Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Problem Weeding out the Knots; Chris Scott Examines What Is Being an Increasingly Knotty Problem for All of Us

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Problem Weeding out the Knots; Chris Scott Examines What Is Being an Increasingly Knotty Problem for All of Us

Article excerpt

RECENTLY, while walking along the banks of the River Wear on my way to Emirates Durham ICG, I made my first discovery of the infamous Japanese knotweed plant. And believe me, there was a lot of it!

Japanese Knotweed, a bamboolike plant, was introduced into the UK during the mid-19th Century and was initially very popular because of its ability to grow quickly and form dense screens.

However, it soon became the bugbear of many landscapers and gardeners as it dominated other indigenous species of vegetation.

During the first half of the 20th Century the plant spread at a rapid pace and eventually the government took action, including it in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, making it an offence to 'plant or otherwise cause Japanese Knotweed to grow in the wild'.

Over the past few years problems associated with Japanese Knotweed have been well publicised and, in some situations, mortgage lenders have declined loans, causing sales to fall through.

That said, some lenders will consider mortgage applications on a case-by-case basis. However, this is usually subject to remediation works having to be undertaken.

From a building's insurance viewpoint, there are some insurers that will not cover buildings where damage and problems are caused by the Knotweed.

Strands from the knotweed can get inside buried service pipes in search of water and cause drains to block up.

In some cases, where the roots are densely packed, this can disrupt the drainage runs resulting in them having to be renewed.

Roots can also grow between paving slabs and movement joints of concrete drives lifting brick paving. In this instance the repairs will usually involve lifting existing paving and bedding material, treatment of the plant, removal of the disruptive crowns and roots before replacement of the path, patio or drive. …

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