Articles

Published by: Steven Smith

Don’t tie yourself in knots

Japanese knotweed may seem like something more appropriate for discussion on Radio 4’s “Gardners’ Question Time” rather than in the offices of a firm of solicitors but you would be surprised. Japanese knotweed has been reported on more and more by the mainstream press which has led to a greater public understanding and awareness of it. For example there was a significant infestation discovered during the building of the Olympic stadium in Stratford. Together with an increasingly litigious society, where knotweed is to be found in someone’s garden, the matter can often end up on a solicitor’s desk.

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant: it grows and spreads quickly from deep underground “rhizome” structures and can penetrate brick work and concrete. It is difficult to eradicate (chemical treatments can take a number of years) and digging it out is not only very expensive, but relies on you catching it all in order to be completely effective. As a result, Japanese knotweed can, depending on the extent of the infestation, seriously affect the value of any property or land where it may be found.

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