Pretty as a picture isn’t it…. Or is it?
I was talking the other day to a property investor who was looking for her next property deal. I mentioned a couple of properties that I had seen for sale that suited her investment strategy.
She said she had viewed one of the properties I had mentioned so I asked her what it was like as it only had a front external shot in the details and its always difficult to imagine what it might be like inside.
The property was a very good price and was also only available to cash buyers so i’m sure you can imagine the pictures that were going round in my head. I was keen to find out a little more about this property. The property itself was in an updateable condition nothing that would have been concerning for any of us to do up. so I asked if the condition was not so bad why was it only available to cash buyers? So just what was the story….
Everyone loves flowers don’t they? Yes she said, but not these kind of flowers. My head is working overtime. Then it hit me I knew exactly what she was on about. Japanese Knot weed. I had come into contact with this before. Nasty stuff.
This got me thinking how many people know the facts about the plant, what it looks like, why it is so destructive and how to get rid of it, So I thought I would give you some facts.
Did you know?
That Japanese knotweed starts to grow in the spring months but by May it can be as big as 1.5m and by June 3m high. Over the autumn months it dies down and seems to have almost disappeared in the winter months.
In high season Japanese knotweed can grow as much as 20 -30 cm per day. These are some of the signs that your plant could be Japanese knotweed.
Why is it a problem
Japanese knotweed can knock thousands of pounds off a property value. The plant itself is so aggressive that it can grow through tarmac and brickwork which can potentially cause major structural problems in properties. The banks and building societies won’t lend against a property with Japanese knotweed.
If you think you have it here is what you should do:
If you have bought a property and discover that you have Japanese knotweed then don’t despair you can get rid of it but it will take patience and lots of money.
If you dig it out you can’t just dump the plant in the tip or put it in your brown bin as it is classed as a ‘controlled waste’ which means you can only dispose of it on licensed landfill site. Also if you leave 0.5 cm of root then the plant will regrow. You can also kill it with chemicals but it can take up to 5 years to completely kill the plant. It will require professional treatments and can cost thousands. Also remember if your next door neighbour has it in their garden and it isn’t treated then the plant is sure to spread onto your land.
If you discover you have got Japanese knotweed then get expert help and advice, remember to act quickly as its easier to get rid of it when it’s in it’s infancy. Contact the Environment Agency on 0370 8506506 where you can talk to an expert.