How to Spot Japanese Knotweed in the Winter

– Discussed by South Wales Knotweed Removal & Garden Services

Would you like to know how to spot Japanese Knotweed in the winter? Read on to learn everything that you need to know on the subject.

Did you know that the Japanese Knotweed is ranked as one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species? In fact, it’s against the law to allow the spread of the weeds into your neighbour’s property or neighbouring countryside.

Knotweed is also sometimes referred to as Fallopia Japonica, Bamboo and Peashooters. It’s crown and rhizomes (root system) quickly take over and suppress other plants growing around and it spreads extensively underground without you being aware. Established shoots can grow more than 3 metres high and it will colonize the soil within a few years. In the height of its growing season, almost 60% of its roots are underground making removal extremely difficult.

Being able to identify this invasive weed is a skill that can save you money in the long run. But what does Japanese Knotweed look like during the winter season? Like most plants, Japanese Knotweed changes in appearance during this time of the year and throughout the seasons.

Keep reading for Japanese knotweed tips that highlight the most dependable ways to help you accurately identify this highly invasive weed in the winter.

Brown Dry Leaves

One of the Japanese knotweed’s most notable features in the winter is the brown dry leaves that dominate the plant. The dry, dead-looking leaves can also have a zig-zag appearance and the bamboo-like canes become dark brown in colour so against greenery this means they aren’t hard to spot.

Quick Growth

The Japanese knotweed is one of the most highly invasive and fastest-growing weeds in the UK, with many studies and cases indicating that they can grow up to 10cm a day in height. So, if you’ve noticed a plant quickly developing across your land and even infiltrating your neighbour’s property, then odds are you’re dealing with Japanese knotweed.

Its extremely fast root growth underground also extends to its external size overground, with the weed often attaining heights of up to 3 meters in 6 weeks. The weed is extremely strong and sturdy and is able to firmly stand against the strong wind and rain.

Purple Shoots

This up-close Japanese Knotweed identification method is possibly the best means of identifying Japanese knotweed in the winter. When winter is about to end, you will see purple shoots beginning to emerge from the weeds canes.

The shoots of Japanese knotweed will quickly grow up to 10ft tall and will speedily expand into dense areas of bamboo-like stems. Winter floods may even boost the spread of Japanese knotweed by transferring rhizome particles downstream to new areas.

One tiny rhizome can spread Japanese knotweed extensively and this is why you should only ever use an experienced and qualified business to control and remove Knotweed for you. If you attempt to dig it up before you know it, it will have spread and if it spreads onto someone else’s property or into the countryside you will be liable and can be prosecuted.

Knotweed WinterDark-Brown, Hollow Bamboo-Like Canes

During the wintertime, the white flowers and green leaves of the Japanese knotweed fall off. As a result, all that will remain are the bamboo-like canes that will turn dark-brown and hollow. These hollow canes can endure the wintertime and occasionally be seen amongst new growing canes in the summertime. However, if the interior is solid, it’s likely the plant isn’t Japanese knotweed.

If you suspect you have Japanese knotweed on your property, we strongly advise that you don’t try removing it on your own. This invasive weed can cause severe destruction to your land, the foliage around it and your neighbouring surroundings. DIY attempts to remove the weed can have grave legal and environmental implications.

Spotting Japanese Knotweed in the Winter Made Easy

If you are not certain and require expert guidance on distinguishing Japanese knotweed, contact South Wales Knotweed Removal & Tree Services Ltd. We offer a free and quick identification service that will assess the plant and confirm the presence of the Japanese knotweed, even in its immature stages. Our experience in the invasive weed industry means we will be able to advise you of the best course of treatment and control measures dependent on your property and its surroundings.

Simply send us images of your possible infestation via our contact form and one of our experts will be in touch with you soon to help you to remove your  Japanese Knotweed infestation. Trust our Knotweed removal experts.

Why Choose South Wales Knotweed Removal?

We are a fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS)

We specialise in identifying the presence of and controlling Japanese Knotweed, other invasive plants and ‘general nuisance weeds’ found in the UK for both residential and property development sites.

Our professional service uses herbicide treatments that are appropriate for your property and the vegetation growing around it and we have the necessary qualifications to safely use the required herbicides. 

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

What will a Survey with South Wales Knotweed Include?

A survey with us provides you with Knotweed identification,  provides a location of the knotweed, the extent of the infestation, the risks of not treating and controlling it, and the advised treatment options.

Our detailed Surveys provide:
  • Formal identification by a qualified Knotweed specialist
  • We will specify and outline all boundaries and property positions in detail 
  • A risk assessment includes the extent of the infestation and the risks of it spreading  
  • Detail the size of the infestation, where it is present and what perimeters it breaches or threatens to breach
  • It can provide your mortgage lender, bank or building society with the risk assessment they need in regard to lending on the property and our recommended specialist treatment method
  • Advisable removal and treatment methods (management plans) for your infestation, property and land 
What are the Benefits of a Survey with us?
  • The earlier you are able to formally identify you have Japanese Knotweed at your property the less likely it is to spread as you can start treatment quickly.
  • The bigger the infestation the more it will cost to treat
  • Our Surveys are recognised by mortgage lenders and they will save you time and money in the long run
  • Our survey can safeguard you if you are buying land to develop as you can incorporate the cost of removal in your offer price, this is also relevant when purchasing a property
  • We will assess the extent of the Knotweed problem against any proposed development plans and review any unchecked plant growth as part of our identification process
  • There are different methods of treatment and removal advisable for every property, land and site and a full report will advise you on the benefits of each advised method. Our treatment plans depend on the time of year, condition of the site, land available, timescales, neighbouring properties and property location etc.
  • A full remediation proposal is included with full Knotweed Management Plan documentation
  • It can be difficult to identify during the winter months when the growing season is dormant. Our expertise can identify knotweed at any time of the year
  • As a business and our surveyors are accredited by the Property Care Association (PCA)
  • Our reports are mortgage compliant, providing mortgage lenders and house buyers with an understanding of the extent of the knotweed
  • We will advise you on the risks to any buildings, structures and your property boundary’s, detailing the level of risk
  • Our experts are based in Wales, the South West, Shropshire, the Midlands & Birmingham 
  • Our reports are in an easy and understandable report format
  • Our report includes a detailed quote, our recommended Knotweed Treatment Programme (proposals for treatment) which is bespoke to your property, land or site

Read our full FAQ’s here.

If you are unsure if you have Japanese Knotweed and would like us to arrange a site assessment please contact us today on 01269 591651 or 07531 142316.

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