knotweed were discovered over sixty years ago, yet its curative powers have only just recently been widely publicized. However, when left to grow wild in the UK, this invasive foreign plant can cause a nightmare for homeowners.

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What is Japanese Knotweed? It is a plant that was first brought to Europe in the mid 19th century. It is an attractive plant that can be mistaken for a harmless and common garden plant with its red stems and broad green leaves. However, it grows at an alarming rate and is almost impossible to eradicate once it has taken root.

It dies back during the winter but begins its cycle of vociferous growth again in the spring. The stem is hollow, similar to bamboo and by late July it blooms cream-colored blooms that are at least attractive to bees. That seems to be its only saving grace though as it has been responsible for halving property prices if it is discovered!

It grows in thick clumps that can reach several meters deep. The problem arises in the UK because there is little to impede its growth. As a native plant to Japan, it was discovered growing on the sides of volcanoes. The quantity of ash in the soil there prevented it from becoming a large plant. However, with the UK’s rich soil, the plant just keeps on growing and growing!

If you are in the market for a new property, ensure that as part of the building survey, Japanese Knotweed is also taken into account. Buying a property with this plant growing on its land could cause a host of problems and ongoing headaches! For more information on a Building Survey Chelmsford, visit a site like Sam Conveyancing

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Astonishingly, when left, Japanese Knotweed can grow as much as 20cm in a day! It also causes problems for buildings as the roots can grow up to 3 meters in depth, pushing up tarmac and concrete as it grows. Due to these issues, this plant has devalued properties and resulted in mammoth clear-out operations which are estimated to have cost the UK economy £166 million annually.

Japanese Knotweed also has no predators in the UK which means it can grow unimpeded. This results in it swamping other native plant species, blocking light and nutrients, and thus killing off other plant life in the area.

Due to the incredible speed at which it grows and the tiny amount of plant needed to spark growth, disposing of Japanese Knotweed can only take place at licensed and designated waste sites as the plant is classed as hazardous waste.