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Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an aggressive weed that can grow up to 10cm a day. It is now the most invasive plant species in this country and across the UK. Japanese knotweed has been known to cause major damage to properties and in some cases, it can lead to mortgages being refused.
Where did Japanese knotweed come from and why is it such a problem? Read on to find out more...
Japanese knotweed, as you may guess, originated in eastern Asia. Its natural habitat is on the side of volcanoes but it has spread into populated areas and has flourished on waste ground.
It was introduced to Britain by the Victorians as both an ornamental plant and a cattle feed. Unfortunately, Japanese knotweed has no natural enemies in Britain to keep it in check. No wildlife eats it and no other plants can compete with its exponential growth. This means the invasive weed has flourished to extreme proportions across the country and the rest of the UK. Experts have estimated it costs the country £166 million annually.
To learn more about its history, visit our Japanese Knotweed timeline.
We have already discussed the impact Japanese knotweed has on natural habitat, but it is causing massive problems in populated areas too.
The biggest problems are caused when Japanese knotweed comes into contact with our homes and properties. The rhizome (or root) system can extend up to 3m in depth and 7m in all directions. These rhizomes can squeeze through the smallest cracks in masonry and concrete, meaning they pose a serious threat to building foundations and drains. This damage can make buildings structurally unsound and has led to panic among mortgage lenders.
This recent video report from the BBC One Show on Japanese Knotweed damage explains the problems further.
For more information on Japanese knotweed, or to find out what to do if it encroaches on your property, check out the links below:
Unsure if you have Japanese knotweed on your property? If so, check out our videos to help you identify a Japanese knotweed problem.Japanese Knotweed identification
Find out why Japanese knotweed has become such an issue and the potential problems it can cause to your propertyJapanese knotweed damage
If you suspect Japanese knotweed is affecting your property then give us a call on 0808 231 9218 for help and advice. Our trained and qualified surveyors are based all across the country so rest assured that we will have a local branch near you.
Alternatively, you can click the button below to contact our team online.
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