TEL: 01327 703129
(Head Office)

TEL : 01962 886060
(Southern Regional Office)


Thoughts and news about invasive weeds and The Knotweed Company

knotweed leaf  Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2013.     Show more/less

2012 – thoughts from our year. Friday 21st December 2012

In my annual Christmas message, I try to summarise up the year as it affects Japanese knotweed and other invasive weeds. It has not been an easy year for knotweed control, the early dry and warm spell, led into a period of prolonged rain, which made it difficult to find adequate days in which to spray the knotweed. In the few dry weeks this summer, we had the opposite problem of some days being too warm and sunny – in which case the spray may dry too quickly, and so not be effective. Happily we worked our way around these problems and completed our spray programme in good time for the winter.

We had another good year, developing our business, working our way up to Stranraer in Dumfriesshire and starting a lot of new projects in the Midlands and the South. We have worked on several construction projects, and apart from the ‘minor’ issue of receiving payments in a prompt and timely manner, have been successful in this area.

We have enjoyed a busy period up to Christmas, with several conservation projects being started and completed. This part of the business, involves many diverse work types, including scrub clearance (mainly Sycamore), small tree felling, rhododendron clearance, hedge creation, etc. We also undertake specialist works such as chemically treating the stumps to prevent re-growth, using appropriate methods for the site. This year we have started using Ecoplug Max for stump treatments, and hope to report more on the success of this method.

Finally, let me wish you a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

This morning there was a lovely frost across the midlands and North England, and this marks the beginning of winter for us. Over the last few weeks the spraying season has ended (when will depend upon the location of the knotweed), but all herbicide application should have ceased by now.

During the winter months we undertake other works, which includes winter brush cutting in January-February 2013. This necessary work is for several reasons, which include the clearing away of the dead stems, which may prevent effective herbicide application in the 2013 season, but also to allow better access and to make the area tidier.

We also do other winter works, such as conservation contracting – scrub clearance, stump treatments, rhododendron treatment, etc.

So don’t delay, call us today!

Our quotations are free and without obligation.

knotweed leaf  Start your treatment this year!     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – treatment alert! Wednesday 24th October 2012

At the time of writing (24th October) the Japanese knotweed is still green (where it has not yet been treated), there is still time to contact The Knotweed Company and get your cost effective treatment programme underway.

We still have a few sites to treat before the end of October, but we do have availability, in all parts of England and Wales, in the next few weeks to start treating your Japanese knotweed!

If you have Japanese knotweed and haven’t started treatment yet, you don’t have any time to lose, as once the knotweed has turned brown and died back for the winter, you will be delayed 12 months in your eradication programme.

So don’t delay, call us today!

knotweed leaf  Weather and the spread of Japanese knotweed.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – spread alert! Wednesday 26th September 2012

Japanese knotweed grows quite happily in all parts of the British Isles, it has rapidly colonised urban areas, coastline areas, islands, river estuaries, salt marshes, parkland, back gardens, nature reserves, woodland, down land, hills, mountains and moorland. The weather this year, will once again be enabling Japanese knotweed to colonise new areas, flooding will move knotweed along river systems, to where it will form new colonies, the muddy conditions both now and in the spring, will have increased the spread of rhizomes, through many means, such as footwear, car tyres and associated mud, tracked vehicles, and even through caravans and site cabins.

So this year, may see the start of tens of thousands of new Japanese knotweed stands, throughout the British Isles. In a few years, the new stands will reach full height, but how long will it be before anyone thinks that something ought to be done to control these new infestations? As always the sooner treatment starts the quicker eradication will be achieved!

The good news is that we are able and willing to undertake treatment of Japanese knotweed, anywhere in England and Wales and in parts of Scotland. We are already treating knotweed covering an area in excess of 80,000 m² in stands ranging in size from 1m² to an area in excess of 10,000m² and all sizes in between!

knotweed leaf  The Knotweed Company – The best time to start treating your Knotweed is autumn.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – for all your knotweed solutions in England and Wales. Monday 3rd September 2012

It is autumn, the season of mellow mists and fruitfulness; it is also the best time to start killing your Japanese knotweed! At this time of year, the knotweed is starting to store its gains from the summer (sugars, etc) and moves the food into the rhizome system. It is therefore vital to treat your knotweed in a proper manner with an appropriate herbicide and use this time wisely to get the herbicide into the rhizome system.

However this period is limited, some years, the period may end in Mid-October, other years it carried on to late November, we cannot predict this, as it is temperature dependent. So if you want your knotweed treated by the most professional Japanese knotweed contractor, if you want a professional programme of eradication – contact us now.

knotweed leaf  The Knotweed Company – Your local-national contractor.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – Local prices from a national expert contractor. Wednesday 1st August 2012

The Knotweed Company covers England and Wales and parts of Scotland, using a network of trained technicians that are locally based. All our technicians are qualified as a minimum to NPTC standards and in addition to this have received individual tuition on treating invasive weeds. This training is always carried out by me as not only have I been treating Japanese knotweed (and other weeds) since the early 1980s, I have also authored research papers on pesticide application techniques.

We’re currently dealing with Japanese knotweed on many sites; a large numbers of these sites are in the London, South, South-east and Home Counties areas, where our local technicians, Paul and Kevin attend to most of the sites. Further north we have numerous Japanese knotweed sites in the Midlands, (both East and West) including Lincolnshire, Coventry, Leicester and Nottingham. We’ve recently started work in Scotland and already cover most of Wales.

We are the most professional Japanese knotweed contractor in the marketplace and always aim to supply a reliable and competitive service.

Our quotations are free and without obligation.

knotweed leaf  Speedy and reasonable quotations!     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – get the best prices from The Knotweed Company! Thursday 5th July 2012

I was pleased to receive an email from Yorkshire, the other day saying that our quotation was “speedy and reasonable”. We like to think that all our quotations are issued promptly and are priced in a reasonable way. Unlike a number of companies, we don’t demand upfront payments of thousands of pounds, before starting work. We do request that the first visit is paid for in advance (typically by a cheque, which is then held by our Accounts Department, until the work has been completed), subsequent visits are then paid for in arrears (subject to our payment terms being adhered to).

We have kept our overheads small, so no large plush offices for us! Because of this, we are able to offer (and do offer) very competitive rates for our herbicide programmes. In the last few years, we have built up a network of technicians (all trained by me regarding Japanese knotweed and its treatment) and a large of number of sites covering England and Wales. This means that we are able to undertake works at a reasonable price in virtually all of England and Wales.

On some sites, we need to supply 2-3 technicians to undertake the work safely and in a timely manner - we could supply 10+ trained technicians if required! So whatever your knotweed problem we can handle it.

Our quotations are free and without obligation.

knotweed leaf  Have gun, will travel.     Show more/less

Use the professional contractors, not the cowboys. Tuesday 26th June 2012

The Knotweed Company employ several licensed technicians, who carry Japanese knotweed injector guns in their vehicles. The injector guns are used to apply a strong solution of a glyphosate based herbicide into the knotweed stems. This technique does not eradicate Japanese knotweed in one go, but it can provide a high rate of control.

So if you’re looking for a ‘Hired Gun’ to treat your knotweed, look no further!

Our quotations are free and without obligation.

Whatever your weed problem, we’d be glad to hear from you and can offer solutions and competitive quotations throughout England and Wales.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – growing somewhere near you.     Show more/less

Local rates for eradicating Japanese knotweed from a national contractor. Monday 18th June 2012

Each year brings changes in the local hot spots for enquiries about Japanese knotweed. One month it may be Manchester, another month London. No doubt there are many reasons for this, but one thing doesn’t change, every year there is more knotweed.

I keep an eye on Japanese knotweed news articles and reporting. I was quite surprised to see a “shock/horror” headline concerning Japanese knotweed in Shrewsbury. The local media seemed to think it had just arrived in the town! The reality is that Japanese knotweed is well established in virtually every city, town and even many villages and has been for years if not decades. We’ve been treating areas of knotweed in Shrewsbury, Telford and Shropshire for some years now.

Recently we’ve been surveying sites for clients in Oxford, Lincoln, Worcester, Birmingham, Leicester and Coventry. In some of these areas, Japanese knotweed is not widely perceived as being a problem, however when driving around these areas, I often spot knotweed growing in odd places – in car parks, gardens and on the roadside. These areas are often not being treated and so continue to grow and spread and may be a source of new infestations in the area.

We work throughout England and Wales, so if you have a Japanese knotweed problem and want to talk to someone professional, we can help.

knotweed leaf  House buyers and Invasive Weed Surveys.     Show more/less

Choose a professional Japanese knotweed surveyor Wednesday 6th June 2012

When buying a property that has invasive weeds such as Japanese knotweed, either growing in the property or close by, you will probably need to have a professional invasive weed survey carried out. The Japanese knotweed industry is essentially unregulated, so the surveys that are carried out may be to very different standards, so how can the customer find a professional invasive weed expert to survey the property and to write the necessary report?

  1. Choose a professional company. The surveyor should be qualified and experienced to do the work. The company should have the services of a Member of the BASIS Professional Register (MBPR) or they should not offer advice on the use and selection of pesticides. Our surveyors hold appropriate qualifications – typically in horticulture – and are experienced in identifying and treating weeds.
  2. Professional Indemnity Insurance. In the event that the survey was negligent the company should have a suitable policy that specifically covers giving advice on properties with Japanese knotweed. We hold such a policy!
  3. Experience and company size. You should only consider employing a suitably experienced company of a suitable size. You might know a local chap with a knapsack that treats weeds, but are they suitably qualified and experienced to offer advice in this matter? It doesn’t need to be a large company but they should be professional.
  4. Costs. In these hard times, we are always looking for the best deal, but are free surveys actually free? We know of a number of companies that offer free surveys, but their herbicide programmes cost thousands of pounds more than ours! So is this truly a ‘free survey’? We offer a carefully costed programme of works and don’t normally offer free surveys to new clients. We think that we offer the most competitive pricing for a professional service.
  5. The use of separate surveying and contracting companies? You might consider using separate surveying and contracting companies; we consider that by offering the full range of services in the Japanese knotweed and invasive weed market that we can offer competitive pricing and the full service.

We consider ourselves to be professionals in the invasive weed market and not only do we have a BASIS qualified advisor working for the company, we also only use suitably qualified knotweed surveyors with experience of working within the invasive weed business.

Whatever your weed problem, we’d be glad to hear from you and can offer solutions and competitive quotations throughout England and Wales.

knotweed leaf  Specialist Invasive Weed Surveys.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – Professional invasive weed surveys to RICS guidelines Friday 25th May 2012

As professionals in invasive weed control and eradication, we also carry out surveys to the appropriate guidelines for a number of customers. Recently the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) issued a new information paper ‘Japanese knotweed and residential property’ which has been much welcomed by both mortgage companies and the Japanese knotweed industry. This paper provides an agreed format to be used when surveying for Japanese knotweed and also (as does the Japanese knotweed Code of Practice) stipulates a minimum period of 3 years for chemical control to be effective.

We consider ourselves to be professionals in the invasive weed market and not only do we have a BASIS qualified advisor working for the company, we also only use suitably qualified knotweed surveyors with experience of working within the invasive weed business.

As a professional company doing surveys, we also have Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover our work. So our customers be sure of not only getting a professional service, but also of having the peace of mind that we are insured for providing this service.

Whatever your weed problem, we’d be glad to hear from you and can offer solutions and competitive quotations throughout England and Wales.

knotweed leaf  Bees, Japanese knotweed and the weather!     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed ready for treatment? Friday 18th May 2012

Conservation and beekeeping are twin interests of mine and run alongside my love of gardening and killing invasive weeds. At the moment the weather is the main factor affecting both bees and Japanese knotweed. Neither of them like cold nights and days and a frost could end up killing some of the knotweed shoots; the bees are better protected in their hive (complete with an insulated roof).

As I write this blog the fields around us are yellow with Oilseed Rape, but the flowers don’t yield nectar until the temperature rises over 16°C, so no honey is being made at the moment! The bees have been foraging on some plants – dandelions, cotoneaster, etc, but this will only be enough to keep them going and not to produce a surplus.

Japanese knotweed on the other hand, is more resilient and will only be killed by a sharp frost at this time of year – not an unusual event! We have had sharp frosts in mid-May in several of the last five years. Obviously if the knotweed is treated and then killed by a frost, the treatment will have been ineffective – so we have been holding off from making our first spray visits this year, until we should be beyond this risk.

On our journeys around the country recently, looking at Japanese knotweed sites, we have noticed that untreated stands are between 3-5 foot high, whereas treated areas may be anything between no visible growth to growth of 1 foot high. Treated stands also usually have a lot fewer shoots than untreated areas!

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed photographs and pictures.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – we have the best photographs and pictures on our website. Wednesday 9th May 2012

We’ve had a number of phone calls from worried householders lately, asking us if the plant that has suddenly appeared in their garden is indeed Japanese knotweed. For some people it is indeed Japanese knotweed and they need to eradicate the knotweed using a professional contractor such as The Knotweed Company! For others an emailed photograph or two is enough for us to put their minds at rest and we can tell them that it is not in fact Japanese knotweed.

We are always happy to refer people to our page of photographs on this website, so that they may put their minds at rest for themselves – follow the links above or Photograph Gallery click here. This is often enough to set people’s minds at rest, Japanese knotweed identification is usually a straightforward matter.

The next part of the phone call usually goes like this “Well I’ve spoken to X Co. and they say they can eradicate the knotweed in 1 spray/12 weeks/1 year”. (delete as appropriate) “Why are you saying that your programme will take between 3-5 years?” The short answer is that herbicide programmes do indeed take between 3-5 years. We would rather be honest with our customers.

We believe that we can offer the best and most effective herbicide programmes of all our competitors. We have years of experience and expertise to offer to our customers and (unlike many of our competitors) have the services of a BASIS qualified adviser (that’s me!) to ensure that our customers get an excellent service, which is properly targeted on resolving the site specific problem, which complies with the Environment Agency’s Code of Practice.

We are proud to say that we follow best practice and work within guidelines as stated in the Code of Practice published by the Environment Agency

knotweed leaf  Why choose The Knotweed Company as your contractor to treat invasive weeds?     Show more/less

Choose the professionals to eradicate your knotweed – choose The Knotweed Company. Thursday 26th April 2012

We offer a straightforward service to our clients. We can (and do) eradicate invasive weeds within an agreed time table on our clients’ properties. If there are any issues which might prevent us from doing this (for instance if Japanese knotweed is growing on neighbouring land and the neighbours won’t allow the treatment to take place) we discuss the options with you.

We are cost effective. We don’t claim to be the cheapest, but we are certainly not the most expensive either! We recently quoted for a straightforward 5-year herbicide programme on a residential property; some of our competitors quoted 3 times and even 6 times our quote!

We are professionals. All our technicians (based in West Sussex, Brentwood, Northampton, Manchester and Yorkshire) are fully competent and qualified to the relevant NPTC standards. As the Managing Director I am also BASIS qualified, to be able to offer advice on pesticide choice and use, you need to be a member of the BASIS Professional Register – which I am.

We’ve done it before. The advantage of having direct experience of managing Japanese knotweed eradication on literally hundreds (perhaps thousands by now) of sites, means that we have seen it all before. We’ve seen Japanese knotweed growing through buildings, out of roofs, along river systems, in front gardens, back gardens, parks and Nature Reserves - you name it! We’ve sprayed knotweed, we’ve buried it on construction sites in lined cells, and we’ve taken it to landfill. We’ve seen “Expert Knotweed Companys” offering ‘instant eradication through herbicides’ in various periods of 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, 1 year – and we’ve seen them fail.

We are proud to say that we follow best practice and work within guidelines as stated in the Code of Practice published by the Environment Agency.

knotweed leaf  Spring is here, weeds are growing fast.     Show more/less

Giant Hogweed and Japanese knotweed – growing fast now. Wednesday 11th April 2012

As any gardener knows, weeds always grow faster than plants. This is particularly true of invasive weeds such as Japanese knotweed and Giant Hogweed.

Yesterday, I visited a site in Bedfordshire that had Japanese knotweed shoots of up to 3 feet high. As we know Japanese knotweed may grow at a foot (300mm) a week in the spring. The recent rain and mild weather has encouraged early growth of the knotweed.

At the moment, we are treating Giant Hogweed sites around the country, as this short lived perennial is effectively treated at this time. The window of opportunity is quite short, so if you have Giant Hogweed and want it professionally eradicating please contact us and we will supply you with a quotation.

We are proud to say that we follow best practice and work within guidelines as stated in the Code of Practice published by the Environment Agency.

knotweed leaf  Selling your house – Just found some Japanese knotweed?     Show more/less

If you’re selling/buying a house with Japanese knotweed you should read this. Wednesday 14th March 2012

So you’re selling your house, and the buyer’s surveyor has identified some Japanese knotweed in your garden (or possibly on neighbouring land)?

Firstly, you need to know that this is a very common problem indeed. Secondly, you need to understand that there are (usually) no instant solutions and finally, you need to realise that (unless knotweed is already growing through your house) it doesn’t have to be a big problem.

So as a professional company dealing with this problem on a daily basis, what do we do?

  1. We can confirm that it is Japanese knotweed and not an incorrect identification – it happens! Surveyors are not experts at identifying plants. If you can send us photographs of the suspect plant – this is even a free service! If we need to attend site for identification purposes, we may need to charge a small fee.
  2. We can carry out a professional survey of the problem and identify practical realistic solutions. These are usually much cheaper solutions than some other companies offer and our solutions are based on experience, science and the Japanese knotweed Code of Practice. We aim to offer a suitable report for you and a mortgage company, based on the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor’s (RICS) draft consultation.
  3. We only charge for agreed services at an agreed amount – so no surprise bills. All our quotes are in writing/email format and should be accepted in a similar way.
  4. We aim to offer competitive pricing for a professional service throughout England Wales.
  5. We would advise against buying a solution from a company with an insurance backed guarantee. These are not a guarantee against structural damage or for eradication; they are usually only a performance bond for 10-20 years, and they insure that the annual treatments/visits are carried out. They are an expensive way to do this. If necessary your solicitor can hold the necessary funds in an Escrow account – this is usually a much cheaper way manage and eradicate the knotweed.

Although we can’t guarantee that a mortgage company will accept our report and recommendations, we have had a number of successes in this area.

We have one of the most experienced and professional teams in the invasive weed market – wherever you are living in England or Wales, we’re probably already treating sites in your area! We have locally based technicians around the country based at Strategic locations in Northamptonshire, Sussex, Manchester, Yorkshire and Essex.

knotweed leaf  So you’ve got Japanese knotweed – Don’t Panic!     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – cost effective solutions from the professionals Friday 9th March 2012

Almost the first thing someone does, when they hear the words, you’ve got Japanese knotweed in your garden is to think “what is that?” Shortly afterwards, when they’ve been looking at scary websites (some even have scary music) is to panic...

Usually they have no reason whatsoever to panic. Japanese knotweed may be treated in almost every instance in a reasonable and structured approach. In most instances, costs can be carefully controlled and the work takes place (with no large upfront bills), but payments spread over the course of the work.

Sadly, there are companies that take advantage of this panic (and may do their share in promoting it too), and typically charge thousands of pounds upfront, and offer “guaranteed instant eradication”, which is often nothing of the sort! It doesn’t matter what you spray or how you apply the chemical – injection, spray, wipe – it still takes several years to achieve eradication on a site. What is often done is to use a residual herbicide, which suppresses the growth for a year or two, after which up pops the knotweed again!

An easy way to find out about the contractor that you’re speaking to, just ask them about the Knotweed Code of Practice, if they say “It’s not really a code, more a set of guidelines...” do yourself a favour and watch out for the Stetson and spurs...

We are proud to say that we follow best practice and work within guidelines as stated in the Code of Practice published by the Environment Agency.

knotweed leaf  Root barriers for Japanese knotweed.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed root barriers - expert installation. Wednesday 22nd February 2012

One of the key areas when considering strategies for building over an area that has Japanese knotweed is the possible use of a root barrier. The Code of Practice states a number of properties that such barriers should have, but does not offer further guidance. Over the last few years, we have managed hundreds of different projects involving root barrier and knotweed. The selection and design of this barrier varies from site to site and must consider a number of key variables, if the installation is to be successful.

We can offer competitive prices on the supply and/or installation of root barriers, whether the required barriers are porous or non-porous, we can offer excellent prices and service.

All of our technical staff are trained in the installation of our barriers and are competent in heat welding techniques.

knotweed leaf  Buying or selling a house/property with knotweed?     Show more/less

Buying or selling a property with Japanese knotweed? Read this. Thursday 2nd February 2012

In the last week, we’ve been up and down the country, visiting locations including those in Telford, North Wales, Manchester, Bradford, Lincoln and through the midlands into London. We’ve been carrying out our scheduled winter treatments, meeting clients and potential clients. We’ve seen many sites with knotweed undergoing treatment and some that are only just starting to be treated.

However my thoughts today are concerning the situation that may arise when people or companies are buying or selling houses or property with knotweed. We’re glad to say that our treatment programmes have been recently approved by mortgage companies and by an Ombudsman. We’re pleased to be able to offer cost effective programmes, based on effective and approved practices.

So if you have knotweed in your garden and need a programme that is acceptable to mortgage companies – look no further!

Note: We advise clients who are buying or selling property to place the necessary funds for an eradication programme, with a proper third party – such as their solicitors - who can manage the Escrow account. This is usually a more cost effective alternative to options such as “Insurance Backed Warrantees or Guarantees” which are in reality a costly way of ensuring that the herbicide programme will happen if the contractor goes into administration. Mortgage companies (in our experience) are quite happy to accept the Escrow account, as this ensures that the work is properly done.

We currently have clients all around England and Wales and will be pleased to be able to offer you a free (no obligation) quotation. All our staff members are fully qualified to the relevant NPTC certification and our office has a BASIS qualified adviser (me!). We have £5 Million Public Liability insurance cover and years of experience. We have local staff based at Strategic points around the country based at such locations as Daventry in Northamptonshire, Manchester, East London and Worthing on the South Coast.

knotweed leaf  How close is Japanese knotweed to your home?     Show more/less

Finding Japanese knotweed near my home. Thursday 26th January 2012

An interesting thought for this week, is, how close is Japanese knotweed to your home?

I suspect that if we tried to calculate the average distance between residential properties and knotweed and expressed this by postcode, that the answers would surprise many people. I know that there are three stands of Japanese knotweed all around 100m or less from our house – and a further four stands scattered around the village (these are the ones that I know about!). This would I think be fairly typical for many parts of the country. However other towns and villages that I have visited, would have a much lower average distance, in some cases actually at (or close to) zero. In these cases knotweed is the dominant vegetation of the area, growing in every garden, field, roadside, etc, often in large and very large stands.

A reasonable idea may be gained of how common Japanese knotweed is in your area would be to walk the neighbouring streets in your area and see if you can spot any Japanese knotweed. While small infestations may be hard to spot, larger infestations are obvious at this time of year, with their dead thickets of stems, often over 2m in height.

However every year that goes by, results in more knotweed. More stands, larger stands, which in turn leads to more and larger stands in subsequent years. The reality is that the vast majority of stands are either not treated at all, or are treated ineffectively.

Yet treatment is (or can be) a simple and (while not cheap) does not have to cost the earth. All our programmes are competitive and are billed on a ‘Pay as you go’ basis – so no large sum to find up front!

knotweed leaf  A busy start to 2012.     Show more/less

A busy start to 2012, in London and the midlands. Tuesday 17th January 2012

The New Year kicked off well for us, with our first enquiry of the year coming through at 9am on the 3rd January. We were able to meet the person on site the next day and discuss their Japanese knotweed. Other new enquiries and orders have followed!

We are also busy doing the winter brush cut and clearances for knotweed sites. This is because the dense growth of the dead stems (which may stand for a further 2-3 years after dying in the autumn), will prevent us from applying herbicides correctly and well. Further reasons for the brush cutting include lowering the risk of arson (which on large areas may be significant); tidying the area and preventing the overgrown area from being a litter trap or even a place for people to hide. On several occasions in London, we have discovered people living (tents) in the middle of large knotweed areas and on one occasion we discovered a badger baiting arena...

Our new trading division Taylands Landscaping is also gaining new works and the website for this division shall shortly be going up – more news on this soon!

Finally (last but not least), we have been successful in renewing our accreditation for CHAS (Contractors Health & Safety). This important scheme assesses our Health & Safety policy and procedures and ensures that we are complying with the current legislation in this very important area.

knotweed leaf  Christmas greetings and thoughts for invasive weeds in 2012!     Show more/less

A Japanese knotweed Christmas and thoughts for 2012 Wednesday 14th December 2011

We’d like to wish all our clients and/or readers of this blog a very Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2012.

2011 has been a good year for us, we’ve successfully tendered for a number of projects including for the construction industry, Local Authorities and for many residential properties. We’ve worked with customers selling houses with knotweed and have a number of successes in this area. We’ve been involved with construction schemes, including for an Oxford College, a site near Bletchley Park, sites in North Wales, London and in the Midlands.

We’ve participated in the recent consultation from RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) on the problems of dealing with Japanese knotweed when buying/selling property. We thought that the draft paper was a mainly excellent summary of Best Practice and we shall be working in 2012 to comply with this.

In 2011, the Japanese knotweed psyllid was released (the 2010 introductions having failed due to a late frost); it will be interesting to see if the psyllids survive a British winter and if so what the survival rate will be. At the moment, all psyllids are presumably overwintering on conifer needles; the adult psyllids overwinter like this until Japanese knotweed starts growing again. A thought that did occur to me, is that some psyllids may have chosen to overwinter on Christmas trees...

2012 looks like being an important year for Japanese knotweed. Will the psyllid have overwintered in sufficient numbers? Will the important RICS paper be adopted by mortgage companies as the knotweed standard? What will happen in the construction industry in 2012? We’re looking forward to finding out what 2012 holds for us. We have a number of new announcements to make in the next few weeks and months, so we hope to see you here in 2012.

In the meantime, we would like to wish you well for your Christmas festivities and very Best Wishes for a Prosperous 2012 to all of us

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed growing through a house.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed grows through a house. Tuesday 25th October 2011

Japanese knotweed can grow through a house, this is rare and is usually caused by a number of factors, one of which may be that the building concerned was constructed over an existing stand of Japanese knotweed, without proper precautions being taken. The article on the attached link with the Daily Mail may be such an instance or may possibly be caused by other factors. Click to see the Daily Mail article

It is a financial disaster for the couple concerned and our sympathies of course are with them. Sadly, neither buildings insurance, nor the NHBC guarantee, may cover Japanese knotweed growing through a building – read the small print in your policy! Usually it is a case of Caveat Emptor – let the buyer beware. The only possible way to cover yourselves is to ask the question (or get your solicitor to do so) “Has there been any Japanese knotweed on this site/property/neighbouring property to your knowledge in the last 20 years?” If the answer is ‘Yes’ than seek further information.

knotweed leaf  This is the best time to spray Japanese knotweed (unless we have a frost!)     Show more/less

The best herbicide programmes by the best contractor. Friday 7th October 2011

This is one of our busiest times of year, with our technicians’ work ranging from Wales (North and South), Manchester, Bradford, Yorkshire, Norfolk, London, Bristol and even in the Midlands!

The reason that this is a very busy time for us is that herbicide treatments at this time of year are usually considered to be the most effective. This is mainly true as the chemicals are absorbed into the plants vascular tissues and are then transported into the underground rhizome system, where they can act throughout the winter. Chemicals need to be correctly selected, dosage considered and application methods are critical to ensure the best result. It’s like any job really, whether cooking, painting or treating knotweed, the end worker has to use the right products, in the right amounts and do it in the right way. To put matters in perspective, you could give me an easel; the best oil paints; the finest brushes, and I would never become a Picasso!

All our technicians are thoroughly trained, experienced and knowledgeable about knotweed, which is why our results are consistently better than the industry average. We don’t shout or brag about our work, our results speak for themselves.

knotweed leaf  Buzzing around the Japanese knotweed and Balsam.     Show more/less

Professional bee friendly services. Monday 12th September 2011

I became a bee keeper this year and now have two hives in the garden. Consequently I’ve been extremely interested to see what plants the bees are foraging on at the moment. In the last couple of weeks they have been busy visiting Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam – both invasive weeds! So knotweed does have a use after all... However, changing hats to invasive weed control and eradication, treating flowering plants may present a problem because, when applying pesticides, it is very important not to kill bees or other pollinating insects. This may be avoided by one of several means – changing the timing of the applications; delaying until flowering has finished; by using a suitable product which is permitted for use on flowering crops or by using a different application method (i.e. stem injection). Obviously the product label needs to be consulted! I have always had a keen interest in the environment and ecology and keeping bees does provide a direct link with the local environment. If I see honey bees in our local area, they are probably some of my girls. When they come back to the hive laden with pollen and nectar I can try to work out what it is they are harvesting. At this time of year Japanese knotweed, Himalayan Balsam, garden plants such as Sedums and Asters and also Ivy are important sources of food to bees. We at The Knotweed Company are also buzzing around the country visiting knotweed sites and treating and advising where necessary. This is a busy time of year for bees and knotweed contractors alike, but we’re always glad to hear from people with more knotweed!

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – herbicide treatments in the autumn.     Show more/less

For the best herbicide programmes – call us. Thursday 1st September 2011

The recent wet and cool weather (with the usual good timing for the August Bank Holiday weekend!) is a reminder to us all that autumn is nearly upon us. At this time of year Japanese knotweed should have completed flowering and be ready to go into winter mode. All the stored sugars, etc. are taken down the hollow stems and stored in the rhizome (root) system for another year. If herbicides are correctly applied at this time, they too will be carried into the rhizomes.

Autumn applications of glyphosate at this time of year can be very effective indeed. They will not kill the knotweed entirely (in almost all cases to kill knotweed takes several seasons of herbicide treatments), but will be very effective. This window of opportunity may last from as little as 5 weeks to as much as 13+ weeks; it depends upon night time temperatures, location and the timing of the first frosts. For the last few years we have experienced cold snaps in early October, which have ended this period very quickly, so if you are planning on having your knotweed treated – don’t delay, call The Knotweed Company as soon as possible, so treatment can be initiated this year, rather than next.

knotweed leaf  Don't Panic!     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed don't panic, call on the professionals Saturday 13th August 2011

The Knotweed Company (unlike some of our competitors) does not try to panic or scaremonger potential customers into signing expensive contracts with large upfront payments. So with a passing nod to Douglas Adam’s ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, we are proud to say ‘Don’t Panic!’ to all our readers.

The horror stories that are so prevalent in the industry are (in the main) just that – stories. As in many stories, there is a kernel of truth in some of them. Yes, knotweed can grow through concrete; it can grow into houses and even out of roofs! I have seen this with my own eyes, but these are rare occurrences and are usually only when the building has been constructed over the knotweed. It is even rarer to find a structural issue when knotweed has been permitted to establish immediately adjacent to a building – not unknown, but very rare indeed.

If you have knotweed in your garden or in adjacent land to you, unless it’s already growing inside your house, our advice is ‘Don’t Panic!’

If you would like to talk to someone different, someone professional about your knotweed problem, please call us. Our quotations are free and without obligation.

knotweed leaf  Pay As You Go.     Show more/less

Cost effective Japanese knotweed eradication! Friday 29th July 2011

As regular readers to this blog know, we at The Knotweed Company believe that it pays to be different. For instance, we believe in the principle that customers should ‘pay as you go’ throughout their herbicide programmes. A number of knotweed contractors expect their customers to pay thousands of pounds upfront, before any work takes place and also expect the customer to pay for their insurance as well – but the insurance only covers the customer for outstanding maintenance (herbicide works) if the company goes bust! Hence the ‘Insurance Backed Guarantees’ we hear so much about - technically true, but who benefits from this? Typically not the customer!

It is true that there are circumstances in which Insurance Backed Guarantees can be useful, for instance if someone is selling their house, knotweed is found by the surveyor and the buyer wants the knotweed eradication paid for upfront. In these circumstances insuring against the risk of the contractor going into administration may be useful. An alternative, cheaper course would be for the funds to be deposited with a solicitor who administers this (an Escow account). The solicitor only releases the funds as the works are completed, if the contractor goes bust, the funds are still safe. Typical cost £500.00. However, for most people we meet, managing your own money and ‘paying as you go’ is cheaper still – typical cost £0.00!

My advice to anyone considering taking out an ‘Insurance Backed Guarantee’ is to read the policy. What is it actually covering you for? What is the benefit to you?

knotweed leaf  Why choose The Knotweed Company?     Show more/less

Choose the best contractor, choose the professionals! Thursday 7th July 2011

At the Knotweed Company we try to be different from the many other companies in the invasive weed market. At one end of the spectrum are the ecological consultants – professional certainly – but often not the most experienced in actually doing the works. Due to this lack of practicality they may miss the easier, more cost effective solutions.

At the other end of the spectrum are the less professional companies, those who are in it for a quick buck. Good practice, customer satisfaction, these are ignored. When discussing works on site with these companies, one usually hears (when the Code of Practice is mentioned) the immortal words ‘it’s not really a code, more a set of guidelines’...

We believe that we are different; we are academically qualified to do the work, however we also have the hard-won experience of working on hundreds (I stopped counting long ago!), of sites to draw upon when designing solutions for you.

All of our solutions comply with the Code of Practice and we can often save you time and money on site. Recently I was able to advise one client how to save £50,000.00+ on a solution – at the cost of a few emails and a little time. The solution didn’t change, same landfill, same tonnage off site. That is just a small part of our service.

We have technicians based around the country, all of whom have been trained by ourselves and have experience to manage works on a construction site.

So if you’re looking for a professional, cost effective Japanese knotweed contractor – look no further. Our quotations are free and without obligation.

Whatever your weed problem, we’d be glad to hear from you and can offer solutions and competitive quotations throughout England and Wales.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed and mortgages.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed surveys, surveyors and a suggestion for Solicitors Friday 24th June 2011

We have recently been contacted by a number of people either looking to purchase or trying to sell property on which Japanese knotweed has been picked up by a surveyor.

We are able to offer cost effective advice or solutions. Our solutions comply with Best Practice – as stated in the Japanese knotweed Code of Practice. Some of our solutions can be put into practice within weeks, others take longer, however we can offer guarantees on most of our works – where a guarantee is not applicable (i.e. untreated knotweed remains over a boundary), we will make this clear usually at the time of the first site visit.

As is normal at this time of year, we are also assisting people who have purchased property recently and have only just discovered the fact that they have Japanese knotweed growing in their garden. Some of these people are intending to claim against their surveyor’s Professional Indemnity insurance.

We don’t offer (unpaid) advice to solicitors, but we do wonder why solicitors don’t routinely ask a simple question on the questionnaire already sent to the seller. “Has this property or a neighbouring property had an infestation of Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) in the last 10 years?” If the answer is ‘Yes’ than a Japanese knotweed survey/questionnaire would need to be completed, this would examine what (if any) remediation has taken place and whether this complies with Best Practice or not. This simple step would at least provide a buyer with an answer regarding Japanese knotweed and the need to investigate further or not would be established. A simple procedure that would cost little in most cases and provide some reassurance to a buyer.

Estate Agents and Surveyors could also protect themselves by asking these questions of the seller or by updating their knowledge of what Japanese knotweed looks like at all seasons of the year... Sellers could protect themselves by starting treatments of the knotweed now and by insisting that the work complies with Best Practice i.e. The Japanese knotweed Code of Practice.

knotweed leaf  Have gun, will travel.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – targeting herbicide to ensure maximum effect Wednesday 8th June 2011

We're glad to say that we don't employ cowboys, however we do use guns and do travel.Think of us as knotweed eradicators!

To clarify, the gun is a specialist Knotweed Injection gun, which enables targeted application of herbicides to the hollow stems. This technique cannot be used early in the season as the stems are too soft, but from mid-June onwards is normally suitable. The technique is very effective – typically over 95% - but a follow up programme is needed to ensure eradication.

So if you want a hired gun to eradicate your knotweed – look no further!

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed and mortgages.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – how to reduce your risk when buying a property with knotweed. Wednesday 25th May 2011

Recently the number of enquiries that we’ve been receiving about Japanese knotweed and mortgages has been increasing. We have been commissioned to survey sites and produce a proper detailed report about the Japanese knotweed infestations.

In many cases these reports are relatively straightforward; in other cases the property owner/developer has compromised the situation so severely that the potential purchaser may not be able to get a mortgage on the property.

At The Knotweed Company we have the expertise and experience to be able to evaluate the risk (based on the available evidence) and produce detailed reports, including estimates for the necessary remedial works.

For all developers with Japanese knotweed – whether large or small developments are planned – it is essential to: a) Follow the Japanese knotweed Code of Practice b) Employ a reputable expert contractor c) Record all works relating to Japanese knotweed in a Knotweed Management Plan.

If this is not done, then when the time comes to sell the house and a Surveyor detects (or suspects) that Japanese knotweed is present, how can you prove to the buyer that there is little/no risk to the property?

If you’re buying a new property with a known Japanese knotweed problem than ask to see the Knotweed Management Plan, this is a detailed document, that records what was done, when it was done and who by. As the solicitors say ‘Caveat Emptor’ (Let the buyer beware!).

knotweed leaf  Free identification of Japanese knotweed!     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – your free identification service or a full range of consultancy services. Wednesday 18th May 2011

The Knotweed Company is pleased to be able to offer people and companies a free identification service for knotweed and other invasive weeds. If you think that you have or may have Japanese knotweed, Giant Hogweed, and can’t identify it from our Photograph Gallery than email me a photograph of the suspected weed and we should be able to confirm your suspicions or put your mind to rest.

Photographs should ideally be taken 3-4m from the suspect plant(s) and will require a reasonable picture quality. We only need 2-3 photos like this and can usually email you right back.

We also offer a full range of consultancy services, this includes site surveys and recommendations for future management to eradicate your knotweed (or other invasive weed) problem. We’re sorry to say that this service isn’t free!

As a BASIS qualified adviser, I am also able to offer advice on herbicide selection – pros and cons of using the different types available. This service can only be offered by BASIS qualified advisers. We can also offer you the full range of cost effective Japanese knotweed solutions, for your weed problem.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed - a growing problem.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed - a growing problem we offer the best professional solutions. Saturday 14th May 2011

Japanese knotweed can grow extremely quickly, but this year’s rate of growth has been impressive, even by knotweed standards. At the end of April, knotweed stands were 2m+ high and many stands by now are even taller. This is a growth rate of (approximately) 60cm a week or 8+cm a day. While this growth rate will soon slow down, the knotweed will now be absorbing sunlight and nutrients and storing reserves for future growth.

If this good weather continues, than knotweed may increase its spread this year, by more than the average, so if the average annual spread is 1-3m , it may spread 2-4m, this may not seem like a big increase, but this means that stands could grow from an initial 36m2 to cover 100m2 or more. You should be aware that much of this development will be underground and not visible until next year...

Obviously an increased spread of this order, is not going to happen in every situation! Smaller stands spread more slowly, larger stands may spread faster. We would advise everyone to start treating their knotweed now, with staff available across England and Wales; we’re probably treating knotweed within a few miles of your address already!

So if you’re looking for a professional, cost effective Japanese knotweed contractor, that offers guarantees on their work and does not try to scare their customers with tales of what Japanese knotweed may do – look no further. Our quotations are free and without obligation.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed photographs, pictures and herbicide programmes.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – we have the best photographs and pictures on our website. Thursday 5th May 2011

We’re quite proud to have an excellent collection of pictures and photographs of Japanese knotweed and other invasive weeds on our website. We believe that our gallery contains some excellent photographs showing growth, treatment strategies and pictures of Japanese knotweed damaging buildings. We’re quite amused to see that one of our competitors clearly agrees with our opinion of our photographs and has quite blatantly copied one of them, cropping our name off the photograph, before re-using it on their website.

Photograph Gallery click here

It is now an excellent time to commence herbicide programmes for invasive weeds. Giant Hogweed needs an early treatment this month, before flower shoots have extended too far. Japanese knotweed where it has not previously been treated is over 2m high, treatment needs to start ASAP.

We believe that we can offer the best and most effective herbicide programmes of all our competitors. We have years of experience and expertise to offer to our customers and (unlike many of our competitors) have the services of a BASIS qualified adviser (that’s me!) to ensure that our customers get an excellent service, which is properly targeted on resolving the site specific problem, which complies with the Environment Agency’s Code of Practice.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed services     Show more/less

The Knotweed Company – the complete solution to your knotweed problem. Thursday 21st April 2011

We like to think that we can offer the complete Japanese knotweed service. We are not just herbicide sprayers and specialists that can physically remove your Japanese knotweed – although we can do these things! We also have the expertise and experience to be able to assess the Japanese knotweed on sites, and produce a report (short or long as required by our clients!), together with priced (budget) solutions, which are based on realistic and accurate cost assessments.

We have considerable experience of producing contract documentation – specifications, Bills of Quantity, together with our surveys, which plot the spread of Japanese knotweed and other invasive weeds on a site. Site surveys may be commissioned as a standalone service or as part of a package of works. We can also take soil samples and ensure that the material is suitable for sending to landfill, as controlled waste.

We are also able to offer more bespoke services, such as producing and administering Japanese knotweed Management Plans, for use on construction sites and when selling a house. These Management Plans are recommended for use by the Environment Agency and may be vital when re-developing a site that has knotweed.

As the Director of the company, I like to closely involve myself with finding the right solutions to each site - the right solution being the most cost effective and environmentally sustainable for our clients. Our estimators can then take these findings forward and cost these solutions competitively, before work commences on site.

We also have a team of technicians spread around England and Wales, to service our customers needs, we are able to supply CSCS card holding technicians to construction sites as part of a package of works or as watching brief.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed in London and the Home Counties     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed in London and the Home Counties is a growing problem. We can offer cost effective solutions to your invasive weed problem. Friday 15th April 2011

Japanese knotweed is a growing problem in London and the Home Counties. In some parts of the country, knotweed may be found growing every few metres – literally in every garden, field, park, roadside and even in the local cemeteries. However although London and the Home Counties, aren’t at this level – yet. Japanese knotweed is increasing in these areas and may be very common indeed in certain areas.

As the Olympic Development Agency know, only too well, removing Japanese knotweed or remediating it on site, can be an expensive and time consuming process. A timely herbicide programme could save thousands of pounds or much, much more. Furthermore, an herbicide programme is usually more environmentally friendly than the alternative solutions, such as mass excavation or allowing the local environment to be swamped by invasive weeds.

Japanese knotweed is not however confined to East London, large areas of knotweed and other invasive weeds exist in South-west London, North London and South-east London. Knotweed in my experience may be found in many of the streets and open spaces of London, and may cover many brown field sites. Much of this could be treated under a cost effective herbicide programme, leading to eradication.

At this time of year, it is important for landowners with invasive weeds to start control programmes as soon as possible. This includes people with knotweed in their gardens, or construction companies with land awaiting development.

knotweed leaf  Giant Hogweed Risk Assessment.     Show more/less

Giant Hogweed on public land can be a danger to all users. Failure to assess the risk and take appropriate action could result in claims for compensation. Monday 11th April 2011

If you have Giant Hogweed on your land (whether privately or publicly owned land), than you as the land owner could be liable for any injury to people, caused by this plant.

Giant Hogweed can cause blistering, burns, permanent scarring, even fatalities. It is not a plant that should be ignored by any responsible landowner.

I must admit to being extremely concerned when I see areas of Giant Hogweed, spreading over land and river systems. Especially when it is obvious that members of the public have access to these areas. In some instances footpaths run through these areas – an obvious hazard!

Giant Hogweed is growing now, and treatment is most effective at this time of year. If it is left for many more weeks, early seeding of the mature plants is possible and the risk to members of the public and/or land users will increase.

Managers and officers within Local Authorities should be aware of this plant and its hazards and should assess the risk of not having an expert contractor eradicate this plant on their land. Costs for an herbicide programme are not high, relative to the risk and potential for compensation claims.

The Knotweed Company can offer a full site survey, Risk Assessment, and herbicide programme, which works within Best Practice and recommended herbicide use. This may take 3 years or more to achieve eradication, but the risk to the public is greatly reduced within a few weeks, as the mature plants are quickly killed, leaving only the smaller seedlings to be mopped up in subsequent years. By following Best Practice, the customer can be assured that eradication will follow.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed in the West Midlands     Show more/less

A brief review of my experiences of Japanese knotweed in the West Midlands Tuesday 5th April 2011

My mother was born in the West Midlands, as were my Grandparents and Great-grand parents! I live and work near this area and regularly visit sites in and around this locality. So this part of the country is an area that I know well. I’ve even removed Japanese knotweed from the old Royal Enfield works, where my Grandfather worked.

Japanese knotweed is very common in the West Midlands, particularly in the Black Country and surrounding areas and in and around Coventry. However it is increasingly found in the other parts of the West Midlands including Birmingham and Solihull. In some parts of the West Midlands, it is becoming increasingly difficult to NOT find Japanese knotweed in a relatively small area!

Obviously this will have consequences for landowners and Local Authorities in the years to come. The presence of Japanese knotweed can have a significant effect in the price that can be expected when selling a property (whether this is for re-development or not) and adds complexity and cost for any developer.

The Knotweed Company can offer a full site survey, and herbicide programme, which works within the Japanese knotweed Code of Practice and recommended herbicide practice. This may take 3 years or more to achieve eradication. By following Best Practice, the customer can be assured that eradication will follow and their investment will be protected.

Whatever your weed problem, we’d be glad to hear from you and can offer solutions and competitive quotations throughout England and Wales.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed and mortgage solutions     Show more/less

Why mortgages and Japanese knotweed are not a good mix! Thursday 31st March 2011

The recent warm weather has caused Japanese knotweed to start growing, and when it starts growing, it can grow very fast. In sheltered parts of London, shoots have already reached over 1m, in the Wirral, shoots of 300mm have been found. However all this growth may yet be killed by a frost, as in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons, a frost in late April/early May doing the damage.

Japanese knotweed and mortgages, may not be on your mind at this time of year, but if you are a property owner or wish to become one or even sell a property, than you should consider the potential for Japanese knotweed to cause delays, additional costs and even the rejection of a mortgage for either you or your potential property purchaser.

Mortgage companies consider the potential for loss, when Japanese knotweed is discovered on or near a property that they are considering lending against. Certain mortgage companies, have an absolute policy of rejecting loans, if knotweed is found either within or adjacent to a property – this regardless of the potential to cause damage to the property. Most mortgage companies are more pragmatic and consider the potential for property damage, when considering the matter, they will require the Japanese knotweed to be treated however. If this is on neighbouring land, this can take some time to obtain the necessary agreement.

The Knotweed Company can offer a full site survey, and herbicide programme, which works within the Japanese knotweed Code of Practice and recommended herbicide practice. This may take 3 years or more to achieve eradication. By following Best Practice, the customer and the mortgage company can be assured that eradication will follow and their investment will be protected.

knotweed leaf  Spring is nearly here...     Show more/less

Springing into action for the new season. Friday 18th March 2011

Spring is nearly here, and the first weeds are beginning to appear. Giant Hogweed will start to appear at this time of year and the plants that are due to flower will start making their huge leaves and shoots during March. We prefer to treat the Giant Hogweed from late March to mid-April, as that this time treatment is simpler and more effective.

Japanese knotweed will be starting to develop buds and even shoots in sheltered parts of Southern England and Wales. Treatment of Japanese knotweed will be effective from May onwards; earlier treatments risk being ineffective if frosts subsequently kill the above ground shoots.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed in my garden!     Show more/less

Choose between installing root barriers, or an instant solution or keep costs down with an herbicide programme. Friday 11th March 2011

As a keen gardener myself, I have considerable sympathy with people that have bought a garden or found themselves with the monoculture that is Japanese knotweed. The tall and vigorous growth of Japanese knotweed simply swamps all other plants and destroys any hard surface laid onto it.

However it is not necessary to physically excavate the whole garden to a depth of 2-3m, nor do you just have to give up the idea of having a pleasant garden for the next 3-5 years, as herbicides are applied. The Knotweed Company has many cost effective ideas that may enable you to start enjoying your garden this summer, not next year and not in 2016 either!

We recently have carried out works to three rear gardens; we partially excavated two of these and capped off the remaining knotweed with specialist porous root barrier, supplied and spread clean top soil to the gardens and turfed them! The third garden was more bespoke, but we laid porous root barrier under the proposed decking and sealed it to the wooden uprights.

So you have Japanese knotweed in your garden, don’t despair, call on the professionals!

knotweed leaf  Japanese Knotweed management Plan     Show more/less

If you have Japanese knotweed on a development site, you should follow the Environment Agency's Code of Practice. Monday 21st February 2011

Developers are advised by the Environment Agency to produce and maintain a Japanese knotweed Management Plan. This plan will include a detailed site survey and provide recommendations on how to kill (eradicate) or manage (control) the Japanese knotweed. These recommendations will be site specific and may include budget costings. Advice should also be given on how to implement the necessary control measures. The Knotweed Company has a number of specialist advisers who are not only appropriately qualified and trained, but are experienced in finding the necessary practical solutions. We are able to provide detailed costings for the recommended solution(s) and liaise closely with your construction and design teams to achieve this.

We offer a full consultancy package, ranging from stand alone site surveys, to the full production and regular up-dating of Knotweed Management Plans, specifications, Bills of Quantity, etc. While costs vary for producing these documents, we aim to keep a competitive price to our clients.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed in Northamptonshire     Show more/less

Our local Japanese knotweed! Monday 7th February 2011

I live and work in the Midlands, almost in the exact geographic centre of England. Our offices are in Weedon (which is very appropriate!) and in the village are a number (quite a lot actually) of Japanese knotweed stands. Although we have a railway line running through the village, the knotweed is not located near there, but is found on roadside verges, front and back gardens and in the grounds of the local meeting room.

Further from home, but still in the Midlands, the A43 near Brackley is one of my favourite locations to take photographs as Japanese knotweed and Giant Hogweed are happily co-existing and spreading with the able assistance of the Highway Agency’s grass cutting contractors! The Japanese knotweed has now spread over a mile along the A43, when previously it was confined to one roundabout in Brackley.

Northampton has plenty of well established Japanese knotweed colonies and these are located typically around the town centre on brown field sites and in private gardens. Japanese knotweed is also found on the A5, in a disused quarry site near Towcester and in many, many other places.

Northamptonshire is not a heavily infested county be any means, but the point of this blog is that wherever you are in the country, Japanese knotweed will be present. I have found it in small Norfolk villages, in ancient woodland in Oxfordshire, salt marshes and coastal estuaries in the West Country, Moorland sites in Cornwall and mountain sides in Wales. It is very easy for people, businesses and councils to ignore a small problem, only to find a few years later that the small problem is now not only a lot bigger, but has spread to other sites near and far.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed growing...     Show more/less

Don't disturb - Japanese knotweed is asleep for the winter. Wednesday 2nd February 2011

We’re still in the winter months, but underground something is stirring in the darkness...

That something could be Japanese knotweed! At this time of year, it is forming black/dark brown buds, some of which (the visible ones) will be on the crowns. Underground the rhizomes will also be developing their buds, prior to spreading further in the coming season.

When one works with Japanese knotweed for many years, one cannot but develop an admiration for its potential to spread and grow. One point which many people fail to appreciate is that all the Japanese knotweed in this country (and mainland Europe) has been found to be one clone. Genetically it is one plant, no matter if it is growing in Manchester or Madrid, Pontypridd or Paris.

This is an amazing achievement for a plant, since arriving in the 1830s from Japan, it has colonised vast areas of land, and this has been done with substantial help from people (mainly through planting as a garden plant, or by fly tipping or by accidental spreading). Once a fragment of plant has arrived at a new site, it (if the circumstances are right) develops new roots, grows and spreads.

Japanese knotweed grows in a huge range of habitats, from heavily contaminated land, to woodland, to salt marsh, river estuaries, moorland, railway ballast, water courses, parks and gardens and of course through concrete, buildings, etc.

There are treatments available for all situations, however removal costs (or treatment costs) for Japanese knotweed vary depending upon circumstances. For your free no obligation quotation, contact us – the professional weed killers!

knotweed leaf  The Knotweed Company and Safety     Show more/less

A resonsible contractor takes safety seriously Wednesday 5th January 2011

We at The Knotweed Company are looking forward to 2011, as we believe that it will continue to offer us new opportunities for growth and development. We have already received some good news this year, as we have been assessed as CHAS (Contractors Health and Safety) compliant; we are now seeking accreditation from the scheme. We regard this as a very positive step as our clients can rest assured that we take Health and Safety very seriously indeed.

At this time of year, Japanese knotweed may not be the first thing on your mind – after all it’s not actively growing! However under the ground it is a very different story... the rhizomes of untreated stands are swollen with the stored food of previous year’s growth and the crowns and rhizomes will be developing buds from which shoots will grow in the spring. It would be advisable for any people with knotweed to contact us as soon as possible, as treatment can start even at this time of year, with dead stems needing clearing out of the way or even removing from site, to allow effective herbicide treatment to begin in the spring. If you are thinking about more rapid solutions such as excavation and removal of the knotweed from site, than this isn’t a bad time of year to commence works, we can carry out the necessary pre-treatment and remove from site, before the growing season commences!

Finally best wishes to all our customers, clients and suppliers for 2011!

knotweed leaf  2010 thoughts for the year     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed 2010 Friday 17th December 2010

Another year is nearly over, and there have been a lot of changes concerning Japanese knotweed and the industry that we operate in.

The main change is of course the release of the psyllid in England and Wales – Aphalara itadori – which is intended to be a biological control for Japanese knotweed. It will not eradicate knotweed and may have a limited effect, however it may produce a better ecological balance and minimise the new spread of Japanese knotweed. The initial release has not been without problems and we are waiting to hear an update on this matter.

Another change has been the standard rate of landfill tax, which increased by £8/tonne to £48/tonne in April. It is planned to increase to £56/tonne in April 2011.

Contractors in knotweed have come and gone this year, at least one large contractor went into administration this year. Construction companies (large and small) have also gone into administration, so the industry is constantly changing.

We started 2010 in ice and snow, and all the signs are that we are ending it the same way, we at The Knotweed Company are looking forward to 2011 and the new challenges and opportunities that it will bring.

We would like to wish all our customers, clients and partners a very Merry Christmas and wish them all the best for 2011.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed and the economy     Show more/less

Worrying news about the construction economy. Friday 17th December 2010

Recent economic news reports showing a contraction in the UK’s GDP, have shown commentators being surprised by the figures from the construction industry in the last quarter, which were worse than expected. Personally I am surprised at their surprise! The works that can happen in construction when temperatures are as low as they were in December is quite limited. I’m pleased to be able to report that we at least were busy during this time and even carried out some site excavations and removal from site, including installation of root barriers, etc. However other parts of the industry were not so fortunate.

The message from us is that our work can usually carry on in cold (even freezing conditions), so if you are planning works on your construction site for the warmer months, don’t forget we can start earlier than you and clear the site of Japanese knotweed, before you need to start works! Usually we need to be the first contractor on site, whatever you do don’t start large scale earth moving projects without thinking about your knotweed first! For your free survey and quotation, call us.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed and tax     Show more/less

Saving money when disposing of your Japanese knotweed Tuesday 30th November 2010

Tax and Japanese knotweed. I wonder if you knew that the taxman has considered Japanese knotweed? There are a number of taxes that relate to Japanese knotweed, the main areas to consider are:

  1. Landfill tax
  2. Land remediation relief (for the construction industry)

Landfill tax. This tax has two bands for Japanese knotweed purposes. The standard rate of tax for this year is £48/tonne. It is scheduled to rise by an additional £8/tonne from 1/4/2011 to £56/tonne and again on the 1/4/2012 to £64/tonne. However soils that are contaminated with Japanese knotweed may attract a lower (non-active) rate of tax. This inactive rate is £2.50/tonne. Developers can often save themselves large costs by employing a consultant/contractor such as ourselves to enable them to achieve the lower rate. On a small scale excavation of 300 tonnes, this saving would amount to £13,650.00! Larger scale works could save even more money. Surprisingly some developers sending soils to landfill are still unaware of this.

Land remediation relief. This tax relief enables the developer (subject to conditions) to obtain tax relief on the monies spent on remediating their knotweed problem. Up to 150% tax relief may be obtained for this. However the remediation works must be carefully planned to qualify for this (not all remediation types are eligible).

The Knotweed Company does not give tax advice, but we are able to work with developers in this matter and provide Japanese knotweed solutions that meet the criteria for this tax relief.

The Knotweed Company has had many successes in the field of Japanese knotweed eradication, so if you’re seeking cost effective solutions for your Japanese knotweed problem, why not call the professionals?

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed control and eradication     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed kill removal control eradicate Thursday 25th November 2010

I’m frequently asked about the difference between Japanese knotweed control and Japanese knotweed eradication.

The following definitions of control and eradication may be helpful:

Control – to limit, to curb.

So in terms of Japanese knotweed control, the intention of the (typically herbicide) programme is to limit the spread, curb its growth and ultimately to achieve local eradication.

Eradication –to obliterate, to destroy or remove completely.

Japanese knotweed eradication can be achieved either through the complete removal (to licensed landfill) of all the contaminated land or through a long term herbicide programme (control leading to complete destruction of the plant(s) through chemical means).

The Environment Agency’s Code of Practice ‘Managing Japanese knotweed on development sites’, discusses the use of herbicide programmes and makes clear that they should continue for a minimum period of three-years and often longer to achieve eradication. Critically they also state that the lack of surface growth should not be seen as proof that the plant is dead. Monitoring may be required for some time to ensure that the knotweed has been eradicated.

The Knotweed Company has many successes in the field of Japanese knotweed eradication, so if you’re seeking cost effective solutions for your Japanese knotweed problem, why not call the professionals? We cover all areas of England and Wales, we only use qualified staff and we have decades of experience!

knotweed leaf  How do I kill my Japanese knotweed?     Show more/less

kill Japanese knotweed Tuesday 9th November 2010

A typical question that I get asked is, ‘How do I kill my Japanese knotweed?’

The answer is that it is normally best to employ a reputable contractor who is suitably experienced and qualified. The Environment Agency state that a minimum of three years is required for an herbicide programme to be effective. In my experience 3-5 years is quite normal, sometimes longer is required. Too often however companies offer ‘immediate eradication of Japanese knotweed’ they charge large sums of money for this herbicide treatment and offer guarantees of several years. In reality all this means is that they return every year during the guarantee period and apply herbicide to the knotweed growth. It can end up as an expensive herbicide programme for the client!

We believe in being much more open and honest with our customers and this can lead to significant savings for them! For instance we were recently asked to quote for a small stand of Japanese knotweed. We ascertained the details during the initial enquiry and were able to provide a quotation of under £1000.00 (total including VAT) for the 5-year programme. Some of the other quotes that they obtained were between £4000.00 and £6,500.00 for the same work! Furthermore we normally operate a ‘pay as you go’ policy for domestic clients, so you don’t need to make large upfront payments to us (subject to our standard terms and conditions).

knotweed leaf  Root barriers and Japanese knotweed     Show more/less

Root barriers membranes Japanese knotweed Tuesday 2nd November 2010

Root barriers or membranes are an important tool in Knotweed works. The Environment Agency’s Code of Practice ‘Managing Japanese Knotweed on development sites’ provides useful information on the developer should expect from these barriers. The Knotweed Company has the expertise to supply and install such barriers, including permeable root barriers which may be suitable for knotweed projects.

In recent months a number of companies have specified the use of chemically impregnated barriers; however such barriers do not have regulatory approval in the United Kingdom and are not required for knotweed control. A root barrier installation needs to be carefully worked into any construction project and the developer must ensure that subsequent disturbance of the barrier does not take place. The Knotweed Company employs fully trained staff to assess the site at the initial enquiry and then provides priced options to supply and/or install the root barrier. Our staff may heat weld the root barrier in situ or alternative means of joining the barrier may be used – depending on circumstances.

The use of root barriers can significantly reduce the costs of knotweed remediation and provide our customers with more options on site.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed London to Manchester     Show more/less

London Midlands North Wales Manchester Japanese knotweed Friday 22nd October 2010

In the last few days, I have been on sites from London up to through the Midlands and into North Wales. All untreated sites that I have seen still have green leaves and stems and so are very treatable, but this will not last much longer.

In 2008 and 2009, early hard frosts and even snow in October 2008 killed the surface knotweed growth; 2010 has so far been an easier season. However this autumn period is critical in the treatment of knotweed, as herbicide (glyphosate based) treatments applied now, are taken down (translocated) into the rhizome system, where the herbicide continues to work for the winter months, so being a very effective treatment. If you have knotweed on your land or are responsible for land where there is knotweed, than you should be commissioning an urgent treatment now.

The Knotweed Company is ready and able to treat your knotweed. If you email us or phone us, we will provide you with a written quotation within 24 hours and would be able to attend site to carry out the necessary treatment within 1-2 days of receiving your order.

If you delay in contacting us and frost or snow kills the surface growth prior to treatment, than you could lose a year in an eradication programme.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed and mortgages     Show more/less

Mortgage companies refuse mortgage applications japanese knotweed Friday 17th September 2010

Mortgages and knotweed continue to be in the news. Some mortgage companies have taken the decision to refuse mortgage applications when Japanese knotweed is found either on the property or even on neighbouring property. However knotweed is so commonly found around England, Wales and Scotland, that if this were interpreted strictly enough, they wouldn't be in the mortgage business at all! The Knotweed Company calls upon mortgage companies to assess the risk properly and while they may consider requiring proper treatment and eradication of the knotweed from a reputable contractor, the mortgage itself should surely be subject to a proper risk assessment. This could be a Knotweed Management Plan commissioned from The Knotweed Company, together with an herbicide programme.

We're also offering a combined survey, Knotweed Management Plan and herbicide programme for house buyers.

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