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The demonisation of a plant – Star Letter 24/07/2015

by: Mortgage Solutions
  • 24/07/2015
  • 0
Each week, we round-up the best comments, emails and letters to the site and pick one reader contribution as our Star Letter.

This week’s award goes to a letter sent in by the director of Map chartered surveyors Garrett O’Hanlon outlining his views on the media hype over Japanese Knotweed.

It is high time to put an end to the media and contractor driven paranoia about Japanese Knotweed.

Ludicrous and unfounded claims that it can “break through concrete and brickwork” have astonishingly created a platform for the adoption of measures by various interested bodies which has caused heartache and wasted expense to a number of homeowners and others and blighted sales, mortgages and properties without need.

The sudden demonisation of a plant which has been with us for almost 200 years and which presents significantly less threat than the average tree is madness.

In the less sensationalised words of the website of the Royal Horticultural Society, what it actually does is “suppress other plant growth.”

The following extracts from the same website make interesting reading.

Control can be carried out by the homeowner and does not require a specialist company.

The plant is not unattractive but its rapid annual growth and relentless spread allows it to easily overwhelm other garden plants.

Perhaps the most effective and simplest method for the home gardener to tackle Japanese Knotweed is with the glyphosate-based weedkiller Scotts Roundup Tree Stump & Rootkiller.

It usually takes at least three to four seasons to eradicate Japanese Knotweed using glyphosate

Whilst licensed contractors with access to more powerful weedkillers may be able to reduce the eradication period a little, there is no sensible justification as to why people should pay tens of thousands of pounds for someone to spray their weeds when they can do it themselves with inexpensive products available in the local garden centre or DIY shop.

The current requirements of licensed treatment are a manmade construct emanating from a media frenzy. There is no evidence of Knotweed causing structural damage to a healthy building, which is why in over 200 years we have not needed this approach.

A reality check is long overdue here.

Thanks for your contribution Garrett.


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