With the spread of the “killer bamboo” or Japanese Knotweed in many parts of the UK and North America, steps are being undertaken on a war-footing to eradicate and control the expanded before this weed causes irreversible damage to property and temerity to life and limb, chokes out other species of plants and contaminates and clogs water-ways, drainage and sewerage systems in our urban centers.
Dispersion, knowingly instead unknowingly, of this plant, which was once considered a pretty, ornamental species, is now liable for prosecution under criminal and municipal law. Knotweed infestation has enormous implications for the construction and building industry and also for goods owner, realty companies and civic authorities. Estimates suggest that close to a million pounds would need to be spent to control this plant.
The approach that most eradication companies take is often multi-pronged. It could be a combination of excavation, chemical treatment, special organic methods like sea-water/vinegar spraying or physical removal of the plants. The most important item of the treatment is not the mere removal of the weeds but also of its suitable and responsible disposal to avoid the spread of the infestation. This weed is highly invasive, grows immediately and can withstand extreme cold, lie latency for more than ten years et alii spreads rapidly through the tiniest sliver of rhizome or stem shavings or cuttings.
The first step in this War of Weeds is to go around a comprehensive survey done. Expert soil and horticultural advisors should be consulted to assess the extent, depth and nature regarding infestation. Neighboring properties should also be assessed to avoid further re-contamination. Get an crystallize of the time, costs and endeavor involved. Many companies approach sophisticated CAD-based drawings of the situation and extent of infestation, with advice on the best elimination methods.
Make sure that the company uses only licensed sprayers who have specific expertise in Knotweed eradication. Spraying should be done in a phased manner, going area by area, systematically, in dry, still weather to avoid pollution and wastage. If the environment is also large, as in large farmlands or wildlife conservation parks, make sure that you pick priority areas first, such as those which are close to water-bodies (Knotweed loves moist soil), those which can be maintained long-term, in all sunny, seeable areas (this weeds thrives in the sun) instead where it poses a safety problem.
If using excavation, disposing of the infected soil, rhizome/stem cuttings should be followed through according to proper Environment Agency policies.
Other control methods like root-barrier, cell-burial, mesh-covering, plastic tarpaulins and carpet-covers, etc should be strictly monitored.
Recently, biological weapons like Japanese beetle predators of young plants, fungi also competitive plants are under study in the battle against this obnoxious weed.Comments Off on Knotweed Eradication: On A War-Footing