These five garden plants can devalue your home by 15% AND cost £15,000 to remove

Buying or selling a property is often a stressful time, especially when you have to deal with unforeseen problems. As we head into summer, it’s worth taking a look at your yard – as it turns out, some plants can not only damage your property, but also devalue it.

Some of the identified plants, while attractive in appearance, also literally have a thorn in their tail. They can not only damage your property, but also affect people’s health.

To better identify invasive plants before you buy a new home, or to help solve current problems in your garden, surveyors at have identified five of the most common garden plants that could degrade your property if not removed, as well as theirs estimated removal costs .

Continue reading:Mapped where dangerous giant hogweed grows in the Northeast

1.Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant with bamboo-like red shoots and shovel-shaped leaves. It can grow up to three meters tall in spring and summer, but the worst thing about this plant is that its roots can reach up to 20 meters underground.

According to Stokemont, underground spread of Japanese knotweed could damage pipes and drains and weaken building foundations or pavement, leading to collapse of foundations and poor flood defenses.

Because of this damage, Japanese knotweed is listed by the Homebuyer Reports of the Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (RICS) as a property defect, with the potential to reduce the price of your property by 5% to 15%.

Estimated removal costs – up to £15,000

2. Ivy

Ivy on the wall of a house
Ivy on the wall of a house

English ivy is widespread throughout Europe and dangerous for your home. With a strong wall-climbing ability, this garden invader can easily enter your wall cracks, damaging the grout and bringing moisture or leaks into the house.

Estimated removal costs – up to £1,000

3. Giant Bear Claw

Giant Bear Claw
Giant Bear Claw

Similar to Japanese knotweed, Giant Hogweed is also invasive with its ability to spread quickly. Easier to spot in June and July, this cow parsley-like plant has thick green stems with purple spots and white flowers shaped like a round umbrella.

It is widespread throughout the UK, particularly around rivers and ponds, its sap is phototoxic and can cause severe skin burns or scarring when exposed to sunlight. Although no direct damage is done to the property, buyers can still refuse to pay a higher price if they are present because of it high removal costs.

Estimated removal costs – up to £15,000

4. Poplars, willows and oaks

An oak
An oak

While most trees do no harm, tall trees do poplar, willow and oak can be dangerous if grown near the property. With poplars, for example, their shallow and fast-growing root systems can spread up to 40 meters and absorb 1,000 liters of water and nutrients from the soil.

They could live for around 50 years and are harder to remove as their roots thicken and grow over time. Your age, soil type, location, and depth play a role in deciding if your tree is a problem.

If grown too close to your property, they could introduce further risks of cracking in foundations, settlement, and other structural defects.

Estimated removal costs – up to £3,000

5. Himalayan Balm

Himalayan Balm
Himalayan Balm

As the name suggests, balsam originated in the Himalayas and was brought to Britain in 1839. It grows two to three meters tall and has pink flowers in summer and early fall.

Despite its beautiful colors, this invasive plant could seed 800 meters away or even be spread by rivers, potentially killing other plants and reducing biodiversity by stealing light, nutrients or water.

It poses no physical danger to humans, but its significant ecological impact on nature and related laws are not favored by buyers. It is therefore recommended to keep this plant under control or eradicate it and ensure it does not spread to your neighbors’ house as it may be illegal.

Estimated removal costs – up to £2,000

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