Japanese knotweed - winter will not kill it

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With the weather turning bitterly cold lately, you may have noticed local crops of Japanese knotweed changing shape and appearance.

In winter, Japanese knotweed will shed its leaves and its stems will die, looking like brown, brittle twigs... until spring.

You see, the external appearance of Japanese knotweed may die, but the menace still remains...

Japanese knotweed rhizomes – the sleeping menace

The rhizome of the knotweed is the part that stays underground and out of site, and this is the part of the plant that will trigger a re-growth in the spring.

Japanese knotweed rhizome is knotted in appearance and has a leather-like brown bark. Inside the rhizome there can be an orangey-brown central core or sometimes the rhizome will be hollow with an orange or yellow colour.

The 'knots' in Japanese knotweed rhizomes are nodes, and each of these knotty nodes can potentially become a new plant if the rhizome is dug up and moved.

Moving Japanese knotweed in winter

A lot of people assume that because Japanese knotweed looks dead in the winter, it can be dug up and dumped at this time of year without any repercussions; but, as we have explained, the rhizomes are very much alive and will almost certainly trigger a regrowth wherever they are dumped. There are a number of laws, legislation and regulations regarding the disposal of Japanese knotweed, so it is important to dismiss any ideas of knotweed being safe to dig up and dispose of in the winter.

Find out more about Japanese knotweed

Still unsure with identifying Japanese knotweed?

If you need to speak to a Japanese knotweed expert, then call 0808 231 9218.

Alternatively contact us using our online contact form and a local Japanese knotweed expert will get back to you.