How to spot Japanese Knotweed in Spring 2019
SPRING BEGINS WITH A MESSAGE FOR HOMEOWNERS
The 'Beast from the East' caused significant disruption all over the U.K in spring last year but one positive thing the Beast was able to achieve was delaying the emergence of Japanese Knotweed to late April and in some cases, early May.
However, any fears of another Beast in 2019 have been slain by some unseasonably warm weather across the UK, with average temperatures reaching 10 degrees in certain parts of the country. This warm weather has caused Japanese Knotweed to emerge up to two months earlier than last year. This is a serious cause for concern as the weed grows at an alarming rate once it gets started and its presence on private property can cause the value of that property to drop, often by tens of thousands of pounds.
Luckily invasive weeds experts, like the experienced and qualified surveyors at Wise Knotweed Solutions, can give you all the information you need to identify Japanese Knotweed in Spring before it grows out of control and seriously affects the value of your property.
WHY IS JAPANESE KNOTWEED SO HARD TO SPOT?
As Japanese Knotweed is quite an attractive looking plant, it tends to blend into the environment and quite often can go undetected. However, this mishap could have massive ramifications as the invasive plant has the potential to seriously impact the structural integrity of a building.
The invasive plant can reach a total height of 3 metres but it is just its canes and leaves that are capable of such growth. Its root system can extend 7 metres in any direction, making it very easy for the weed to grow out of control. Its canes and leaves are capable of growing at a remarkable rate of 10cm a day so it is vital that Knotweed is dealt with early before the growth can occur. The root system’s unrelenting growth is what makes it such a threat to properties as it is capable of squeezing through even tiny holes and gaps in concrete and masonry.
Japanese Knotweed should be of particular interest to homeowners and potential buyers as without a professional treatment programme in place, a significant number of banks and building societies have reportedly been refusing to provide mortgages on properties affected by the plant.
HOW TO SPOT JAPANESE KNOTWEED IN SPRING?
The first signs of Japanese Knotweed growth are first seen in spring. This is when Knotweed is at its weakest so it is advisable to tackle the weed at this time of the year before it has the opportunity to increase in strength. The first signs of growth will take the form of pink and red buds rising up from the ground. This early growth of Japanese Knotweed in spring is often described as large asparagus spears and these spears grow at an alarming rate, evolving into thick and hollow canes. It is quite distinctive, containing a pattern of purple speckles and often likened to bamboo. As the Spring growth continues and the plant increases in size, leaves will begin to unroll as the canes turn green in colour. These green leaves can be easily identified as they will contain a zig-zag pattern on its stems and be shaped similar to a heart but with a pointy end.
I THINK I HAVE JAPANESE KNOTWEED ~ WHAT NOW?
Properties can lose considerable value due to Knotweed but that does not mean that the plant can’t be treated before this occurs.
If you notice a suspecting plant on or anywhere near your property, it is important that you do not try to destroy the plant yourself as incorrect methods can delay the treatment of the weed. Have the suspecting plant examined by an expert surveyor so an appropriate and cost-effective treatment programme can be put into place?
Thank you to our guest blogger:
Jake Ryan of Wise Knotweed Solutions
0141 876 9200