Commercial Knotweed Removal discussed by South Wales Knotweed Removal

When it comes to Japanese Knotweed you should always use a professional Knotweed expert who has the experience to identify and offer suitable solutions for your Commercial Knotweed Removal by a qualified expert to prevent it from spreading. Japanese knotweed has quickly grown into one of the most invasive plant species in the UK. It was brought to the UK in around 1854 and its ability to spread quickly is due to the fact that it was introduced to the UK without the insect (called a ‘psyllid’) that keeps its growth under control. It is now thought that almost 10% of rivers in the UK are now infested with Japanese Knotweed.

It isn’t illegal if you find you have Japanese Knotweed on your land, however, as a land or property owner you do have the responsibility to control it and prevent it from spreading. If you know you have Japanese Knotweed and it is established that you are not taking the necessary precautions, and you don’t have the control systems to prevent it from spreading to neighbouring properties, land or into the wild then a community protection notice can be served against individuals, businesses and organisations which can result in a £5,000 fine and up to a 2 year prison sentence.

If you are a Commercial Property Owner, Business Owner or a Development Business and you identify that you have Japanse Knotweed then you should use an experienced specialist in commercial Japanese knotweed control and removal to avoid remediation costs, potential prosecution, claims for compensation from people who buy property that has been built on the development site, or for structural damage to buildings and services caused by the knotweed spreading.

Japanese Knotweed grows rapidly and aggressively, up to 20cm a day and it can reach 3 meters plus in height. Its roots can grow 3 metres deep and up to 7 metres horizontally and it will quickly grow into cracks in bricks, cavity walls and other structural components of a building if they are not structurally sound, causing further damage.

Japanese knotweed’s rhizomes are the part of the plant that grows extensively underground and they are known as its underground roots, it is the part of the plant that is most likely to make it spread from one tiny fragment.

Japanese knotweed is difficult to identify as it changes through the seasons and it can look like may other shrubs that are in our UK gardens. Its main identifier is the speed of its growth, however, you can only see its growth above ground in the Spring and during Autumn and Winter, it will be spreading quickly underground, emerging above ground again to the width of its roots in the following spring.

How to Identify Japanese Knotweed on you Commercial Property or Land

Japanese knotweed leaves can be identified by their shovel-shaped or heart-shaped leaves. They have a point at the tip and are staggered on the stem, with one stem per node which creates a zig-zag stem growth pattern. They are a bright and rich green colour and can grow up to 20cm long.

Japanese knotweed flowers are long clusters of creamy white flowers which appear towards the end of summer early September. The clusters can grow to around 0.5cm wide and up to 10cm long. The leaves remain as they are as the flowers grow which result in thick and dense foliage.

Japanese knotweed rhizomes are the part of the plant that grows extensively underground and they are known as its underground roots. The outside of the stem is dark brown and the inside is orange/yellow in colour. The fresh stems will be crisp and will snap easily when bent. The rhizomes can grow up to 3 metres in-depth and up to 7 metres horizontally from the original plant. This is the part of the weed that is most likely to make it spread and just one tiny fragment, as little as 0.7g can create a new knotweed plant.

Japanese knotweed stems can grow up to 2 – 3 metres tall, sometimes more and they are similar to Bamboo hence why it is often also referred to as bamboo. They have nodes and purple speckles and the leaves grow outwards from the nodes in a zig-zag type pattern. As the weed matures the stems inside become hollow making them easy to snap and in the winter the stems become very brittle.

Commercial Knotweed RemovalHow to Identify Japanese Knotweed in the Different Seasons

Japanese knotweed grows fastest during the Spring and can reach 3 plus metres high. its new shoots emerge with a red/purple tinge and are often referred to as looking like asparagus spears. The leaves normally roll up and are dark green or tinged with red.

By early Summer, the plant is fully grown and reaches over 3 metres tall, by late summer clusters of creamy white flowers, will appear.

In Autumn the plant’s leaves will start to turn yellow and will wilt, however, the density of its leaves remain. It can still be over 3 metres high and the hollow stems start to turn brown.

At the beginning of Winter, the knotweed canes die off, however, it is still very much alive. The leaves will change to a yellow colour, then into brown and fall off. The hollow canes become dark brown and brittle and they give way against each other, falling to the ground. During winter the roots will be growing and spreading quickly underground. In springtime, as the plant starts to aggressively grow again, you will see the previous year’s canes lying underneath the stems and foliage.

You should always use a qualified Japanese Knotweed expert to identify if you have Japanese Knotweed on your Commercial Land or Property as they will have the experience and know-how to advise you on the control, treatment or removal method that will suit your premises or business.

Property Development Sites

If Japanese Knotweed is identified quickly and a removal method is used by a qualified Knotweed Specialist in the pre-development or early stages of development there will be a wider and more varied choice of removal methods, the costs will be significantly reduced and there will be less impact and cost implications of any building work that has already started.

If Japanese Knotweed is identified at the due diligence stage of a property or land purchase then it can be used to negotiate substantial price reductions which can offset the removal costs, or for the subsequent devaluing of the property or land since the Knotweed was identified.

Any development investors or mortgage lenders whether residential, commercial or for land development have to be notified if knotweed ios identified. Most lenders will require an insurance backed guarantee to be put in place in case the knotweed returns, as well as the knotweed removal, to be carried out by a professional and suitably qualified Knotweed Specialist.

Developers have to use a quick and effective method of removing Japanese Knotweed to ensure development work isn’t delayed and any knotweed must be completely eradicated before any work can begin, or continue once identified.

Methods of Commercial Knotweed Removal Include

Commercial Knotweed Removal – Bund / Stockpiling
Bund also referred to as stockpiling is a combined treatment using stem-injection or foliar application, which is then followed by excavating the underground material and removing it to a different area of the site. This enables further herbicide application to the emergence of ‘new shoots’. This control method is much quicker than conventional herbicide application that needs to be done over several growing seasons, therefore reducing any delays to development.

Commercial Knotweed Removal – Cell Burial / Root Barrier
Creating a Cell Burial or utilising a Root Barrier will avert the substantial costs of transporting the infested soil and waste to landfill. Cell burial involves burying the Japanese Knotweed material to a minimum depth or if encapsulated within a geo-membrane, burial can commence closer to the ground surface. Root barriers can be installed both vertically (normally when there is a risk of cross-boundary contamination) and horizontally, however, there needs to be adequate space on-site to accommodate this method of removal.

Commercial Knotweed Removal – Excavation & Removal Off-Site
The excavation removal method of Japanese Knotweed material off-site is a legitimate, advantageous and a swift control option for development sites if it is done safely and correctly by a qualified Japanese Knotweed Specialist. This removal method creates significant logistical challenges with a high potential of the Knotweed spreading. There is a legal duty of care requirements under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 when using this method of removal and significant cost implications for conveying the material to a licensed, and designated landfill.

Commercial Development Site Knotweed Management Case Studies:

Tenby – Development of 39 dwellings. Area measuring roughly 40m x 20m severely infested with Knotweed (despite apparently being treated by a well-known & established Knotweed ‘specialists’ over the last 3 years). An educated guess – the previous Knotweed contractor has ‘overdosed’ on the herbicide treatment, whereby too much chemicals have been applied sending the rhizomes into dormancy (sleep). Whilst it may appear they have controlled the plant, they definitely haven’t.
Given that there is approx 4 weeks before the construction phase of the project begins, our only realistic option is to excavate the infested material and complete a cell burial on-site, which would not hinder the stringent time constraints imposed by the landowner. We have identified an area on site where we can create a ‘cell burial’ following the excavation of the infested material.
Commercial Development Knotweed South Wales
Cross Hands – Development on 1 acre of land for 4 dwellings. Knotweed on 4 areas of the land which we have treated with herbicide in September. Fortunately, we have some time for another application of herbicide next summer, which shall hopefully severely ‘wound’ the rhizomes. We have identified an area on-site to create a cell burial and when the time comes (likely this time next year), groundworks will commence thereafter.

About South Wales Knotweed Commercial Knotweed Removal

We cover the whole of South Wales (including Swansea, Cardiff and Newport), West Wales up to North Ceredigion & Powys and throughout South Glamorgan & Gwent & Tenby. We carry out contracts in the West Country, as far North as Shropshire and into the Midlands & Birmingham areas.

We are a fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS) and we specialise in controlling Japanese Knotweed, other invasive plants and ‘general nuisance weeds’ which are found in the UK for residential, commercial property and development sites.

We also provide tree services, such as pollarding, crowning, pruning, felling, through our NPTC chainsaw operators, all of whom possess a vast amount of experience in the forestry industry.

Our Qualifications & Accreditations

  • City & Guilds NPTC Level 2
  • Principles of Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides (PA1/PA6)
  • Principles of Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides near water (PA6AW)
  • Herbicide Stem Injection
  • Property Care Association
  • The Control & Eradication of Japanese Knotweed Surveyor’s Training Course
  • Qualified Technician (PCAQT) in Japanese Knotweed
  • Accredited Surveyor in Japanese Knotweed

South Wales Commercial Knotweed Removal Services Include:

  • Free knotweed identification by a qualified and experienced knotweed specialist
  • Free comprehensive Japanese knotweed site survey including a full management plan outlining the eradication method, reasonings, timescales, ecological impacts (if any) and competitive quote
  • Regional CSJK Certificated Surveyors (trained & Qualified to identify, control and remove Japanese Knotweed)
  • Expert knotweed knowledge and advice
  • Professional Knotweed Management Plan documentation
  • Advise on planning issues, legal problems, ecological issues as well as advisable control methods for other invasive plants and weeds in the UK
  • Excavation eradication methods available
  • Long term chemical treatment method programmes available

All our Japanese Knotweed treatment methods are endorsed by the Environment Agency Codes of Practice and the industry trade body – The Property Care Association which can be tailored to suit you as the client. We are happy to consider a staggered payment schedule for any work that does not involve a 3rd party, who may require evidence of pre-payment in full from the outset (mortgage lenders as an example).

Contact us today on 01269 591651 and one of our Japanese Knotweed experts will answer any questions you may have on Commercial Knotweed Removal and can arrange your free identification site survey.