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Is Japanese knotweed knotting you up?

View profile for Liam Waine
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Japanese Knotweed: friend or foe?

It’s always frustrating when weeds start sprouting in your beautiful green lawn or your pristine flower beds. Luckily, the majority of weeds are not too much of an issue and whilst frustrating, they can be easily removed without harm to the garden. However, this is not the case with all weeds.

Japanese knotweed is a weed that can cause serious issues to your garden and even your property, due to the fact that it can grow through concrete and tarmac and the roots can spread below ground for several meters. It is a fast growing weed that spreads rapidly, suppressing all other plant growth and is extremely difficult to get rid of.

So what does it look like? During spring it has distinctive red and purple shoots with dark green rolled back leaves. Japanese knotweed has bamboo-like stems and small white flowers which bloom in the summer before wilting back in autumn and winter ready to begin the same cycle the next spring.

Other than the possible structural issues, another main issue for home owners is that this weed can severely affect the value of your property. Accordingly, if you discover it in your garden it is important that you contact a specialist as soon as possible to seek advice on removal and eradication. If you fail to take steps to resolve the issue then you could be opening yourself up to a nuisance claim, should the issue begin to affect your neighbours’ properties too.  On the other hand, if it is determined that the route of the issue is coming from a different property, you yourself may have a nuisance claim against the person that owns the land where the source of the Japanese knotweed is located, which could result in you being able to force your neighbour to take steps to eradicate the weed. 

If you are discover Japanese knotweed in your garden and are advised that the root cause is from a different property, or receive notification of a claim being made against you due to the presence of Japanese knotweed on your property, then we may be able to assist. We have a specialist team that deals with these sorts of claims with the focus being on providing swift and pro-active advice.  If you receive notification of a potential claim then you should always seek legal advice before responding to the allegations. It is important that the solicitor has all the information relating to the matter. This will include any reports that you have obtained in relation to the Japanese knotweed from appropriate experts. 

At Stephensons we are able to provide you with a detailed advice relating to the matter and set out your options moving forward. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require assistance.  

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