Japanese Knotweed: It costs thousands to banish invasive weeds — key signs they’re in your garden

Japanese knotweed is an aggressive weed that spreads quickly and is notoriously difficult to get rid of once it has invaded your garden. The tall, dense stems begin to grow in early summer, but how can you tell if you have a Japanese knotweed problem near your property? You should pay attention to these signs in order not to lose up to 10 percent of the value of your home.

Allowing Japanese knotweed to run wild in your garden can cause a variety of problems that are not only annoying but can also cost you a small fortune.

The highly aggressive weed can cause significant damage to property and property and comes with multiple regulations for its removal to prevent spread.

Mark Montaldo, director of leading law firm CEL Solicitors, said: “Japanese knotweed can scare homeowners because of its reputation for being extremely invasive and difficult to manage.

“While it is not illegal to have this invasive plant on your property, it can quickly damage and devalue your home, and you could become the subject of a legal claim if it migrates from your land to your neighbors.”

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This is how you can tell if Japanese knotweed is growing in your garden

This pesky plant is often a major problem for homes as it can grow up to two meters tall and is particularly difficult to remove.

In fact, CEL Solicitors claim it can reduce a property’s value by as much as 10 per cent while costing you thousands of pounds to remedy.

Mr Montaldo added: “There are a few telltale signs that could identify a knotweed problem early on and it’s always better to address the problem at the first possible opportunity.”

It’s possible to catch the invasive weeds early when they start growing in spring and summer, but what exactly should you look for?

Tall bamboo-like canes in summer

The tall green canes can grow up to an alarming 10cm per day in the summer, making it even harder for homeowners to address the ever-growing problem.

Rapid growth makes this weed easier to spot during the warmer months when the canes and foliage are even more prominent in your garden.

The hollow stems appear dark green with purple speckles and begin to resemble bamboo canes—reaching up to 10 feet in height.

The heart-shaped green leaves also grow larger and show prominent ribs and veins.

In addition to the prominent roots and leaves, the plant sometimes bears clusters of small white flowers towards the end of the season.

What to do if you find Japanese knotweed on your property?

If you let this invasive weed roam free, you could potentially become unsellable or even re-weed your home. Therefore, it’s important to seek expert advice as soon as you spot the first signs of Japanese knotweed.

This is crucial to both realizing the magnitude of the problem and understanding your own responsibilities in the event of a dispute with your neighbors.

If you have Japanese knotweed in your garden, you could run into several legal issues – but what are you liable for?

The law firm said, “If knotweed spreads, the party responsible for not controlling the plant could be forced to pay specialists to eradicate it.”

It is also your legal obligation to declare the presence of the plant when selling a home, which may affect a buyer’s willingness to pay.

However, if you have recently moved into a property and discover an issue with undeclared Japanese knotweed, you may be entitled to some form of compensation.

CEL Solicitors said, “If the invasive plant grows on the property within five years of purchase, the new owner may have claims against the previous owner for misrepresentation or against the surveyor for professional negligence.”

Without taking action to remove it, the weeds will continue to grow and overtake the existing flora as well as spread to the surrounding land.

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