How To Identify Japanese Knotweed In Winter | TP Knotweed Solutions

Japanese Knotweed Identification in Winter

You’d be hard-pressed to spot Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia Japonica) during the winter months, but does that mean you should let your guard down?

Does Knotweed die in winter?

The plants foliage does die back in the winter, leaving brown brittle canes above ground which, over the coming years will break down.

But, don’t be fooled by its winter slumber. Whilst the canes will break and resemble dead bamboo in appearance, there will be a dense layer of past canes in various stages of decomposure along with the leaves surrounding the base or crown of the plant.

These will be masking the new shoots which begin to make their way to the surface in time for the advent of Spring. These piles of decomposing canes and leaves also attract unwanted guests making ideal hiding spots for foxes as well as breeding grounds for rats.

How do you recognise knotweed in winter?

If you do try to identify knotweed in winter yourself, here is what you should look out for:

  • Straw or light brown coloured canes
  • Canes will be hollow, resembling bamboo
  • Some canes will remain upright but often be collapsing and intertwined with canes from previous years’ growth
  • Depending on how mild the winter has been, you may find some shoots of next year’s growth underneath

Take a look at our knotweed gallery to help you identify Japanese Knotweed.

Use our photo uploader and we can help identify the plant for you.

Is knotweed still a threat in winter?

It is less of an immediate threat during the winter months. What you must remember about Japanese Knotweed is that it spreads by its underground rhizomes/roots which lie dormant, but alive, during the winter months.

The rhizomes can spread over great distances and at depths of more than a metre. It is this root system that can cause the most devastating damage, punching through concrete, onto neighbouring property, causing damage to structures and other plant life.

And wherever the rhizomes spread, new growth will appear during Spring and Summer.

How do you get rid of knotweed?

During the winter, traditional methods such as foliar spray and stem injection aren’t effective against the plant.

The best solution is excavation, usually using a mechanical digger to ensure all of the rhizome is completely removed.

Remember that Knotweed is identified as a controlled substance. As such you must comply with article 34 and section 33 of the environmental protection act (1990) and ensure, amongst other steps, that you are licensed to dispose of contaminated soil.

See our guide for more information on Japanese Knotweed and the law.

Best way to get rid of Japanese Knotweed

Put simply, call the experts! At TP Knotweed Solutions we offer peace of mind as a registered waste carrier, safe contractor approved and we work closely with organisations such as the property care association to ensure we comply with all legal requirements whilst offering complete and permanent removal of knotweed from households and commercial land.

Our work is guaranteed and backed by care and maintenance programmes and mortgage guarantees.

Think your property could have knotweed?