TEL: 01327 340770
(Head Office)

TEL : 01962 886060
(Southern Regional Office)


Thoughts and news about invasive weeds and The Knotweed Company

knotweed leaf  Welcome to our new website.     Show more/less

A shiny new face Friday 24th May 2019

We’re very pleased to be able to welcome you to our new website. The old one had been good in its day, but things move on in 8 years and despite updates the old site was definitely a little dated!

So as of now, our website is reborn and this fits in with the growing season for Japanese knotweed, which is well under way now. The mature untreated stands of knotweed are over 2 metres now across the country and are still actively growing. Stands are also increasing in size at the moment, and if you look closely you will see new shoots emerging around the edge of the stands – soon to be as tall as the middle and so the stand increases in size from year to year.

We are busy now with practical works, including excavations, spraying programmes and property surveys. We have staff travelling around England and Wales and are almost certainly already working in your area!

We are the professional Japanese knotweed company.

With staff covering all of England and Wales, speak to the professional company about your Japanese knotweed (and other invasive weed) problems. Contact us on 01327 703129 or 01962 886060, or email us on

knotweed leaf  The Knotweed Company - new website     Show more/less

We've been working hard ... Wednesday 15th May 2019

We've been working on a new website for our company for the last few months and will be unveiling it in the next few weeks. We hope that you will like the new website as much as we do! We've had a busy few weeks recently, and are now getting into the really busy season with surveys being completed throughout England and Wales and treatment programmes about to start. We've recently been involved with two development projects in Guernsey and expect to be returning there soon for another site inspection. We are the professional Japanese knotweed company and can help you with your knotweed problems! With staff covering all of England and Wales, speak to the professional company about your Japanese knotweed (and other invasive weed) problems. Contact us on 01327 703129 or 01962 886060, or email us on

knotweed leaf  Blogweed is now on our Facebook page.     Show more/less Thursday 28th February 2019

Today on our Facebook page we're looking at Himalayan knotweed. This closely related species to both Japanese and Giant knotweed is not itself (yet) on the Schedule 9 list, however it is spreading rapidly in the wild and also hybridises with both Japanese and Giant knotweed...

knotweed leaf    Japanese knotweed mortgages and Knotweed Management Plans.     Show more/less

Mortgage refusal because of knotweed Wednesday 21st November 2018

The Knotweed Company continues to have an excellent track record of submitting Knotweed Management Plans to mortgage companies and enabling house sales and purchases to proceed. We would never claim to have a 100% track record in this field, but (when considering the larger high street lenders), we think the last such rejection was over three years ago – and when the purchaser went to a different lender the mortgage was immediately approved!

Our surveys and management plans have had a lot of positive feedback over the years, typically our reports are clear and easily understandable and we have a range of solutions that we can call upon. Our typical herbicide programme is cost effective and we offer active monitoring for any extended guarantee period. Insurance backed guarantees are of course available and different products can be costed and discussed.

We also offer verification visits, where the presence of Japanese knotweed is suspected and prepare Knotweed Management Plans. We can also assess sites where knotweed has been found by a new owner and can assess whether or not this is a new infestation or one that may have been concealed.

We have professionally qualified Japanese knotweed surveyors located around the country and clients from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to Penzance and Anglesey to Dover. We are regularly in South Wales, the West Midlands and along the South Coast.

We are the professional Japanese knotweed company.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – the end is nigh!     Show more/less

Spray season draws to a close.Wednesday 31st October 2018

The end of the spray season is now upon us for much of the country. While spraying Japanese knotweed may still be effective for another 1-2 weeks (perhaps longer in urban areas) the recent hard frosts will cause rapid senescence and the plants will be dying back above ground, while moving all the stored sugars into their crowns and rhizomes for future use. During this short period, herbicide sprays may still be usefully made to green tissue (stems and leaves) and the herbicide is then transported into the rhizomes along with the sugars, where it will be effective in future seasons.

Halloween is also known as the day of the dead. It is worth remembering that although Japanese knotweed will look dead above ground in the winter, it is still very much alive and in spring it will return…

If you still have untreated Japanese knotweed you need to order your treatment urgently. We have availability to offer treatments for the next few weeks, so why not call the professionals now?

We are the professional Japanese knotweed company.

knotweed leaf  Who monitors your Japanese knotweed in the guarantee period?     Show more/less

We monitor during guarantee period.Friday 7th September 2018

We compete on price and service – this is common to all the private sector. However what does this actually mean during the guarantee period?

A lot of Japanese knotweed contractors do not monitor during their guarantee periods, quite simply they rely on you, the customer to be able to identify Japanese knotweed at an early stage of growth – perhaps distorted into ‘bonsai’ growth habits by the use of herbicides – and they then ask that you contact them, and they will attend site and treat it. However many of these have clauses, in which the guarantee will be voided if the customer fails to identify the growth when small. How confident are you at identifying bonsai knotweed – perhaps only a few millimetres high and heavily distorted? Also if you get your identification wrong – they will charge you for the visit.

The Knotweed Company however is different, we actively monitor our sites during the guarantee period and use qualified technicians and surveyors to check for any growth. In doing so, we can identify any issues on site and deal with them promptly. It is the difference between knowing that you are still knotweed free and hoping that you are…

We are the professional Japanese knotweed company.

knotweed leaf  Blood will out!     Show more/less

Mortgage refusal because of knotweed Friday 24th August 2018

I am not the most patient of men, and get irritated fairly quickly by rudeness, slackness or by incompetence. Equally however I praise and appreciate the competent and polite people and always try to be professional in my dealings with other people.

There are many excellent Japanese knotweed companies out there and I hope that I’m never too proud to learn something new. I'm always interested to learn from others and also am prepared to offer help when asked.

I did get very annoyed earlier today and found it truly outrageous when a supposedly ‘leading company for Japanese knotweed’ produce a poor report for a customer. To begin with, several pages of the (short) report are only there to say how good they are and what a wonderful job they will be doing – what a pity then that these pages of self-important standardized puff contain a number of spelling and grammatical mistakes!

As for the report itself, a vague green blob supposedly marks the Japanese knotweed location and is almost in the correct location – it tries but alas misses by a metre or two… a fairly crucial thing to get right in a Japanese knotweed survey you would think?

Finally their surveyor produces some vague waffle about RICS categories and (amazingly) gets the category right, but for the wrong reasons…there was however no detail about the previous treatments or indeed about the ongoing programme – nothing at all.

A poor attempt at a report – I would grade it as an E- – needs completely re-writing.

If you find my rantings about written style and accuracy interesting, it is because I am the son of a primary school teacher and a research scientist – it was drummed into me from an early age that writing is an important and accurate means of communication. We try to offer well written reports, which are accurate, concise and fit for purpose. We’ve never had any issues with mortgage companies or surveyors about our reports (and indeed have received many compliments from solicitors, mortgage companies, surveyors and our clients).

We don’t brag about how good we are – we’d rather let our customers decide for themselves.

We are the professional Japanese knotweed company.

knotweed leaf  Email problem - Brian Taylor     Show more/less

Upstream provider causes email outageThursday 16th August 2018

Unfortunately our Email server ( has let us badly down this week due to a technical upgrade and my old email addresses are not currently working.

All of our other emails are working, the problem is only for my email addresses which are and

I have now set up a new email address as my main works emails which is I hope in due course that my old work emails will automatically divert to my new email.

My apologies for any inconvenience.

Brian Taylor

knotweed leaf  Williams v. Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed neighbour rhizome encroachment - legal claim successfulTuesday 3rd July 2018

In a landmark ruling, the Court of Appeal has today decided that the presence of encroaching Japanese knotweed rhizomes (across the boundary) would in the opinion of the court be sufficient to prove that an interference with the owner’s right to peaceful enjoyment of their property had occurred and damages might be claimable. This does not enable homeowners to claim for loss of value of their property, however it does enable damages to be claimed. This case came about as Network Rail failed to treat their knotweed over many years (perhaps decades), and so caused a major impact upon their neighbours.

This judgement will in our view change many people’s and organisations views on the importance of properly dealing with their Japanese knotweed problem. Whether you are a landlord, a home owner, a company or other organisation, you will need to address your knotweed problem. Allowing knotweed to spread onto neighbouring land is no longer an option, as you may be held accountable for your neglect in a court of law.

While we cannot time travel and prevent you getting Japanese knotweed in the first place, we can start an effective and professional eradication strategy quickly and in so doing reduce the risk that a legal claim can be made or minimise the damage. If Network Rail had taken effective action, when their neighbours first complained to them, this case may have had a different result.

We can offer professional surveys, proper eradication programmes (with costs spread over the eradication period), long term monitoring and insurance products (if needed). Our staff are qualified, trained, experienced and professional. We use discreet vehicles (no sign writing – would you want to advertise the fact that you have Japanese knotweed?).

Our eradication programmes are cost effective and effective. We do not offer unsubstantiated herbicide programmes, and we also provide expert monitoring during the guarantee period. We are professionals and proud to lead our industry.

knotweed leaf  Award winning The Knotweed Company - Project of the Year 2018.     Show more/less

Prestigious award won by The Knotweed Company - the professional Japanese knotweed eradicatorsTuesday 3rd July 2018

The Knotweed Company won a prestigious honour at the annual Property Care Association awards ceremony a couple of weeks ago. We overcame a record number of entries to secure the Project of the Year title.

The winning project was for an old mine-working site in Camborne, Cornwall, that had been green-lit for development, but had laid empty for over 20 years due to significant contamination issues. Among the problems presented to developers was a massive Japanese knotweed infestation that had been worsened due to substantial soil movement and soil importation over the years.

We proposed a revolutionary approach to remediate the site by a combined use of consolidation, installation of root barriers and extensive monitoring and treatment. We approached the Environment Agency with our Knotweed Management Plan and received their approval. As a result of our proposal, our client was able to make substantial financial savings and a once untenable site became financially viable for development.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – secrets from the past     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed secretFriday 22nd June 2018

The good thing about having been a professional Japanese knotweed eradicator for over ten years, is that you never stop learning. When I started working (exclusively) with knotweed in 2004, little was known about the long term eradication of knotweed. Jim Glaister and I started working together in 2004 and between us we tried and tested many methods of eradication and critically reviewed what we were doing and how we could improve our methods. This is still an ongoing process!

Occasionally, we were perplexed as to how competitors were able to offer ‘Guaranteed eradication in 12 months’. One company (who I will refer to as ABC) made a huge splash about how they were the experts that could work this miracle and offer a five year guarantee. No reputable person in the industry could understand this, as they seemed to be able to make it work. However the world of Japanese knotweed is a small one and eventually you meet someone that will (after a beer or two) talk.

ABC was apparently using high doses of a residual herbicide (now no longer available), in the first year – we all knew this and also knew it wouldn’t eradicate the knotweed, merely suppress it. What they were then doing (I have been told) was entering sites (including construction sites, etc.) when no-one was on site and re-treating the areas in subsequent years, so that no re-growth would occur. This breached Health and Safety, could be defined as trespass and possibly even as fraud. Needless to say some clients found out and fired this company. Re-growth of the knotweed would have occurred on most sites by now as residual herbicide will only suppress the knotweed for a few years.

ABC is no longer trading but the phoenix descendent is still out there…

knotweed leaf  Giant hogweed is now flowering – biohazard!     Show more/less

Giant hogweed danger Saturday 16th June 2018

Giant hogweed is now flowering throughout the country. This is the most dangerous time of the year, to get the sap on your skin as the combination of strong sun light and the sap from the plant can result in severe burning and blistering.

It is however important to get this weed treated professionally. Please do not panic and chop it all down, that can be very dangerous to do. This weed needs to be treated with an appropriate herbicide, which will safely kill the plant and the tap root or carefully removed if there is no other option.

We have been seeing an increase in Giant hogweed infestations on the last few years. This is usually because people do not take action as soon as they see the first signs of an infestation (and flowering umbels 5 metres high are fairly obvious to most people). We are seeing some very large affected areas (hundreds if not thousands of square metres). This is not only potentially hazardous, but can also affect offering of mortgages on the affected properties, finally invasive weeds are detrimental to the environment.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed experts.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed experts? Call the professionals! Friday 8th June 2018

The word ‘experts’ or ‘specialists’ in the Japanese knotweed industry has a long history of being misused by companies or people. These terms may be used by credible companies, but often are not. When I see a new Japanese knotweed company advertising, I often check their website out. Sometimes I find that our photographs have been stolen from our website and used without permission; sometimes I find a good informative website and sometimes I find shockingly bad ones!

I’ve found one shocker recently. According to their website they specialise in difficult weeds such as Japanese knotweed, but critically some of the photographs that they show which are supposed to be Japanese knotweed – are not! They actually show photographs of Russian Vine - a completely different plant and then you read their totally inaccurate description of knotweed winter canes being tough and hard to cut (actually they are fragile, flimsy canes, easily broken) – were they thinking of bamboo canes?

We call ourselves professionals, we are qualified and experienced in the invasive weed sector. Critically we’ve been working in this field for 14+ years (exclusively with Japanese knotweed and other invasive weeds); before that I was treating invasive weeds as part of my overall management duties, so I can claim to have more than 2 decades worth of experience – and I am not the only one in the company that can (nearly) claim that!

If you are looking for an expert – speak to the professionals, we are competent and experienced at our job.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – Certificated Surveyor (CSJK).     Show more/less

Is your Japanese knotweed surveyor qualified? Monday 4th June 2018

The Property Care Association (PCA) of which we have been members since early 2013, developed a rigorous training and examination process for technicians and surveyors in the invasive weed industry. We are proud to say that Jim Glaister and I (Brian Taylor) were also able to contribute quite extensively to the process.

Every contractor and consultant member of the PCA invasive weed group should now have at least one person qualified to the CSJK standard and soon every surveyor should be qualified.

The Knotweed Company always seeks to lead the field with their expertise and training. All of our surveyors are qualified and hold the CSJK. Our latest candidate to sit the examination – Aaron Way – has now been told that he has passed his examination and is entitled to put the letters CSJK after his name. He joins our group of surveyors which includes: Brian Taylor, Jim Glaister, Paul Copper, Kevin Gilderson and now Aaron Way. I think that we employ more qualified surveyors than any other company in the United Kingdom.

The CSJK is a tough examination with a high failure rate – it combines a written essay examination, a practical identification test and a final viva before two experienced surveyors.

Prior to the examination process, any one could set up a business and call themselves ‘experts in Japanese knotweed’. I can remember speaking to some of these so called ‘experts’ who couldn’t identify Japanese knotweed (this is no joke).

If you are looking for an expert – speak to the professionals and make sure that your surveyor is qualified to the CSJK standard.

knotweed leaf  Bamboo – is this the next Japanese knotweed?     Show more/less

Bamboo – a good fence plant or a way of causing neighbour offence? Wednesday 23rd May 2018

We are experienced in dealing with all sorts of invasive weeds, from Giant Butterbur to Knotweed hybrids, we can handle it.

However there is one group of plants, which still has the power to amaze me – these are the bamboos. Bamboos spread by underground stems – rhizomes – they can destroy hard surfaces, ruin neighbours gardens and are hard to kill and control. Sounds familiar? Yes they are very similar to Japanese knotweed! However they are also a woody species and really hard to dig up or to cut down.

A few fun facts about bamboo:

Bamboo can grow up to 35 metres high. Yes 35 metres. Now most bamboos in this country don’t reach that height… typically a maximum height of 20 metres… but in your garden?

The shoots (culms) reach their full height in the first growing season, typically taking 3-4 months to do this. The culms then remain alive for some years, creating sugars by photosynthesis and passing this to the rhizomes to make more culms…

A new culm might grow up to 1 metre in a day…

Plant bamboo as a screen and quite often they will simply spread into your neighbour’s garden as well – please note that they may not too pleased about this! Also if you’ve planted a tall bamboo, neither you nor your neighbour will get to enjoy the sunshine very much.

Bamboo has a definite life expectancy and often reaches flowering point (after years or decades) and then may die after seeding. Rats love the seed by the way!

Most bamboos (in my experience) are not suitable for planting in your average garden. They are very hard to successfully contain with root barriers (bamboo rhizomes can grow over the top or angle down below the barrier) and other methods require a lot of constant monitoring and work. Bamboos are generally speaking not happy to be planted in containers and will happily send roots out of the bottom of the container…

Bamboos are fairly cheap to buy - however if I may advise you - they can be very expensive to get rid of once established and can cause significant neighbour issues.

We’ve been eradicating bamboo for years. We have a successful track record of dealing with problematic bamboo issues.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – can you ever eradicate it?     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – short & long term eradication options Wednesday 25th April 2018

Today a number of media outlets are promoting a scary message, which is basically saying that Japanese knotweed can never be eradicated.

Behind the scary headlines, is an excellent research paper titled ‘Optimising physiochemical control of invasive Japanese knotweed’ (Jones et al, 2018). In this paper, the researchers have found that summer and autumn applications of glyphosate based herbicide offer the best control; furthermore control programmes have to last for many years – longer than the experimental work has so far lasted.

This research work confirms many of my views and should not be a surprise to anyone in the industry. I strongly recommend reading the paper to anyone who is truly interested in the subject.

So back to Japanese knotweed - can you eradicate it with herbicides? Yes you can.

However it typically takes many years to do this. Yesterday I finally signed off three sites in South-west London which started their eradication programme in 2006 and 2007. They completed their monitoring period (minimum 2 years) late last year. Other sites (much larger infestations) for the same client started in 2005 and are still making growth as of last year.

The Knotweed Company has been treating Japanese knotweed for years. We can provide suitable eradication and control programmes for all types of properties or situations – it does however take a few years!

knotweed leaf  Giant hogweed – Danger! Now growing near you.     Show more/less

Giant hogweed – bigger, deadly and near you Tuesday 24th April 2018

The recent warmer weather has encouraged the Giant hogweed to start growing. It is not yet in flower, but it soon will be in the South of the country. This deadly plant can burn you, causing permanent scarring, blindness, death and can even cause mutations in a foetus.

Giant hogweed is not a joke or a late April fool. It is real and out there. We treat this plant – large and small infestations up and down the country. There are large infestations all over the country and we treat this weed all over England and Wales. We see it in people’s gardens, on river banks and in schools. Unbelievably we’ve found Giant hogweed in toddlers play areas in schools.

The treatment period for Giant hogweed is very limited and it starts now and end by late July. We have a window of perhaps 12 weeks to kill this year’s giant hogweed before seeds are set and millions of seeds are scattered across the soil, being spread by streams, rivers and on vehicle tracks.

So why is it that we hear so little (comparatively) about this weed? In the last few years, we’ve heard some stories, when children have received burns by playing in and amongst the Giant hogweed. We’ve heard less about the adults who’ve tried chopping it down (which is a very bad idea indeed) and the treatment that they’ve needed at their local hospital.

This is a weed where you need the professionals. We can provide suitable eradication programmes for all types of properties or situations.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – what weed is this?     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed is growing near you Friday 20th April 2018

This weekend I expect to be gardening for at least some of the time, as are many people. This weekend, many people will see the purple green stems of Japanese knotweed emerging from the soil, from under paving slabs and concrete or perhaps behind the garden shed or garage….

If you are in this position, the first thing to do is not to panic. If you think it is Japanese knotweed, than email us with a photograph or two and we will try to confirm or not whether it is knotweed. This is even a free service! If it is confirmed as Japanese knotweed, than we can offer several ways forward, from a survey by a qualified person to providing a cost effective treatment programme.

We offer programmes which are flexible and adaptable to your needs. This includes programmes which are ‘pay as you go’ as opposed to some companies where you pay for the 5-6 year programme in one lump sum up front – which I find a little strange – how many services over 5-6 years do you pay for upfront? Window cleaning? Bin cleaning? So why should Japanese knotweed be different?

We can also provide suitable eradication programmes for properties for sale, including programmes which comply with most of the larger mortgage company’s requirements.

Japanese knotweed is growing now – so it’s a good time to call us!

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – what has happened to spring?     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed growing new shoots spring. Friday 13th April 2018

Rumour has it that spring is coming next week. It is quite hard to believe that here we are at the Ides of April and when I look out of the office window the trees are bare and the grass is barely growing yet.

If the forecasters are correct and we are going to see rapidly warming temperatures from next week, than Japanese knotweed watchers will be in for a treat, as the growth rate that the knotweed will make this spring will be amazing to see. One foot of new growth (305 mm) a week is often quoted, but in the right conditions it can exceed that!

Although it is hard to imagine right now, Japanese knotweed will almost certainly exceed 2 metres in height (untreated mature stands) by the end of May. Assuming that there is currently only buds showing today and that it will take a few days to start growing it will do all this growth in 5-6 weeks and reach a height by the end of May of 7-8 feet (2m+). Full height of the Japanese knotweed will be reached around the end of June, after which new shoots will continue to emerge around the mature stand area.

We’re already booking surveys and receiving orders for treatment programmes and are able to provide suitable management plans for dealing with your Japanese knotweed or other invasive weeds. So why not call us?

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – it wakes!     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed is awake and growing near you Tuesday 3rd April 2018

One of our surveyors, Paul Copper, reported that he had found untreated Japanese knotweed shoots on a site in Southern England last week. A sheltered spot and 2-3 shoots were growing (about 100mm or 4” for those of us that remember (vaguely in my case!) £ s d).

The slowly warming soil temperatures will now mean that all the invasive weeds will start growing. Giant hogweed will be the first to awaken and in sheltered spots will soon need treating. Japanese knotweed will need leaving for a while before treatments can commence, we normally like to leave it until mid-May at the earliest (if previously untreated) and later if possible.

We are still able to undertake winter stem clearance work, this window of opportunity is however fast disappearing and will be gone in the next few weeks.

We’re already booking surveys and receiving orders for treatment programmes and are able to provide suitable management plans for dealing with your Japanese knotweed or other invasive weeds. So why not call us?

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – still sleeping.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed sleeping underground Monday 19th March 2018

Not much appears to have changed in the last few weeks. Snow and ice still cover much of the country and Japanese knotweed is still fast asleep for the winter. I suspect that when the weather warms up a bit, the invasive weeds will rapidly make up for lost time and we’ll be spraying Giant hogweed in 3-4 weeks’ time and Japanese knotweed by early May.

Needless to say we’re still keeping very busy and my desk is still in its usual state...

We’ve just taken delivery of some new iPhones for most of the team and I’m helping them set these up (quicker to batch do them, as opposed to everyone struggling on their own). Technology has certainly moved on from when I started work… fortunately I’ve kept up with it (mostly!).

We’re already booking surveys and receiving orders for treatment programmes and are able to provide suitable management plans for dealing with your Japanese knotweed or other invasive weeds. So why not call us?

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – under the snow.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – do not disturb! Wednesday 28th February 2018

At the time of writing Japanese knotweed is still quiet and resting under a blanket of snow and frost. However it is not dead, it is only sleeping and in the mid to late spring, will start to make its annual growth. Whatever you think about knotweed, it has an amazing spurt of growth in spring, when it uses the stored energy from the rhizomes and reaches a full height of 3-4 metres in a few weeks.

We’re keeping busy both in the office and on the ground. We are currently involved with projects from Camborne in Cornwall to Malvern, several sites in the South-east, the midlands and into South Wales. Next week we have a mini-excavation booked in East Anglia and other works including surveys. Japanese knotweed may be asleep, but we’re not!

We’re already booking surveys and receiving orders for treatment programmes and are able to provide suitable management plans for dealing with your Japanese knotweed or other invasive weeds. So why not call us?

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed dormancy.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – sleeping beauty? Friday 9th February 2018

Japanese knotweed is a funny plant and can easily enter dormancy – either wholly or partly. The reasons for it entering dormancy are not well understood, but include herbicide treatment, burial, covering with a barrier or covering with concrete. Basically anything which stops the plant from growing normally has the potential for it to enter dormancy and this dormancy may last years or even decades.

I’ve recently had a discussion with a pesticide manufacturer and we believe that we’ve identified one possible mechanism for inducing apparent dormancy in Japanese knotweed and possibly a few of the key issues that we have to deal with in treating knotweed. This discussion may lead to some experimental work being undertaken – however this will be a long project and results may take years to reliably assess. However this work needs to be done and there is a need for continued research in this area to follow on from the excellent field trials carried out by Dr Dan Jones during his studies at Swansea University.

This week, I’ve assessed a number of sites, including one in which Japanese knotweed has apparently been lying dormant for nearly 30 years. The rhizome which I examined was large (circa 80mm+ diameter) and was still alive, although it was a deeper orange colour than would normally be expected. Possibly this knotweed was treated many years ago with a residual herbicide, which might explain the long dormant period and the discolouration.

We’re already booking surveys and receiving orders for treatment programmes and are able to provide suitable management plans for dealing with your Japanese knotweed or other invasive weeds. So why not call us?

knotweed leaf  Bamboo – hungry pandas wanted.     Show more/less

Bamboo & Japanese knotweed – is there a difference between these two invasive weeds? Friday 26th January 2018

A better week for us this week, with a full house of staff back at work. We’re still having to shuffle some works around as there has been an impact on our planned works – so my apologies to anyone affected. We do try to give reasonable notice when this happens, but it can be difficult. We should be back to normal soon.

We’ve had a week dealing (almost exclusively) with bamboo. Hence my enquiry about if there any hungry pandas around who would like a good meal. At this time of year, we cut the bamboo down and inject the stumps with a glyphosate based herbicide. This is a reasonably effective way of treating bamboo (it will still need a number of follow up visits over the next few years to eradicate it though). This however leaves us with a large amount of bamboo… needless to say we do our best to re-use the material and my father has already laid claim to a few bamboo canes for his runner beans.

This week we’ve been shredding a lot of bamboo on a site in Hampshire, which will reduce the volume considerably and also allow it to decompose more quickly. By treating it in this way we are reducing off site waste and also adding to the local environment. A lot of insects and arthropods will set up home in a pile of woody waste such as this and this will in turn provide food for other animals and birds. After a year or so the material will have broken down and will add to the soils fertility.

So where has all this bamboo come from? Well those of us with a long memory remember the 1990s gardening programmes, many of which promoted the use of bamboo as a living screen in suburban gardens. They also used to mention (casually if I recall) that you needed to use a root barrier to stop it from spreading, what they didn’t say was that bamboo can grow over any root barrier and needs constant management to stop it from spreading.

When Japanese knotweed was first introduced (1850s onwards), it was marketed as being a tall screening plant, minimal maintenance, etc. Which is basically what was being said about bamboo in the 1990s. Japanese knotweed spreads by underground stems (rhizomes), would you like to guess how bamboo spreads? Japanese knotweed can destroy hard surfaces – as can bamboo. We’re still in the early days of the ‘great bamboo infestation’, it will be interesting for those of us working in the industry of invasive weeds to see what happens next. Either the problem will be contained or it will enter the next phase of invasive behaviour and establish itself in the wild.

We’re already booking surveys and receiving orders for treatment programmes and are able to provide suitable management plans for dealing with your Japanese knotweed or other invasive weeds. So why not call us?

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – coping with Aussie Flu.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – flu -Tis the season to cough and sneeze Wednesday 17th January 2018

On the bright side, I haven’t succumbed yet to the dreaded seasonal flu. I suspect it is only a matter of time however...

It appears that nearly everyone around me this week has fallen ill with the dreaded flu in the last two weeks. My wife was ill last week and is still recovering and no less than four staff members are off this week – three with the flu and one on leave (he had the flu two weeks earlier!). This is quite remarkable as our staffing arrangements mean that we don’t actually all meet face to face that often, since before Christmas in fact.

So I must ask all our customers to have patience with us, if we have to cancel scheduled works at short notice this week. We don’t want to pass the flu to you too.

We’re already booking surveys and receiving orders for treatment programmes and are able to provide suitable management plans for dealing with your Japanese knotweed. So why not call us? The office is still manned!

The time to start treating your Japanese knotweed is now, so call the professionals.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed 2018 – so what now?     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed control eradication solutions 2018 Friday 5th January 2018

Another year… another season of Japanese knotweed and I’m looking forward to it. I take great pride in signing contracts off, when the knotweed has been eradicated, monitored for re-growth and after two seasons with no growth, we can issue a Certificate of Eradication. That is the best part of my job!

The good news for us and our customers is that we can continue using glyphosate based herbicides. Without this vital resource, we would have no tools available to use in environmentally sensitive areas such as watercourses, etc. The other possible options in these areas (non-chemical) would involve the mass removal or burial of the affected soils – which is hugely costly and uses huge amounts of fossil fuels.

I expect to see more invasive weeds in 2018. In recent years, we have seen more plants causing problems, and known weeds getting worse. The main terrestrial plans that are not (currently) included in Schedule 9 of The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) would for me include Himalayan knotweed (which hybridises readily with Japanese knotweed and is now spreading rapidly in many parts of the country) and also many species of bamboo.

Bamboo is an important weed in its own right and we see large infestations of this plant, which can cause very real issues with neighbours! Bamboo may also (like knotweed) lift paving slabs, destroy hard surfaces and infest surrounding ornamental areas, killing the other plants by outcompeting them. It’s a real thug and takes a number of years to kill.

We’re already booking surveys and receiving orders for treatment programmes and are able to provide suitable management plans for dealing with your Japanese knotweed. So why not call us?

The time to start treating your Japanese knotweed is now, so call the professionals.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – 2017 review.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed 2017 mortgage legal review Thursday 21st December 2017

As regular readers of this blog know (and there are a few!), I usually write a few words on the 2017 season and perhaps look ahead to 2018.

2017 was an interesting year in the industry, we welcomed the renewal of the licence to use glyphosate in herbicides – glyphosate in its many formulations is essential for the control and eradication of invasive weeds – there is nothing else in many situations! We can either use glyphosate or watch invasive weeds destroy our natural environment. These options are stark and clear and we already have hectare plus blocks of knotweed growing adjacent to rivers, which are effectively sterile environments, of little or no benefit to the environment. Using glyphosate to kill the invasive plants, we can then restore the natural environment – without glyphosate, we can only watch the weeds spread.

We’ve had another good year in 2017, we had a new member of staff join our team and have continued to offer our professional services across all of England and Wales.

Legally, Japanese knotweed has had an interesting year, Network Rail have lost one case in Wales, concerning Japanese knotweed and are currently appealing the decision. This may (if the appeal is lost) make an interesting legal precedent. More on this in 2018. The first anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) were issued in 2017, to people or organisations who have failed to control their Japanese knotweed, fines and enforcement of the orders are then typically put into place.

Mortgage companies continue to review Japanese knotweed. We have not yet experienced a rejection of our Knotweed Management Plans from any of the larger lenders (smaller lenders are typically more risk averse). The only issues that we have experienced have been where a client has undertaken eradication/concealment/landscaping works (typically involving excavation) before involving us – our surveys have to reflect this and we can only report what we have found on site.

We have a number of interesting projects that we are working on at the moment, and these take us around the country – so you might see our vans on site in the New Year from Marazion to Margate or from Southampton to Sunderland or from Bangor to Barry! Wherever Japanese knotweed grows we’ll be there!

Our offices are closed from 12.30pm today until 8.30am Tuesday 2nd January 2018. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – when does the season for effective treatment come to an end?     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – effective treatment control eradication Tuesday 3rd October 2017

Japanese knotweed may only effectively be treated with an herbicide, when there is green growth still showing above ground. This may include leaves, but effective treatment can still be made to green stems. However, frost and cold nights will encourage the plant to die back for the winter and so the end of the season for effective treatment will depend on where you live. Typically speaking the high peaks in Derbyshire will be amongst the first places to senesce and urban heat islands the last. We would say that a typical season finishes between the middle of October to the end of November depending on location, but seasons vary! I have known seasons to end by mid-October or to persist up to Christmas.

This season appears to be milder than usual but a sharp frost could change matters very quickly and of course there can be lost days or weeks if heavy rain or strong winds occur. Therefore we aim to complete all our scheduled autumn works by the end of October. This involves a lot of work by all our staff and even office types like myself and Jim are out with our knapsack sprayers treating Japanese knotweed in September and October.

If you haven’t placed an order yet for your Japanese knotweed, than don’t panic - we are working up and down the country at the moment, and have availability for surveys and treatments throughout England and Wales. Just call us or email us and discuss your knotweed problem – we have a well trained and experienced team who can tackle any knotweed problem.

The time to start treating your Japanese knotweed is now, so call the professionals.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – do you have a problem selling your house? or getting a mortgage?     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – property sales mortgage problems Wednesday 30th August 2017

Japanese knotweed continues to spread and continues to make the news. It is in many respects a slow burning issue, typically starting as a small shoot, perhaps spread into your garden by soil disturbance. Over years it grows into a large bushy plant and then, you find out that you have a mature knotweed plant, often when you come to sell your house…

If you’re at this stage, don’t panic! We at The Knotweed Company have a team of qualified Japanese knotweed surveyors, and we are quite used to dealing with property sales and Japanese knotweed. We have a very good record of producing survey reports and solutions tailored to the property, which usually allow the sale to proceed without too much delay. Our success in this area is over 90%, although this may involve selecting a larger mortgage company, as opposed to the smaller lenders, who may have more restrictive criteria for lending on properties with a knotweed problem.

We are able to offer appropriate solutions for each property that has a problem with Japanese knotweed, and (naturally) can usually offer an insurance backed guarantee (if required).

The time to start treating your Japanese knotweed is now, so call the professionals.

We cover all of England and Wales and have surveyors & technicians in a number of locations, which include Hampshire, London, Sussex, Essex, and Northamptonshire. We also are regularly working in areas such as Yorkshire, Durham, Tyneside, Manchester and Merseyside. We have large number of contracts in Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Cardiff and also travel into the more rural parts of Wales.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – Pay as you go.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – pay as you go or lump sum payment? Wednesday 26th July 2017

Japanese knotweed control and eradication requires many visits over a few years before certification of eradication can be issued, needless to say all this costs money! Some of our competitors require that you pay all the costs of this programme either up front or in 2-3 payments in the first year – this can be difficult for people to fund…

We at The Knotweed Company offer a much more realistic approach to our ongoing contracts. We can (if for instance a mortgage company requires it), take the monies in one or two payments, or we can simply invoice as the works progress according to an agreed schedule. The ‘pay as you go’ approach has several advantages for our clients including budgeting of costs and keeping control of their money.

We aim to work with our clients and seek to offer a fair way of payment for services that may last a number of years. I always ask people a simple question, if you were arranging vehicle servicing for a five or six year period, would you pay the garage up front? Why should Japanese knotweed be any different?

We aim to work with our clients, we don’t have a one size fits all policy.

knotweed leaf  Giant hogweed… the killer weed     Show more/less

The Knotweed Company – do you have Giant hogweed growing near you? Wednesday 12th July 2017

As regular readers will know, I try and avoid using scary language in these blogs. There are plenty of other websites out there that try to scare you. So why the scary heading? Well Giant hogweed is a scary weed.

Giant hogweed originates from the Western Caucasus in Southwest Russia. It is a short lived perennial typically taking 3-5 years to grow from a seed, flowering in its last year and then dying. Each plant typically produces 20,000 seeds in its final year – although it can produce much higher numbers of seeds in favourable circumstances.

Doesn’t sound scary? Well consider this: the sap from this plant is a known biohazard. If the sap (especially from a flowering plant) gets onto your skin, the sap removes your natural skin protection from normal sunlight and your skin burns and blisters when exposed to sunlight. If you get sap into your eyes you can be temporarily or permanently blinded. If you get sap around your mouth you can choke and die. Fortunately the worst cases of human health issues are rarely seen in this country, however the blistering and burning are quite common and symptoms may persist for years.

Still not scary enough? Giant hogweed sap is a known mutagen and may cause mutations in foetuses so should be of particular concern to pregnant women and other mammals.

We frequently treat Giant hogweed and use special extending lances to apply herbicide (and so avoid contact with the plant). We have been appalled by seeing some people recently who on finding out that they have Giant hogweed then decide to chop it down! This is not a good idea… even if you take a lot of precautions you are still exposing yourself to a lot of biohazardous sap and this should only be done by specialists in extreme circumstances; for instance in areas where you cannot fence the area off and/or use signage to exclude people from the area while treatment is taking place.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – It’s here, growing somewhere near you.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – is it in your garden or street? Wednesday 31st May 2017

I like to avoid dramatic headlines, when writing this blog. However there is a time and a place, when I think you can be excused for using one. Are we winning the war against Japanese knotweed? The short answer is ‘No’. We can and do win individual battles, and nothing gives me greater satisfaction than being able to certify that a site’s knotweed has indeed been eradicated. However knotweed is still being spread faster than it is being controlled and many infestations are either not being controlled at all (let alone eradicated) or are being inappropriately treated.

Inappropriate treatment is a source of concern to me. I came across one instance the other week, where ‘Professional’ Knotweed contractors were giving some very poor advice to a client – one that could have had some serious consequences for them (heavy fines and/or prosecution) as well as environmental issues. Fortunately the client realised that this proposal was inappropriate and called us in. We rapidly devised a simple and cost effective means of enabling the client’s works to proceed and completed the works yesterday.

I started in the Japanese knotweed industry many years ago and went full time in the industry from early in 2005. Other people in the company have similar or earlier start dates, as such we can call upon a wealth of experience in finding an appropriate solution for your knotweed problem.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – Student of the Year 2017.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – student of the year award. Friday 5th May 2017

Last night, Jim Glaister and I were present at the Property Care Association’s annual Awards Dinner. I was under the impression that I was there to lead the applause for the winning candidates and to network generally.

It was a great evening, and was made all the better for me, when to my surprise, I found myself being awarded Student of the Year for the Certificated Surveyor in Japanese knotweed. I sat the exam last spring at a difficult time and had been glad to pass it, so I was truly shocked to learn that I had been awarded this prize.

Jim (who won the same award in 2015) had been in on the secret and he and Sue Uttridge had planned the surprise very well. Well done to you both!

I think this is a unique situation for any Japanese knotweed Company having two people within it, who have now received this coveted award. I feel both proud and humbled by this.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – it’s nearly ready…     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed growing quickly near you Thursday 27th April 2017

It has been a fairly mild spring and Japanese knotweed (where it has either not been treated or only perhaps had 1-2 treatments) will already have emerged and is growing strongly. Treated knotweed typically emerges much later and in a much less vigorous way.

The big question however is - can we treat it yet?

The answer is not just yet. We need to allow the growth on the vigorously growing stands to reach at least 1.8-2 metres in height, as this presents a good target for the herbicide. Prior to this the plant will still be very actively growing and will tend to grow out of treatments rather than take the herbicide to the rhizomes underground – which is where we need it to be transported to. IF we don’t have any severe frosts (which will kill the above ground growth), than I estimate that we will be able to start treating knotweed in some areas in the next two weeks (typically Southern England and urban areas) with other areas a week or so later. However this could all change in the event of a hard frost!

Japanese knotweed that has been already treated several times, or is approaching the end of a herbicide programme, will not normally emerge until later in the year – perhaps not until July or August and inspections and treatments timings need to reflect this – it would be pointless to carry out site inspections (on existing sites) in April or in December and looking for live growth!

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – look out! It’s here…     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – new growth, large shoots Thursday 30th March 2017

This week while working in Cornwall, we found areas of Japanese knotweed with new growth in excess of 1 metre. Some shoots were around 4 feet high (or 1.2 metres if you prefer!). This is extremely early to be seeing such growth!

It is of course possible that this early growth of Japanese knotweed will still be killed off by severe frosts, but this seems increasingly unlikely for the next few weeks and so it may well be, that we shall see some significant knotweed growth (2-3 metres high) by early to mid-May. By contrast last year, knotweed had barely started growing before early May.

Work is picking up nicely now and our surveyors are keeping busy, assessing new sites. We hope to fill our Trainee Surveyor/estimator position next week and aim to continue to offer our customers good service and competitive pricing for our services in the coming season.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed – spring shoots.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed – is it growing yet? Thursday 2nd March 2017

We are seeing that Japanese knotweed is already forming buds, preparatory to making shoots in the spring. All we need now is some warmer weather and knotweed will start to produce the asparagus like spears (mature stands), which can grow at an extraordinary rate – a foot a week, or 43mm a day if we’re being metric! We would expect to see shoots quite soon now, perhaps in urban areas such as Bristol or London.

We normally experience a quiet spell in late winter/early spring, but not this year! We’re nearly flat out working on sites across England and Wales. However we expect to get busier if this warm weather keeps up!

We’re still looking for a trainee Surveyor for Japanese knotweed and would draw attention to our earlier blogs about applying for this interesting vacancy. We would also consider appointing a new Knotweed technician as well and would again welcome applicants for this Daventry based role.

knotweed leaf  Robin Waistell v Network Rail.     Show more/less

Legal precedent Japanese knotweed. Friday 10th February 201

A very interesting legal case has recently been heard. In it a householder successfully sued Network Rail for failing to control their Japanese knotweed, which had then spread into his property. This is (as far as we know) only the second case (the first being Flanagan v Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council in 1995). This more recent case however established an important point, that not only had there been direct encroachment by the knotweed onto Mr Waistell’s land, but also that the mere presence of untreated Japanese knotweed on adjoining land was an actionable interference with the use and enjoyment of Mr Waistell’s land. As a result of this Mr Waistell has been awarded damages including for the resulting reduction in value of his property and the costs of the treatment.

This is an important legal case and it will change the advice that we will now offer as it holds landowners to account and imposes a positive duty on them to ensure that any Japanese knotweed that is on their property is not preventing neighbouring owners from being able to sell their property for the market value.

knotweed leaf  Trainee Japanese knotweed Surveyor Job Vacancy.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed Situations vacant Daventry Recruitment Wednesday 25th January 2017

Job Vacancy. For anyone interested in working with Japanese knotweed, we are looking to recruit a trainee Surveyor/estimator to be based at our Daventry office – CVs to be emailed to me please at We offer a comprehensive training package and competitive salary and benefits. The right candidate will learn all about the process of treating Japanese knotweed including pesticide application, surveying and management of invasive weeds. A full driving licence is essential, as is a good standard of written and spoken English.

The duties for this position are varied and will include (but not be limited to): herbicide applications, brush cutting and scrub clearance, surveys, report writing, estimating and preparation of quotations.

A full Job Description for this post is available and can be emailed on request. We intend to fill this position in April or early May.

The successful candidate will need to be reasonably fit, able to do surveys in gardens, commercial sites, etc. including rough and unkempt areas of land and be willing to travel as part of their work. We are a small team, but offer very professional training both in-house and externally. The gross salary for this position, would range between £24,000 to £30,000+, the starting salary will reflect previous experience and qualifications in this field. Other benefits include pension contributions to a personal pension scheme.

The Knotweed Company is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from any suitable candidates.

knotweed leaf  Japanese knotweed and mortgages 2017.     Show more/less

Japanese knotweed mortgage reports, expert witness Wednesday 11th January 2017

We have been preparing technical surveys for properties infested with Japanese knotweed for some years now. Our surveyors have all taken and passed the appropriate examination -Certificated Surveyor in Japanese knotweed (CSJK) - with the Property Care Association (PCA) and all our surveyors have many years’ experience of working with Japanese knotweed.

Our management team have spent (and still spend) considerably amounts of time in working directly with the PCA and other PCA members in developing the invasive weed training courses and examinations. Our rewards for this are not obvious, but it does include the development of our expertise, so keeping us at the forefront of the invasive weed market.

We recently completed a survey on Japanese knotweed and received some interesting feedback from the mortgage company, who commented on our professionalism and excellent quality of the report and information contained.

We are also developing our expertise in preparing Expert Witness Reports and have already undertaken works in this field and specialist training so that we can continue to meet the needs of our customers in this important area.

Job Vacancy. For anyone interested in working with Japanese knotweed, we are looking to recruit a trainee Surveyor/estimator to be based at our Daventry office – CVs to be emailed to me please at We offer a comprehensive training package and competitive salary and benefits. The right candidate will learn all about the process of treating Japanese knotweed including pesticide application, surveying and management of invasive weeds. A full driving licence is essential, as is a good standard of written and spoken English.

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