A leading Staffordshire expert is reporting high demand for Japanese Knotweed surveys as the invasive plant comes into late Summer bloom.
Rising awareness of the destructive properties of Japanese Knotweed has seen Japanese Knotweed Expert Ltd grow its Fenton-based team from three to 10 staff in recent times, with further growth set to take the team up to 15 by 2021. In just one day this Summer, the Fenton and Barlaston-based experts surveyed or treated 12 sites affected by the plant.
Jason Harker, Managing Director of Japanese Knotweed Expert Ltd said: “It is not unusual for Japanese knotweed to devalue a property by over £20,000, if it has not been treated professionally. It is so important therefore that a qualified company is involved as soon as the Japanese knotweed is identified to ensure minimal damage is caused to the property and that the valuation is not effected. The Government estimates it would cost £1.5bn to clear the UK of knotweed.
“It is important that people learn to identify Japanese Knotweed but equally anyone who discovers it should not think it is a continuous blight on their property. We can provide a solution backed by a 10-year guarantee that will allow homeowners or companies to sell their property,” said Jason who has 20-years of experience of tackling the invasive plant.
Japanese Knotweed Expert Ltd covers the whole of the UK from its offices in Stoke-on-Trent.
A recent YouGov survey suggested 32% of British adults, who are aware of Japanese knotweed, were prepared to go ahead and purchase an affected property, but at a reduced price. The majority of these, (26 per cent) would expect a discount of between 6 – 10 per cent, while 15 per cent would expect to knock off between just 1 – 5 per cent. A further 15 per cent would seek to reduce the price by more than a quarter.
Jason added: “The key factor with these figures is that they are dependent on a professional treatment and eradication plan being in place. Japanese Knotweed Expert Ltd was one of the first five companies in the UK to be qualified to have a fully certified Japanese Knotweed surveyor – this is vital to gain a mortgage. You are not under any legal obligations to remove Knotweed from your own property, although professional eradication is strongly advised, but the moment it encroaches upon your neighbour’s land or affects natural wildlife you are breaking the law. This could potentially lead to prosecution, fines, or even imprisonment for up to two years.”
In one recent case, Japanese Knotweed Expert Ltd helped leading vehicle hardware company Albert Jagger Ltd to remove the invasive plant so that they could sell a redundant site. Having identified several strands of Japanese Knotweed on the site in Romsey, Hampshire, treatment was recommended. This began in 2017 and has continued in 2018 and 2019. The sale of the site has now successfully gone through. Regular inspections of the site are still being carried-out to ensure that there is no further growth of the Japanese Knotweed and to treat any identified new growth. The visits will continue until the site has been completely free of new Japanese Knotweed growth for three years. It will then be declared as free from invasive weeds and a 10-year company and insurance backed guarantee will be issued to the site owner. This guarantee means that Japanese Knotweed Expert Ltd will revisit the site at any point to treat any new growth within the 10 years following the certificate of removal being issued.
Mark Hilton from Albert Jagger said: “Japanese Knotweed Expert were recommended to us and were professional and efficient from the very start. They were always happy to advise us on the best way to deal with the Japanese Knotweed on our site and the removal they carried out was cost efficient and timely. As a result, we have been able to sell our site with no issues and can now focus on the growth of the company at our other locations. I would be happy to recommend the Japanese Knotweed Expert team.”
Factfile: Japanese Knotweed was encouraged by some gardening experts in Victorian times and was used extensively to strengthen railway embankments, due to its incredibly strong root structure.
Japanese Knotweed can grow up to 10cm per day from May to July. Regeneration can occur from a tiny piece of root material and this is why it has developed a feared presence for landowners.
Late summer and early autumn are amongst the best times to spot it, as this is when the flowers emerge. They are creamy-white in colour and appear in lengthy cluster/spike formations.
Japanese Knotweed Expert Ltd is part of the Planterra group of companies. The Group has demonstrated rapid growth in recent years and currently has more than 33 staff. A major new headquarters development, in Barlaston, is nearing completion.
For further information on Japanese Knotweed Expert Ltd, please go online to https://www.japaneseknotweedexpert.co.uk/.