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A Month in the Life of a Knotweed & Tree Expert in Wales

I have recently taken to posting photographs and details of recent work on Facebook. It is always great to read comments and thoughts of the people that follow my page. Some seemed too good to not immortalise in an article!

Knotweed Surveys Ceredigion

In late November 2020, I re-visited some former stomping grounds in the stunning countryside of Ceredigion to complete 3 surveys for Japanese Knotweed. Started at Cellan, just outside Lampeter then on to Tregaron, a brief stop at Aberaeron then on to Llangrannog. Final survey of the day was on a decaying large oak tree for a private client, which we have already been given the go-ahead to remove.
Whilst Japanese Knotweed doesn’t get treated beyond October, we still complete the surveys for mortgages in order that houses can be purchased & sold, hence we work throughout the year.
135 miles covered. It didn’t remotely feel like “work”.

Lonlas Council School, Llanamlet

Is anyone old enough to remember the former Lonlas Council School, at Frederick Place, Llansamlet?
The following photographs show the ‘before & after’ images of the site, now proposed for residential development which we cleared last week. The site had been totally consumed by Japanese Knotweed, the usual brambles/nettles etc & a large amount of willow & hazelnut trees over ‘many’ years.
Total clearance of the site took 1 1/2 days by 3 members of staff working on the brush-cutters & chainsaws. All cut vegetation put through the chipper and left on site. All fly-tipped items (to which there were a considerable amount!😮🥴) left on the entrance for the local authority to dispose of.
Have searched online, yet didn’t manage to establish when the school last closed its doors. Guessing that someone will know so feel free to comment folks.
Give us a call for any tree work/site clearance and Japanese Knotweed related enquiries folks. Our initial surveys are free.

One person commented on Facebook: Doesn’t it takes 5 years of spraying 3 times a year to clear knotweed? It will just grow back if cut and not treated by spraying, soil removal or burying the roots at depth with a series of membranes on top to stop it growing through!

For those thinking the same: The ground has been cleared to allow the area to be measured and pegged out for future construction. That was Phase 1.

The Knotweed has been cut 4-6” above the surface, so everyone is aware of its exact location within the soil.

The next phase we will be involved in is the actual excavation and soil removal of the area contaminated by Knotweed.
As the development is imminent, we are unable to wait 3-4 years until the herbicide takes effect. In any event, as the site will be built upon, excavation & removal is essential.

Tree Cutting and Removal Garnant

A recent job we competed in Garnant. Approximately 16 Cypress trees had grown to roughly 45-50 feet and had long since started to encroach on to the public highway and caused damage to the concrete wall boundary (having grown so big).
We also felled 3 decaying Oak Trees which Sam, one of our Arborists, ‘milled’ into several pieces in order to be used as furniture, once seasoned. The leftover wood has been cut into manageable chunks and is to be sold as firewood.
In total, a 5-day task involving 5 members of staff. The land will be sold off for residential development in the near future, so we left all the wood chip on site.

Have Van, Will Travel

In Mid-December I travelled throughout South & West Wales & into West Mercia this week conducting surveys on trees and Japanese Knotweed. I haven’t calculated the mileage yet it’s likely to be between 400-500 miles in all.

Merthyr Tydfil ✅
Aberdare ✅
Taffs Well ✅
Llanishen
Hereford ✅🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿
Swansea ✅
Abercrave ✅
By far the most ‘unusual’ location we conducted a survey was at New Quay, Ceredigion.
In essence, the Knotweed has colonised the majority of a ‘cliff face’ at the rear of a property. The client has plans to extend the property by constructing a large rear extension & outdoor decking with a balcony, therefore providing a spectacular view over the coastline.
Is the Path Closed?
Anyone who has worked on the front line of the emergency services 🚨🚔🚍 will totally get this.
You are told very early when you join to ‘expect the unexpected’ as human behaviour can be ‘unpredictable’ and people will often do ‘silly things’, shall we say.
So, after blocking off this footpath with 3 separate lots of signage, notices & barriers, which any reasonable person, I’m sure would agree, would indicate the footpath is closed. So far today several people have just strolled through (in addition to the sound of chainsaws & a chipper running).
The most notable comments:
“Oh, sorry can I just go through?”
“Is it closed?”
“Sorry mate can I just go down there?”
When asking politely 2 men who were halfway down the footpath:
“Did you not see the signs that showed the path is closed lads”?
“Uhh… well yeah, is ok though is it”?
Best one of the day was an ‘old chap’ staring at the signs and reading the council notice stipulating the footpath was closed, then simply moving the red barrier aside and walking through.
Never ends folks. Sometimes you just have to laugh at the stupidity.

South Wales Knotweed Removal and Tree Services

Working throughout South Wales, West Wales and into English Border Towns, SWKR&TS offer the following services:

  • Knotweed Surveys
  • Knotweed Mortgage Reports
  • Knotweed Control
  • Tree felling
  • Crown Trimming
  • Crown Pruning
  • Stump Grinding & Removal
  • Dangerous or Damaged Tree Services
  • Emergency Call Out Services
  • General Garden Maintenance
  • Reducing Branches and Foliage
  • Thinning Branches and Foliage
  • Hedge Trimming
  • Hedge Shaping
  • Sectional Dismantling
  • Garden, Ground, Site Clearance
  • Weed Control
  • Invasive Plant Services

Call today on 01269 591651 to arrange a free survey.

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