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28/06/2013 at 11:53

Can anyone help please?  We have recently moved into a house in Wallingford, and have discovered Japanese Knotweed in the garden.  We understand lenders will not offer a mortgage on the house while the knotweed is there, which means we would find it very difficult to sell.  It also seems that the only way to make it mortgageable again is to employ a professional company to remove the knotweed and offer a warranty for the work.  We're happy to do this, but it seems to be coming in from our neighbour's land, since there is a hedge of it directly behind our back wall!  Our neighbours want to cut it down themselves, and are refusing to allow a company access onto their land, even though we have offered to pay for it. And knotweed removal companies tell me that it would be difficult to get rid of just from our land, they'd need to do the neighbours as well.  We've tried reasoning with the neighbours, but they remain adamant.  Help!  What can we do?

28/06/2013 at 12:09

I don't know if this will help you, but I had an horrendous problem with Mares tail.  The area I live in is totally overun with the stuff.  It grows up through people's drives, the pavements, the garden et al.  I was despairing as two particularly beautiful borders were taken over by this weed, to the point where it strangled loads of plants I had in there.  I knew the RHS at Harrogate had a similar problem and had glyphosated the entire affected border, losing everything that was in it.  I couldn't afford to do that.  I trawled the internet and found this piece of advice.  It has certainly curtailed the infestation though it will be an ongoing job, but of a much smaller scale than when I started. It may not eradicate the weed, but this will certainly curtail it while you work on your neighbour.  Using sachets of glyphosate add them to water as instructed.  Then add wallpaper paste to the water and mix.  When it's thick and gloopy (as the wallpaper paste instructions), use it to paint onto each leaf and stalk.  Even if it rains twenty minutes after you have applied it, it will be ok.  The first year I did this it was a soul destroying, mammoth task, last year was not so bad and this year it's been a doddle.  You have to wait until there is plenty of leaf growth to make sure it gets absorbed.  Use it where ever you have a problem, I am sure it will make a massive difference for you.

28/06/2013 at 15:20

Hi Monica,

I'm sorry to hear about your garden, I feel for you.  But it's good to hear that you've got it under control.  Many thanks for your advice, I will get some glyphosate.  I think I'll just need to persevere.  As for the neighbours, I'll also spray it on some of their knotweed that's overhanging our garden, that should make a start on theirs:-;

Thanks again, and good luck with you borders.

28/06/2013 at 15:29

Hi Gail, I sympathise as this is becoming a problem. If the property is knowingly sold with knotweed on it you have a legal route you can go down but I appreciate that may not be feasible. My ex has a little  in his new property which  was coming from adjacent woodland which is council maintained. They are treating it with glyphosate although he had problems initially getting the council to address the problem. As you say - you don't want it to ba an issue in future for you. I also know of someone who had to back out of a purchase as it was discovered at the last minute there was knotweed and it turned out the seller knew about it. Very naughty. Good luck with it. At least they say now that glyphosate works - you used to have to get  a company to remove and burn it etc. 

28/06/2013 at 15:37

Many thanks for your suggestions, I'm hearing of buyers backing out as well.  Sellers are indeed naughty sometimes.  Ours is insisting that he didn't know about it and so isn't liable for anything, but it seems to be common knowledge in the street, so I think he must have. I'll try the glyphosate, including I think the knotweed that's overhanging our back wall from the neighbour:-;

28/06/2013 at 16:05

You may want to pursue the vendor after looking at this website.  You are in for a lot hassle 

 

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/wildlife/130079.aspx

28/06/2013 at 16:52

I know, I've seen it, eeeek......  Our solicitor's currently in negotiations with the vendor, the surveyor and the vendor's solicitor to see what she can do.  After talking to the neighbours, it seems to be common knowledge in the area, I think everyone knew it was there except us.

28/06/2013 at 18:20

We got rid of ours with glyphosate, double dosage!. First chopped it all down and after that sprayed/filled the hollow stalks and every little leaf that dared to show itself. Took two Spring/Summers but it has definitely disappeared and never came back. Good luck!

28/06/2013 at 19:50

Received wisdom seems to be that you must inject glyphosate into the base section of the stem in Autumn.  

Frankly trying to spray the tops of the neighbours Knotweed is going to be totally ineffective.  It will also get you into trouble if you touch anything not on your property, however tempting it may be.

28/06/2013 at 20:05

Very interesting comments. We have two large areas of it on our family owned land where i have my allotment. One area my brother in law has been cutting down for the last two years. It has become a lot weaker  with constant cutting. the other area i have started on this year, it's difficult to chop as it's on a streep slope. We are thinking of using weedkiller . Swiss Sue how much leaf was on yours when you sprayed it? I have heard about injecting the stems but we have so much of it!  If we could get rid of it i would like to replant like a wild flower meadow but i don't know how long it will take or if it will come back. ITS THE WORST WEED ANYONE CAN HAVE!

 

30/06/2013 at 17:20

I have spoken to a national  trust ranger. If you look at there web site for details ,someone will be happy to advise you.

30/06/2013 at 17:37

Just a little comment here...If you do cut it it does have to be disposed of in the proper manner or you can be fined. Also anything you chop that hits the ground will try and grow again.

30/06/2013 at 17:39

And Gail how close is it to your neighbours house? MIght help if you told them that if it gets into their foundations they will have serious problems. 

30/06/2013 at 17:52

addict, what do you suggest is the proper manner?  Certainly not with the green waste if you think it grows from cut down stems.  Does it?  I know it will re-grow from every little bit of root left in the ground. Roots must never be put in with green waste.

I think it is pretty inert once it has completely dried out.  Perhaps it could be laid on concrete until absolutely dead.

30/06/2013 at 18:01

...."It spreads through its crown, rhizome (underground stem) and stem segments, rather than its seeds. The weed can grow a metre in a month and can cause heave below concrete and tarmac, coming up through the resulting cracks and damaging buildings and roads. Studies have shown that a 1cm section of rhizome can produce a new plant in 10 days. Rhizome segments can remain dormant in soil for twenty years before producing new plants.".....

...."Environmental Protection Act 1990
Japanese Knotweed is classed as ‘controlled waste’ and as such must be disposed of safely at a licensed landfill site according to the Environmental Protection Act (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991. Soil containing rhizome material can be regarded as contaminated and, if taken off a site, must be disposed of at a suitably licensed landfill site and buried to a depth of at least 5 m."..... 

30/06/2013 at 18:05

You can always eat it.  Tastes like rhubarb, apparently......

http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/sussex/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8634000/8634285.stm

 

30/06/2013 at 18:11

Gail would it be worth asking a few of the neighbours to make a little statement to the effect that they knew there was knotweed and so did the vendor? Perhaps ask your solicitor if this would be useful first. If they knew it was there then you have some comeback at least. The country programme we have up here called 'Landward'had  anarticle on knotweed recently and they were injecting the stems with glyphosate. 

Good luck with getting a resolution. It's a serious problem which needs addressing properly and estate agents and building surveyors need to get wise too.

30/06/2013 at 18:29

Dont you have to notify DEFRA when you find knotweed? with grid reference.

On the plus side i have heard it is good for making bee homes,instead of 

 using bamboo!

 

 

30/06/2013 at 19:04

Unfortunately not Patty. Not classed as a notifiable weed just have to dispose of it properly. 

21/04/2014 at 12:55

Just bought a house with knotweed and as the lawn was badly overgrown it is clear that the vendor probably didn't know.  Neighbours have I too but didn't know what it was til I pointed it out.  I blasted mine with sbk all last year and it is growing back again.  Apparently it will take a few seasons and the domestic weed killer is probably not strong enough.  I asked a Japanese friend who said that I could concrete over it but it would grow sideways and who knows where that would come up.... And I would be liable....  So I will keep going with the weedkiller... May take several years so patience is needed.  Damn those silly Victorians for introducing it as an ornamental plant... It looks ugly to me....  They say not to get the dust of the stems on your shoes and get rid of all of the cane by burning.  A specialist told me not to cut it as some sites tell you as it encourages the growth.  Chemicals are best and injecting the stems shows more success.... Good luck everyone

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