Journalist Matt Rudd produced an excellent article on Japanese knotweed.
Entitled “The Plant that Ate Britain”, this article was published in the Sunday Times Magazine on July 13th 2014. It’s worth a read if you want to know more about this highly invasive weed. Download Japanese knotweed – The Plant that Ate Britain
The article provides a good overview of the problems caused by Japanese knotweed. It gives an update on the progress being made by CABI on the bug. It also makes mention of a leading knotweed eradication specialist, who I am pleased to say is us, Environet UK Ltd.
Ten years ago hardly anyone I spoke to had heard of Japanese knotweed. I now find there are very few people who haven’t heard of it, so at least the awareness battle seems to be being won.
It seems that the battle to rid it from our shores is however not being won. Daily reports of new infestations are common – the plant spreading its invasive rhizome system via soil movement and encroaching into new properties to wreak havoc for the unfortunate owner.
Is now the time to deploy more resources to prevent it eating up more of Britain?
Legislation is changing, particularly on the chemical front. The ban on pichloram, one of the most effective herbicides in the fight against Japanese knotweed, leaves the less effective but safer glyphosate based formulations as the herbicide that many will now need to resort to. I don’t think that will help the fight, but equally I’m not a great fan of throwing herbicides around that don’t discriminate between knotweed and other prized plants, and cause damage to the environment.
That’s why we continue to develop our Xtract™ process which is the most natural and eco friendly solution available. We physically remove the root system and not the soil. The method was designed originally for large commercial development sites, but such has been its success it has been adapted to make it suitable for most residential situations too. We don’t need to rely on herbicides, and we don’t need to consign loads of infested soil off site. The process is quick, considerably cheaper than other physical removal methods, albeit a bit more expensive than herbicide treatment. As the old adage goes “You get what you pay for”.