Japanese Knotweed is set to "thrive" this year, with reports of the early growth of the invasive plants across London.

Warm, wetter weather has provided the ideal environment for the plant’s growth, well ahead of its usual growing season.

The Property Care Association (PCA) has received reports of the plants’ distinctive red stems appearing in February rather than later in the year.

Daniel Docking, the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group technical manager, warned of the possible detrimental effects on native plant species due to the current climate conditions.

Mr Docking said: “We can still expect late-season frosts and dry weather in March and April, but Japanese knotweed has already started to establish itself and the resilience of the plant will mean it is in a strong position to thrive.

“But we’d still suspect the temperature to drop, meaning many plants will slow down their growth pattern.

“However, Japanese knotweed will be largely unaffected by these changes and that means it can start to dominate environments, with more opportunities to spread.”

As Japanese Knotweed becomes more visible, Mr Docking encouraged anyone with concerns to seek expert help.

He said: “Advice sought quickly will help to control and manage the situation effectively.”

“Japanese knotweed is tied to legislation, which means landowners have a responsibility to manage infestations responsibly.”

READ MORE: Map of Japanese Knotweed hotspots in South East London

Mr Docking added that the Invasive Weed Control Group (ICWG) members have a range of options to treat infestations.

The ICWG is a collective of industry professionals providing guidance on tackling such situations, as well as helping homeowners find trustworthy invasive weed contractors.

He said: “It’s essential to engage competent Certificated Surveyors in Japanese knotweed (CSJK) who will have the specialist skills and knowledge to identify Japanese knotweed or any other invasive plants that may be present.”


Hayes (Kent) Village Association

The Association was founded in 1933 to protect the interests of residents and preserve the local amenities.

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