Having your own home and land around it is a dream of many in Britain. If you’ve attained it, you likely earned it through smart planning and hard work. You labour just as hard to keep it looking beautiful. With a rich history of international connections, Britain has adopted customs, architecture, foods and beverages, furniture, and style and decor from every corner of the world. The United Kingdom might not be what the British Empire was at its height, but it still has connections all around the globe. Unfortunately, that occasionally means invasive species.
If you talk with other gardeners in your own neighbourhood, you’ve likely heard some of them grumbling about particular weeds or plants coming in and taking over. Japanese knotweed is a particularly troublesome nuisance, and you might already be keeping your eyes out for it. In fact, you might even suspect that you have it, leading you to wonder if you can go about Japanese knotweed identification by yourself.
Finding out if you have this infestation is critical, since it can sap up nutrients, water, and space that other plants need to survive and even thrive. While it is a flowering plant, it’s certainly not one of the beautiful species you chose and deliberately planted.
It’s also a pain to get rid of it, as you can’t just chop off the leaves or even weed out the stems. Actually digging up the roots and freeing your lot of them is necessary to be sure that it’s gone. It is a seeding plant, and can even crossbreed with other local weeds, so the risk of it spreading is high.
Having said all this, getting Japanese knotweed identification wrong has dangers. At the best, you’ll just waste your time, but at worst, you can kill off very healthy and necessary plants. Digging up too many root systems can leave your plot susceptible to soil erosion. Also, if you don’t get all of it, anything remaining can spread back across your own yard, or even start bothering the land of your neighbours.
The Internet certainly makes it feasible to look up photos of Japanese knotweed, and you can compare photos you find to the ones you take. You’re also able to find information regarding the various leaf colors and the seasons in which they show up. One of the more annoying aspects of this plant is how different it can look in various times of year, and given how wildly microclimates can vary in Britain, the changes can be drastic.
Sending off your photos to an authorised vegetation specialist can help in confirming that you do in fact have Japanese knotweed, although they might need to come out and test directly in order to be sure. Once you have confirmation, you can either attempt removal and elimination on your own. However, paying professionals to handle the task is likely the only way to be sure, and they’re more likely to minimize disruption to your cherished yard.