Increased media attention over recent years means that more and more of us are becoming familiar with Japanese knotweed. We are also becoming more aware of its impacts; specifically the damage it can do to homes, neighbourhoods and businesses is left unchecked.
But where did it all begin? Where does knotweed come from?
The origins of Japanese knotweed
Japanese knotweed is a non-native plant, meaning that it did not naturally occur in the UK. In fact, our shores were knotweed-free until the early eighteen-hundreds, when the Victorians first imported samples from their travels to the Far East.
As its name suggests, Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is a native of Japan. The Victorians thought nothing of its impact on Britain when they brought it over, concerned only with its aesthetic value.
Its tall bamboo-like stems and delicate white flowers invoked associations of beauty, pride and eastern exoticism. Famed for their horticulturalism, it is unsurprising that the Victorians felt the need to import it for themselves.
Japanese knotweed in Britain
To begin with, Japanese knotweed was not a problem, imported in limited numbers by aficionados for stately gardens and other green-fingered displays. It is almost certain the Victorians did not know what they were letting themselves in for; in Japan, natural predators keep the plant number under control.
Of course, we know now how quickly and enthusiastically knotweed procreates. Within years of its importation, Japanese knotweed had escaped the ornamental gardens where it was originally kept.
Japanese knotweed’s escape
Britain lacks the natural predators required to keep knotweed under control. Once it had made its way out of controlled horticultural environments it spread quickly through the country. Japanese knotweed’s hardy characteristics mean it was as comfortable growing in built-up urban areas as it was the countryside. This resilience gave it a far reach.
Japanese knotweed now
Nowadays, Japanese knotweed has become an enduring problem. In many ways the issues it raises have increased in line with economic and financial ones; knotweed can cause costly damage to homes, businesses and urban infrastructures, requiring expensive repair work on all counts. It is also much more difficult and time-consuming to remove, when left to properly infest.
Japanese knotweed has assumed a public menace persona, but it is possible to remove with professional help. Using the latest methods, qualified officers trained in Japanese knotweed removal are able to guarantee complete removal of Japanese knotweed from a site, ensuring the safety and security of your premises.
Take action today and call one of our Japanese knotweed removal experts today on 0800 389 1911 or you can contact us here.