Another plant brought to Britain as an ornamental garden plant but now considered an invasive non-native species is Japanese Knotweed. It is very fast growing with tall and dense annual stems that grow up from rhizomes in the ground that penetrate deeply. Japanese knotweed removal UK is an ongoing battle and it is now illegal to cause it to grow in the wild as stated in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. There are also laws about the buying and selling of property if the weed is present.
What does it look like?
The purple-red shoots emerge from pink buds at ground level in the spring. They grow quickly and by summer they are over 2m in height making up a dense collection of canes that have purple flecks and have branches along their length. The leaves that grow are shaped like shovels or hearts and are up to 14cm long. In late summer and early autumn white flower tassels grow. It rarely seeds though here, rather it spreads through parts of the rhizomes. The stems die down to the ground in the winter but left behind are dry canes.
Laws on invasive non-native plants such as Japanese knotweed
In the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 there is a section that covers invasive non-native plants including Japanese knotweed. You can legally have it in your garden but it should be controlled growth. You should not allow it to spread to other people’s gardens or to the wild. If there is a problem of out of control growth you should work with your neighbours to control it or hire professionals to help. You can also contact your local council for advice. Japanese knotweed removal UK disposal must be done at licensed sites only.
Japanese knotweed removal
Digging out this weed is very hard without professional help because of how deep it can go. When having it removed and disposed of you need to use registered waste carriers or you have to dry and burn it. It should never be placed in green waste collections or regular household waste. If you choose this method it is unlikely you will completely remove it.