We recently discovered that one of our rental properties in Nuneaton has Japanese Knotweed growing in the garden. My immediate thought was “ouch this is going to be expensive and potentially very troublesome!”.
I knew from watching various TV programmes how much damage Japanese Knotweed can cause, especially if it gets under the structure of the property. If found on a survey, mortgage lenders won’t even consider lending so it could potentially leave your property with zero value!
What is Japanese Knotweed?
“Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is a weed that spreads rapidly. In winter the plant dies back to ground level but by early summer the bamboo-like stems emerge from rhizomes deep underground to shoot to over 2.1m (7ft), suppressing all other plant growth. Eradication requires determination as it is very hard to remove by hand or eradicate with chemicals. New legislation now covers its control”- The Royal Horticultural website
What are the treatments?
Herbicidal Irradication- A selection of herbicidal treatments can be sprayed on the affected area. This treatment is often lower on cost but is not always recommended depending on what is found.
Stem Injection- “There are occasions where a specialist company may approve a stem injection methodology where only the Japanese Knotweed plants are targeted leaving all neighbouring vegetation unharmed by the applied herbicides. Unlike foliar applied eradication methods, stem injection targets the application of a controlled quantity of herbicide directly into the core of the plant. This direct targeting of the herbicidal application enables stem injection to be the least insidious method of Japanese Knotweed eradication.” (http://www.ecocontrol.co.uk/residential/)
What is the cost?
Well, like most things, the cost will vary depending on the situation. From my own experience it is costing just under £2,500 for the stem injection treatment, which will be done over two years. A percentage 20-30% is charged per visit so the costs are spread over the duration of the treatment, which doesn’t make it as painful!
Is it guaranteed?
The Company I have instructed comes with their own 10 year, £5 million warranty, which was successful in obtaining over 600 mortgages last year. So, even though I’m not planning to sell any time soon, I know that it’s good for the next 10 years.
This is not something to be taken lightly and please make sure that you DO NOT stick your head in the sand and hope it will go away because it won’t. It will only get worse. No one wants to pay out thousands of pounds for a spot of gardening but I’d rather do that than have a property that I can’t sell!
I hope this is something you never have to deal with (in your rental property or family home) but, if you do suspect, please get it checked out and get a professional company to do the work.