The famous Japanese knotweed is known to be Britain’s most invasive plant and has just emerged from hibernation.
Japanese knotweed has a bad reputation among horticulturalists and homeowners, as this incredibly invasive plant can damage property and land beyond recognition.
The zombie-like plant can grow a whopping four inches per day between May and July, causing thousands of pounds of damage.
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The government estimates it would cost Â£ 1.5bn to rid the UK of knotweed and landowners who fail to stop the plant from spreading on their land face fines and even jail time under ASBO legislation.
Japanese knotweed heat map of Dorset hotspots.
As the UK’s most invasive plant enters its spring growth phase, Japanese knotweed expert Environet reveals the latest hot spots using data from its interactive online tracker, Talk: the heat map of Japanese knotweed.
With over 54,000 known Japanese knotweed infestations, which traces the plant’s spread across the UK, Exposed is advising homeowners and potential buyers of the local presence of Japanese knotweed and the potential risk to their property.
Users can enter a zip code to find the number of reported knotweed sightings nearby, with hot spots highlighted in yellow or red.
Dorset Japanese knotweed hotspots for 2021 are:
Japanese knotweed hotspots in Dorset
How to spot a Japanese knotweed infestation:
After its winter hibernation, knotweed begins to grow in March or April, depending on local soil temperature, reaching up to 3 meters in height by mid-summer.
Homeowners spending more time in their gardens this spring may notice purple or red asparagus-like shoots emerging from the ground and quickly developing into lush green shrubs with heart-shaped or shovel-shaped leaves and rose-speckled stems. .
What effect does this have on your property?
Growing through cracks in concrete, driveways, patios, paths, drains, and even cavity walls in our homes, Japanese knotweed can reduce a property’s value by 10% and make it difficult to sell, sell, or sell. unless a professional treatment plan is in place. with a guarantee backed by insurance to satisfy mortgage lenders.
Around 5% of homes are currently affected, either directly or indirectly (near an affected property), according to Environet research, causing around Â£ 20bn in UK house prices to drop.
How can we stop the infestation?
The general public can help in the fight against knotweed by reporting suspicious plants using the heat map’s ‘add sighting’ feature and attaching a photo for expert review.
Emily Grant, Environmentet’s regional director for Dorset, said: âKnowledge is power when it comes to Japanese knotweed and this heat map is invaluable to homeowners and buyers who want to assess the risk in their area. With the extension of the stamp duty holiday and foreclosure restrictions starting to ease, the real estate market is busier than ever – but not making the proper checks for knotweed can be a costly mistake.
âDespite its appalling reputation, with professional help, the plant can be treated and the value of a property largely restored. I urge anyone buying or selling a property, or homeowners wishing to preserve the value of their home, to be vigilant for signs of spring growth and to check Exposed to see if they live in a high risk area.
Japanese knotweed can reach 10 cm per day between May and June.
Japanese knotweed facts
- Japanese knotweed arrived in the UK in the 1840s, in box number 34 of 40 Chinese and Japanese plant species delivered to Kew Gardens
- Knotweed grows at an incredible rate of about 10 cm per day from May to July
- When fully developed, it can grow up to 3 meters tall
- Around Â£ 166million is spent annually to process the plant in the UK
- Government estimates it would cost Â£ 1.5bn to rid UK of knotweed
- Japanese knotweed can remain dormant but alive underground for up to 20 years
- Sniffer dogs now help with knotweed, detecting the unique scent of its rhizome under the ground
- Homeowners who fail to stop the spread of knotweed on their land can face fines and even jail time under ASBO legislation.
To view Japanese knotweed infestations in your area or to report a sighting, visit: https://environetuk.com/exposed-japanese-knotweed-heat-map