We are constantly being called for Japanese knotweed eradication.
Usually because a DIY attempt has failed. The comments that usually accompany such a request are along the lines of:
- ”I’ve nearly killed it, but it keeps growing again.”
- “It’s certainly a bit smaller than it was last year. That stuff from B+Q is doing the trick……I think.”
- “It’s looking a bit poorly. I think it’s nearly dead.”
We know better than anyone that Japanese knotweed is notoriously difficult to kill. We've come across methods that work and ones that don’t. The point is it’s either dead or it is alive. If it’s green and growing, even a little, it’s not nearly dead, it's still very much alive and kicking.
Here are some of the approaches which don’t work, just in case you’re tempted to have a go yourself. We have heard or seen of all of the following:-
· Cutting the canes and pouring salt down them. Sadly quite common. Why not add a little black pepper?
· Using over-the-counter chemicals bought from a garden centre or DIY store. Despite what the labels claim this approach is doomed to fail. If it were this easy we would never have grown a national company.
· Repeatedly chopping the above ground canes. The roots or rhizomes are the problem. Until those long roots are eradicated it’s still alive and waiting to make a comeback.
· Calling the local council. You might as well call the Women’s Institute.
Using a local gardener or amateur contractor will not provide a Guarantee acceptable to lenders or buyers, especially when there is a direct question about the dreaded knotweed on the TA6 conveyancing form. People who do supply incorrect information are soon exposed when the knotweed returns. It is worth noting that new owners are increasingly taking legal action against vendors that give false information.
Commercial landowners and developers tend to be a bit more savvy when it comes to employing professionals. As Red Adair, the legendary Texan expert at extinguishing fires on oil rigs once said, “If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”