Invasive weeds can be extremely difficult to eradicate. The majority have the ability to grow from very small sections of rhizome which are often deep and inaccessible. Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica (syn. Polygonum cuspidatum) is one such example.
Section 14 (2 & 3) of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, in relation to Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum, states: ‘Subject to the provisions of this Part, if any person plants or otherwise causes to grow in the wild any plant which is included in Part II of Schedule 9, he shall be guilty of an offence’. Also, ‘Subject to subsection (4), it shall be a defence to a charge of committing an offence under subsection (1) or (2) to prove that the accused took all reasonable steps and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence’.
Weed control falls into two main areas:
Repeatedly cutting down foliage provides temporary control, but new growth quickly regenerates from the rhizome which contains large food reserves. It will eventually weaken plants, but this can take several years. Digging out roots will provide effective control for species such as ground elder, as the rhizomes don’t penetrate too deeply. Removal must be thorough however otherwise sections remaining in the soil will quickly regenerate. For plants such as Japanese knotweed, bindweed and horsetail, where roots can penetrate for many metres, digging generally only offers a temporary solution. Ground elder can be controlled effectively by smothering. Although covering the site with black polythene gradually weakens the plant, it can take several years to reduce a colony substantially.
Where chemical control is required a number of approved products are available. Chemical selection and application techniques will be determined by the target weed species present, the location, and any potential effects on the surrounding environment. When herbicide application is required we use the most modern, non-residual products available and by using only experienced and qualified employees for the application of systemic herbicides.
Bioguard have an established reputation for the control of Japanese knotweed, and other invasive and nuisance weeds, both in commercial and industrial settings. In keeping with our environmental policy we strive to ensure minimal effect on the surrounding environment with due consideration for bio-security. As no two weed control operations are the same and customers needs vary dramatically, Bioguard offer a unique and comprehensive service combining consultancy, site assessment and professional weed management.