Japanese knotweed treating areas near water and large stands of knotweed.

Thursday 30th June 2016

Japanese knotweed can grow in virtually any environment in the British Isles. I have seen it growing in urban, suburban and rural areas. I have found it on coastal moorland and in salt marshes, in cemeteries, gardens, and Nature Reserves. However it also is frequently found in bankside situations, where it outcompetes all other vegetation and establishes large monocultures of little or no environmental use to our ecosystem. It is no exaggeration to say that some of these stands (which are only one plant, as all the rhizomes may well be linked!) cover areas in excess of one hectare (10,000mē) – which is quite a sight!

We have considerable experience of treating these very large areas of Japanese knotweed, indeed on one site, we have been treating a number of stands totalling 5 hectares for some years now, as well as smaller stands on other sites covering thousands of square metres. However stands near water will also need permission from the relevant Environment Agency (e.g. Natural Resources Wales, The Environment Agency, etc.) before an appropriate herbicide can be applied, as well as a suitable way of applying the herbicide to ensure that it is done safely and effectively. We can and do all of this work, including the application of licences to treat knotweed in waterside locations.

These large stands of Japanese knotweed are generally speaking dead space for much of the ecosystem. Few other plants (if any!) will be found within a dense knotweed stand and very few insects or other wildlife will feed on knotweed, so it can be a serious loss to biodiversity. When working in these areas, we may see woodlice which feed on the decaying organic matter and possibly a few birds may nest in these areas (but not feed) and possibly some burrowing animals will use it as cover. Bees will feed on the nectar in season, but that is (by and large) it. The re-vegetation of these areas following herbicide treatment, is usually interesting, with a number of plants moving in to take advantage of the open environment. These may typically include bramble (providing nectar and pollen for bees, as well as blackberries for birds, etc), woody species and other beneficial species. There is of course a risk that other invasive species may move in and need controlling, but this can be dealt with as part of the overall management of the area.

With staff covering all of England & Wales, speak to the professional Japanese knotweed Company about your knotweed problems, contact us on 01327 703129 or 01962 886060 or email us on enquiries@jkweed.co.uk or sharon@jkweed.co.uk