Japanese knotweed is a particularly aggressive invasive plant that can grow in dense thickets that choke out native plants, displace and damage gardens, and invade neighboring properties. Its roots can even break through paved surfaces such as roads and driveways, and it can also spread into waterways, where it can alter habitat for fish and wildlife, and cause flooding and erosion problems. While the rhizomes (creeping underground stems that sprout new shoots) of Japanese knotweed can be difficult to completely eradicate, with persistence and patience and a variety of eradication techniques, homeowners can successfully reclaim their property.
The first step in removing japanese knotweed removal near me is to correctly identify the invasive plant as early on as possible. It’s important to note that the invasive plant is often mistaken for other species such as shrubs, broadleaved docks and bindweed, so it’s imperative that you identify the plant before beginning any eradication work. Once you’ve confirmed that you have Japanese knotweed, the best approach is to treat it as a weed rather than an ornamental and take steps to control its spread.
One of the most effective methods for controlling Japanese knotweed is digging out all of the rhizomes and cutting down the plant to the ground level. This is an extremely time-consuming method, however, and it’s rare to completely eradicate a Japanese knotweed population with this alone as any rhizome fragment left behind can sprout new shoots.
Another option for removing knotweed is to use herbicides like the popular glyphosate concentrate. However, it’s important to use these chemical treatments carefully to avoid contaminating surrounding areas and make sure that you follow all of the application guidelines on the label. In addition, these chemical solutions are not without their downsides, including potential harm to the gut bacteria of beneficial insects and pollinating bees.
If you are not comfortable or confident using a chemical herbicide, you can try smothering the Japanese knotweed with tarps. Overlapped tarps can block out sunlight, preventing the plant from photosynthesizing and growing. Be sure to use a heavy material such as cinder blocks, rocks or bricks to hold down the tarps and prevent them from blowing away or being trampled. Tarps should be kept in place until you or a landscape expert are confident that the plant has withered and died.
It’s also a good idea to regularly check for Japanese knotweed and remove any new shoots as they appear. You should also be careful not to transport any part of the plant, as it is on the Noxious Weed Quarantine List and is illegal to purchase or move in Vermont. You should also never put any part of the plant in a compost pile, as it could easily be moved to other sites and continue to propagate.
If you’re having trouble tackling your Japanese knotweed, call in a professional to help. A skilled and experienced landscape company can assess the situation, draw up a risk assessment and treatment plan for your site, and offer a guarantee of complete eradication. They can also advise you on the best way to treat and remove the invasive plant so that it doesn’t return once the treatment has been applied.