Poor guidance from the local councils would cause a widespread growth of Japanese knotweed, one of the most destructive species in the UK. In worse cases, they can damage the surrounding ecosystem and block your mortgage offers or house sales. Before hiring a professional service to eradicate these damaging plants, it is necessary to understand a few properties and its impacts on your garden.
What is Japanese knotweed?
Also known as fallopia japonica, the Japanese knotweed is typically a perennial plant which is native to Japan and associated with buckwheat. It often develops in dense clumps, and the stems might reach the height of your chest. In many countries, this plant is listed as ‘invasive species’.
The Japanese knotweed was sent to the UK in 1850 by a botanist named Philipp Siebold. Within four years, it was sold widely by many commercial nurseries for feeding animals. However, they didn’t know that this species can bring many adverse effects to the surrounding environment.
How bad is Japanese knotweed for a garden?
For many reasons, the Japanese knotweed is often considered the most invasive, destructive, and aggressive plant in the UK. It can cause many problems to your garden and the surrounding areas, including:
Japanese knotweed has a negative impact on the ecosystem in your garden by crowding out and dominating over native vegetation, thus limiting the diversity of animal and plant species. Many studies even show the proof of allelopathy, which is the release of substances that would suppress the development of other plants.
– Flood risk and water quality
Aquatic species can’t process the leaves of Japanese knotweed compared to other native vegetation that it replaces. As a result, it changes the whole food chain. Dense foliage in the summer leads to heavy shading of streams, thus reducing the number of aquatic plants. Also, profuse Japanese knotweed canes might lower the capacity of surrounding river channels for carrying floodwater.
– Infrastructure damage
Japanese knotweed can proliferate at nearly a yard each week. Thus its underground stems and roots are notorious for penetrating through building foundations, asphalt, concrete walls, or even drains, thus causing severe damage. This might eventually add considerable expenses to regeneration and development schemes.
– Housing devaluation
The presence of Japanese knotweed around your garden might have a significant impact on the perceived and actual value of your property. In some cases, a mortgage provider can refuse your application if they notice knotweed in your house.
– Huge costs of repairing
The damage caused by Japanese knotweed’s stems and roots might cost the UK’s economy millions of pounds each year in property devaluation, infrastructure damage, and weed control. Most control methods mainly rely on toxic chemicals, which can be unsustainable and have long-term effects on the environment.