Code of Practice For Japanese Knotweed Removal


Japanese Knotweed RemovalJapanese knotweed has been a problem in the UK for longer than all of us can remember. It’s destroyed crops, roads and buildings and its relentless march in the UK and Europe is costing home owners, businesses and the Government over 150 million GBP on eradication measures each year. Japanese Knotweed removal is no easy task as the plants’ underground network of roots, or rhizome can burst into life even when the plant above ground has been completely removed.

Common solutions include chemical control such as herbicide spraying and stem injection, or physical removal which involves a hell of a lot of digging and earth disposal when done properly. Physical removal is best left to a professional company as doing it yourself can not only be ineffective in the long run, but may also lumber you with a hefty fine if you do not follow the guidelines for Knotweed removal.

Knotweed does not cause the problems it causes in Europe and North America in its native Japan, Korea and China as at home, it is controlled by native insects and diseases. One such insect is a psyllid called Aphalara Itadori and this tiny thing is the first insect which has been approved for Japanese Knotweed treatment within the EU. In spring 2010, the psyllid was released in a couple of closely monitored sites in England where continued safety testing is still going on. A psyllid is a host specific insect which does not, or should not move onto other plants when it’s preferred Japanese Knotweed has been eradicated.

This is the latest in a long line of Knotweed Solutions and judging by results so far, the introduction of the psyllid may be the final nail in the dreaded weed’s coffin. However with test still under way, it will be some time before we fully understand what impact this new Knotweed treatment will have before it can be rolled out across the country. In the mean time those of us who are in need of professional Japanese Knotweed removal will have to use the traditional methods used by professional knotweed removal companies.

Japanese Knotweed treatment has a new weapon in its arsenal in the form of a tiny insect, barely a few millimetres from head to tail, but it will be spending a few more years in closely monitored tests before it is allowed to be used alongsidethe existing solutions, and possibly superseding them all by eradicating Japanese Knotweed once and for all.

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japanese knotweed removal

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