How to recognise Japanese knotweed?

/ Agents, Blocks of flats, Freeholders, Landlords, Leaseholders, News

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You have a legal responsibility to control it.

Japanese knotweed (Fallopia Japonica) has the potential to damage buildings and structures as well as overpowering native species, and the peak growing season is here again.

This invasive plant thrives in early spring and in any type of soil, no matter how poor. It grows as much as 20 centimetres per day, and can reach a height of 1.5 metres by May and 3 metres by June.

Luckily if an outbreak of Japanese Knotweed or other hybrid of knotweed establishes itself at your premises and your block of flats buildings insurance policy with Deacon is underwritten by Covea, we will now cover the costs to eradicate and dispose of the waste up to £10,000*.

The Japanese knotweed plant can regenerate from rhizome (a root found underground) fragments as small as 0.7gram and can remain dormant in the soil for over four years.  Clearly, a professional approach to its eradication is vital if 100% success is to be guaranteed – and if you are to stay on the right side of the law.

Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to allow the plant to spread. All parts of the plant, and any soil contaminated with the rhizome, are classified as “controlled waste”, and you have a “duty of care” under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

If you think you may have Japanese Knotweed affecting your property, it is vital that action is taken to eradicate it.

You can download the Environment Agency’s Code of Practice here
(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/536762/LIT_2695.pdf)

How to recognise Japanese Knotweed?

  • It produces fleshy red tinged shoots when it first breaks through the ground
  • It has large, heart or spade-shaped green leaves
  • It has leaves arranged in a zig-zag pattern along the stem
  • It has a hollow stem, like bamboo
  • It can form dense clumps that can be several metres deep
  • It produces clusters of cream flowers towards the end of July
  • It dies back between September and November, leaving brown stems

* Please refer to your flats insurance policy wording for full cover details.  As with all insurance policies, the policy is subject to limits, conditions and exclusions. For more information please contact us to discuss further, or request a full summary of the cover or the full policy terms and conditions.

Please be aware this blog does not purport to provide any legal or other professional advice nor is it making any recommendations; any action you take as a result of reading the information on this blog is taken at your own risk; Deacon is the legal copyright holder of all the material and it cannot be used, reprinted or published without Deacon’s written consent.

FP230-2017