Knotweed & Tree Services During Lockdown

Discussed by Green Leaf Remediation Services

These are unprecedented times and whether you are working from home or still able to go to work Green Leaf Remediation & Tree Services are still working and are offering Japanese Knotweed & Tree Services During Lockdown.

For yours and our team’s safety, we are doing everything to ensure the safety of our teams and customers during this time, including:

  • Anyone within our business who is able to work from home is
  • Our Knotweed experts & Tree Surgeons are maintaining a 2-metre distance from each other and our customers at all times
  • Our teams are following all handwashing and sanitising rules and are only using hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes if hot water and soap are not available
  • If any of our teams have had any symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) they are self-isolating as per the government’s guidance

Lots of people who are at home at the moment are taking advantage of the time and sorting their garden and all those DIY jobs you never get round to doing and at South Wales Knotweed we know there are some jobs that you won’t be able to do yourself, including; removing Japanese Knotweed and Cutting Back or Cutting Down Trees and other plants in your garden or workplace. This is the ideal time for us to come out to your property and carry out our expert, Japanese Knotweed Surveys, Mortgage Reports, Inspections, Treatments as well as our Tree Surgeon, Felling, Weeding, Clearing and Garden Maintenance Services.

South Wales Knotweed Inspections & Surveys

We are a fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS) and we specialise in identifying and controlling Japanese Knotweed, other invasive plants and ‘general nuisance weeds’ which are found in the UK for residential and property development sites.

If you think you may have Japanese Knotweed or another plant that seems to be taking over your garden or property then we will come out and identify if it is Japanese Knotweed and if not, what it is, offering you advice and the ways we can support you to remove and control the plant.

If you think you may have Japanese Knotweed then you should contact an expert like ourselves as it will quickly establish itself, spread and take over the area and other plants around it.

Important Information – You are not required by law to report if you have Japanese Knotweed as it is not a notifiable weed, and it isn’t an offence to have it on your land. However, Section 14(2) of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (WCA 1981) states that “if any person plants or otherwise causes or allows any plant to grow which is included in part II of schedule 9 in the wild, they shall be guilty of an offence”. Japanese Knotweed is a plant listed in the schedule. Anyone convicted of an offence under S.14 of the WCA 1981 can face a fine of £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment, or 2 years and/or an unlimited fine on indictment. Allowing Japanese Knotweed to spread to neighbouring properties or into the wild can also be viewed as a private nuisance under common law and if this is the case it can be deemed as a civil matter.

After we have assessed the plant or growth on your property we will provide you with a report which will document everything we have discussed and the next steps you should take.

South Wales Knotweed Mortgage Reports

Every mortgage lender is different in their approach to lending if Japanese Knotweed has been identified on the property you are selling or the property you are buying.

Japanese Knotweed is listed on schedule 9, part 2 of The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, making it an offence under section 14(2)(a) of the Act to ‘plant or otherwise cause it to grow in the wild’. It is an invasive and potentially destructive plant, and in certain conditions, it has the capacity to cause damage to badly constructed and or very old structures, drains, paths, underground services, and can cause heave in tarmac or poorly laid concrete surfaces.

A recent study conducted jointly by Leeds University and AECOM claim that there’s no actual evidence that Japanese Knotweed causes significant structural damage but this is always dependent if the structure is sound. This is why mortgage lenders will be wary, or not lend at all if Japanese Knotweed has been identified on the property or close to a property due to the damage it could cause, the cost to control and the negative impact to the property’s value as well as if it can be resold.

Some mortgage lenders will not lend on a property where knotweed has been identified 20 metres away from a boundary line and even 40 metres away from a property itself but there are other mortgage lenders who will accept a minimum of; a treatment plan (often referred to as a management plan in place by a suitably qualified contractor like Green Leaf Remediation) which can be supplemented by an Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG), as a precursor to a mortgage application being considered.

If you think you may have Japanese Knotweed then we would always advise that you take a pro-active approach using a Japanese Knotweed specialist like ourselves to prevent it quickly spreading and establishing itself on your property.

If Japanese Knotweed has been disclosed to an estate agent when being advertised to sell then they are legally required to inform any prospective buyers it is present on the property as this can affect their decision to buy. The Law Society’s TA6 property information form requires sellers to state whether the property is or has been affected by Japanese knotweed. If you answer untruthfully a buyer can come back and either; legally retract the purchase contract or claim damages from you as the seller.

We would also advise anyone who is interested in purchasing a property affected by Japanese Knotweed to proceed as normal but only if there is a treatment plan in place by a fully qualified & reputable contractor which also has a 10 year independently written Insurance Backed Guarantee (IBG) like Green Leaf Remediation Services. If this is the situation then it can significantly help you when you are in the negotiating phase of offering on a property, or if it has been identified during the survey stage you can go back and re-negotiate the price.

Chartered Surveyor Risk Assessment of Japanese Knotweed

(Obtained from RICS Professional Information, UK Japanese Knotweed and residential property 1st edition, information paper IP 27/2012).

The below chart displays the criteria adopted by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to assess the risk associated with Japanese Knotweed on a property and this would come into play as a consequence of a mortgage application being made to any individual lender within the UK. The mortgage lender would instigate a fully accredited chartered surveyor to conduct a Homebuyers Survey Report on the given property and should Japanese Knotweed be in existence the foregoing criteria would apply.

This risk assessment takes into account the real risk to the property and addresses some of the concerns of the lenders and insurance companies. The term ‘habitable space’ refers to those parts of the subject property associated with daily living (including conservatories) and not ancillary spaces (such as outbuildings and/or garages).

Category Description
4 – Japanese Knotweed is within 7 metres of habitable space, conservatory and/or garage, either within the boundaries of this property or in a neighbouring property or space; and/or Japanese Knotweed is causing serious damage to outbuildings, associated structures, drains, paths, boundary walls or fences and so on.
3 – Although Japanese Knotweed is present within the boundaries of the property, it is more than 7 metres from a habitable space, conservatory and/or garage. If there is damage to outbuildings, associated structures, paths and boundary walls and fences, it is minor.
2 – Japanese Knotweed was not seen within the boundaries of this property, but it was seen on a neighbouring property or land. Here, it was within 7 metres of the boundary, but more than 7 metres away from habitable space, conservatory and/or garage of the subject property.
1 – Japanese Knotweed was not seen on this property, but it can be seen on a neighbouring property or land where it was more than 7 metres away from the boundary.

What do the Categories Mean?

Any Japanese Knotweed graded by the surveyor under category 4 and 3 would cause extreme caution with the majority of mortgage lenders and in a lot of cases, an outright rejection of the mortgage application or at least the requirement of a management plan would be required for an agreement to be reached but this depends on the mortgage lender and their policies when it comes to Japanese Knotweed.

At South Wales Knotweed we offer honest and factual Mortgage Reports which don’t overstate or exaggerate the facts as there are very few Japanese Knotweed cases which actually reach a point where it causes substantial damage to property. If this does happen it is often because of other contributing factors such as; poor construction, old construction, damaged construction, or the ground clearing process before the construction has not been executed as it should have been and by a qualified Japanese Knotweed specialist

Always be aware that Japanese Knotweed can grow between concrete slabs and can ‘penetrate’ the cement that bonds bricks or stone in its quest for light and water by exploiting the ‘weakest’ point. It will take advantage of pre-existing fractures or weaknesses in a structure and can cause disruption to old underground services.

At Green Leaf Remediation we will always advise that having Japanese Knotweed on or close to your property is an issue you should quickly address and if you do, it is not always the big problem it is often perceived to be, or made out to be.

South Wales Knotweed Treatments

At Green Leaf Remediation Services we are a fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS) and we specialise in controlling Japanese Knotweed, other invasive plants and ‘general nuisance weeds’ which are found in the UK for both residential and property development sites.

Our Qualifications & Accreditations Include:

  • City & Guilds NPTC Level 2
  • Principles of Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides (PA1/PA6)
  • Principles of Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides near water (PA6AW)
  • Herbicide Stem Injection
  • Property Care Association
  • The Control & Eradication of Japanese Knotweed Surveyor’s Training Course
  • Qualified Technician (PCAQT) in Japanese Knotweed
  • Accredited Surveyor in Japanese Knotweed

We offer the following control and removal services:

Stem-Injection is a low impact way of removal and there is little risk of disturbing or killing the plants and flowers growing close to it. The stem-injection technique is normally used for smaller areas of Knotweed where it has established itself among plants and vegetation that you would like to maintain. Additionally, it is an approach generally applied when Knotweed is near a watercourse. The stem-injection approach can be used in dry or inclement weather conditions and the soil can’t be disturbed following a treatment.

Foliar Spray Application is frequently used and is amongst the most favourable control methods as well as stem-injection. The method is used to manage the Knotweed over several growing seasons. Dependent on the size of the area of Knotweed is it is normally sprayed 2-3 times in the first year and once in the subsequent years. The chemical used is an Environment Agency approved herbicide and needs dry weather conditions as well as the soil to remain undisturbed in subsequent years to work.

Weed Wiping Method is the when leaves of the plant are wiped with a sponge that is soaked with the required herbicide. It’s a low impact treatment and does not kill or disturb the foliage adjoining it, even so, its use depends upon the size of the area of knotweed.

Bund/Stockpiling Method is a blended treatment method using stem-injection and foliar application, followed by excavating the underground material and removing the soil and material to a different location in which the emergence of ‘new shoots’ can be subjected to additional herbicide application. This process is used on sites where you need the removal of the knotweed to be fast and not done over several seasons so is consequently particularly beneficial to building plots of land and development sites as work can proceed without delay.

Cell Burial/Root Barrier Method is a treatment used when there is enough space on-site to create a cell burial or making use of a root barrier to avert the considerable expenses of transporting the soil and waste to landfill. Cell burial buries the Knotweed waste to a minimum depth, or if encapsulated inside a geomembrane it can be closer to the surface of the ground. Root barriers can be installed both vertically and horizontally when there is a danger of cross-boundary contamination. Again, a method most often used on development sites when construction work needs to start promptly.

Excavation & Removal Off-Site is a legitimate and swift control option which has its advantages for development sites if performed correctly, however, a lot of Knotweed Professionals are not advocates of it, simply because it raises considerable logistical problems. The challenges being there is an extremely high risk of the Knotweed spreading, as well as the cost to securely transport the material to a designated landfill site. There is also a considerable duty of care requirements under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990. In conclusion, Excavation & Removal should only be used as an absolute last measure.

At Green Leaf Remediation we will come out to your property and assess if you have Japanese Knotweed and advise you on the quickest and safest method of controlling and removing it.

Tree Services

If you have a large or overgrown tree or plant in your garden or your business property then we can help. We will come out and do a free site assessment and advise you if it can be cut back safely, or if it should be completely removed following all of the UK’s legislation on Tree Felling.

Our Tree Felling Services

  • Reducing Branches and Foliage
  • Thinning Branches and Foliage
  • Re-shaping
  • Sectional Dismantling
  • Site Clearance
  • Hedge Trimming and Management
  • Crown Trimming & Pruning
  • Stump Grinding
  • Removal of Dangerous or Damaged Trees
  • We also offer an Emergency Service where we will come out to your property quickly to assess what needs to be done and carry out the work needed

South Wales Knotweed

All our work is carried out by appropriately qualified tree surgeons with extensive knowledge and experience. They all hold CSCS cards and accredited to either Lantra or City & Guilds NPTC Level 2 in chainsaw use and compliant with all industry standards. Our work conforms with the current best practices for Arboricultural works and in accordance with BS3998 (2010).

We adhere to all Health & Safety legislation at all times and have full public liability & professional indemnity insurance in place, in the unlikely event that the unforeseen happens.

If we have removed a tree for you then we are happy to cut any wood to the size you need in order to be used or sold for firewood. We are also able to use our chipper to reduce any ‘leftovers’ if this is your preference, or we can remove the wood off-site for you.

Garden/Site Clearance & Weed Control Services

If your garden or business property is looking unkempt and overgrown we offer a garden and site cleaning service which takes away the need for you to do it yourself. Sometimes these jobs are daunting and at South Wales Knotweed we have the experience and tools to quickly and efficiently clear any garden or landscape space.

We also offer a general trimming and maintenance service which includes branch cutting and hedge strimming which will keep your property looking great, giving you the chance to get on with other jobs or even just sit back and enjoy it. If you have a business premise with a garden or land then keeping it up together ensures your business looks professional and inviting to all of your customers and suppliers and we can help with this.

We carry out private work for householders and also offer our expert services for large scale construction contracts for property developers.

Other Plant Services

In addition to Japanese Knotweed, Marestail, Hogweed, Nettles, Brambles, Buddleia, Ragwort, Himalayan Balsam, Dock, Bracken, Hedge Parsley, Cow Parsley and Gorse, amongst others have colonised many gardens, public footpaths, recreational areas and brownfield sites. They are all plants which will quickly spread and take over an area and we have the experience to ensure we remove and control them for you.

We are fully equipped to treat invasive plant species or plants and are often recommended by estate agents and mortgage brokers for our site clearance services.

About Green Leaf Remediation Specialists

We cover South Wales (including Swansea, Cardiff and Newport), West Wales up to North Ceredigion & Powys and throughout South Glamorgan, Gwent & Tenby, Bristol, the West Country, and as far North as Shropshire and into the Midlands & Birmingham areas.

We are a fully qualified Japanese Knotweed Certificated Surveyor (JKCS) and we specialise in controlling Japanese Knotweed, other invasive plants and ‘general nuisance weeds’ which are found in the UK for residential and property development sites and have all the required qualifications and accreditations:

  • City & Guilds NPTC Level 2
  • Principles of Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides (PA1/PA6)
  • Principles of Safe Handling & Application of Pesticides near water (PA6AW)
  • Herbicide Stem Injection
  • Property Care Association
  • The Control & Eradication of Japanese Knotweed Surveyor’s Training Course
  • Qualified Technician (PCAQT) in Japanese Knotweed
  • Accredited Surveyor in Japanese Knotweed

We adhere to all Health & Safety legislation at all times and have full public liability & professional indemnity insurance in place, in the unlikely event that the unforeseen happens.

How to find a qualified Japanese Knotweed Specialist?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has worked with the Property Care Association (PCA) to establish the PCA Invasive Weed Control Group (IWCG) trade body for Japanese knotweed specialists, which provides a register of vetted consultants and contractors which can be found here.

  • Invasive Non-native Specialists Association (INNSA) maintains a membership list of contractors and consultants
  • The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) has a directory of members offering invasive weed control
  • Trustmark Government Endorsed Standards has a ‘Find a Tradesman’ scheme including invasive weed controllers

Green Leaf Remediation Services is a Professional Japanese Knotweed Removal and Control Companies and report on the risk of any Japanese Knotweed found for mortgage purposes offering suggested treatment plans and insurance-backed guarantees where it is needed.

Contact us today on 01269 591651 and we can answer any questions you may have or arrange your free site survey.