Is it Worth Buying a House with Japanese Knotweed?

Is it Worth Buying a House with Japanese Knotweed?
 
 
 
 

You’ll have read that Japanese knotweed causing issues for developers who discover it on their site or for homeowners who find it in their garden, but how hard is it to remove? It can grow as high as 15 feet, and its bamboo-like stems are difficult to remove. It’s very resilient, so you can’t leave it and expect it to die off. It will tolerate deep shade, high temperatures, high soil salinity, and even drought. It’s usually found by streams and rivers and in disturbed areas, including pathways and near old homes and farms.

What’s the Problem?

You might be wondering what the issue is. If you own a lot of land, perhaps Japanese knotweed won’t cause too much of a problem, but it spreads quickly and is very resilient. It grows beyond the height of most other plants, so it will leave them in shade. You will also find that the ground around the knotweed allows for very little other growth, and the soil’s susceptible to erosion.

knotweed

Property Prices

At this time, Japanese knotweed is found in 42 states, so it’s a problem for most of us. It can leave you with an unsellable property or make you reduce the asking price by as much as 20 percent. Although single young plants can be removed by hand, a herbicide treatment remains the most cost-effective Japanese knotweed treatment. Don’t mow or cut Japanese knotweed as small pieces can spread and re-sprout. If you remove by hand, make sure you remove the whole root system, or re-sprouting can occur. You’ll also need to bag and dispose of the plant responsibly.

Chemical Control

If you hire a professional firm to remove Japanese knotweed, they will control it with chemicals. Most apply glyphosate and triclopyr herbicides to freshly cut stems or foliage. Of course, you can go out and do this for yourself. If you choose that route, check your local environmental rules to determine which chemicals are legally allowed to be used in your area.

Identifying it

Before you go crazy ripping up every weed worrying that it might be Japanese knotweed, let’s help you identify it. This weed has an upright, shrubby appearance. It resembles bamboo and is generally between three and 15 feet high. Its stems are smooth and hollow. Its leaves are broad and rounded at the base. They’re between oval and triangular-shaped with a point at the tip and between three and six inches. It has branched sprays of greenish-white flowers between August and September. Tiny, winged fruits that are triangular and shiny and about 1/10 inch are the main way knotweed spreads as they’re carried in the wind.

Buying a Property with Knotweed

Buying a property with Japanese knotweed can save you a lot of money, but is it the right thing to do? As with any issue at the property, including remedial work to the structure of the building, you need to know exactly how much it will cost to remove. Get three quotes from specialists, research what it will cost to carry out yourself, and then offer the property. If you’re going to leave it at your property, you will need to control it and make sure it doesn’t spread to neighboring homes. As with any weed, the severity of the infestation will dictate how much time and effort is needed to keep it under control.

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