How to get rid of Japanese knotweed by digging it out

The mere sight of the presence of Japanese knotweed growing on a property is enough to strike dread into the heart of the landowner. Its fast-growing nature suggests that it can rapidly take full control of the land and cause unprecedented havoc. 

So, how do I permanently get rid of Japanese knotweed is not an easy ask of anyone as the process requires patience, and the application of multi-pronged methods to achieve full eradication of this highly invasive weed plant.

Removal must always be quick and efficient leaving no room for fresh growth. Some removal methods have proved to be better than others, therefore, creating the need to look at those approaches that can help you permanently get rid of Japanese knotweed.

Contaminated Japanese knotweed material ready for disposal
Contaminated Japanese knotweed material ready for disposal

Herbicide treatment plan

The use of herbicides to completely eradicate Japanese knotweed from your property is not only an affordable approach but also one that guarantees the best results if done properly.

The recommendable herbicides for Japanese knotweed are those that contain glyphosate concentrate. This herbicide being non-restrictive means that any person can buy and use it.

However, herbicides should never be used recklessly hence; the following measures should be followed to the latter for effective results:

  1. Read and follow the instructions of usage – do not just assume you know how to use the herbicide at hand. Familiarize yourself with the ‘rulebook’ of herbicide manufacturers on how to effectively apply the chemical.
  2. Use the approved per cent active ingredient or in other words the correct dosage – using a less amount than the one described can only have a limited effect on the plant whereas using an excessive amount of the herbicide can only damage part of the plant and, thus not get the desired results.  
  3. Protective gear – always wear your gloves and a protective mask when applying any herbicide.
  4. Due diligence – herbicides should never be used near water bodies as they may lead to contamination of the water. Take all the necessary steps to protect such parts before embarking on spraying the herbicide.
  5. Application method – this can either be a direct spray to the weed plant or in some cases injection into the stem of the plant depending on the treatment plan guidelines.
  6. Duration time – one must wait for at least 7 days for the herbicides to target the root of the weed plant and destroy it before embarking on pulling the dead material. However, if you suspect that there is still the presence of the weed plant in an area that has been subjected to treatment; you can do another application until you permanently get rid of Japanese knotweed. 

If all the above-mentioned guidelines are followed strictly, you can permanently get rid of Japanese knotweed from your property.

Spraying knotweed as part of a designated treatment plan to eliminate it
Spraying knotweed as part of a designated treatment plan to eliminate it
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Excavation and landfill

This approach mainly involves the use of machines called excavators to unearth the Japanese knotweed together with its root system and, additionally digging up the infested soil and taking it to a land-fill zone that is specialist in the disposal of the unwanted waste.

To permanently get rid of Japanese knotweed using this method, here is what you must do:

  • Choose the proper equipment or tools – in cases where the Japanese knotweed has not yet developed full meaning its root system is not deeply ingrained into the soil, you can choose to make do with home-based tools such as a shovel or a digging hoe to excavate the roots out of the soil.
  • Where the weed plant is fully grown such that the roots run deep into the soil, you must make use of machines (excavators).
  • The use of excavators poses some challenges including, the cost aspect attached to hiring such machines, the need to create access routes for the machines to reach the infected site, and finally, the possible damage to the land which may render it desolate if no efforts are put into place to restore it for future usage.
  • Packaging – it is vital that the pieces of the Japanese knotweed that have been dug out together with the surrounding soil are put into packages or any suitable materials that are completely sealable to avoid any spills whilst the waste will be in transit to the land-fill site. It is always advised that you should hire professional carrier services to do this job but if hard-pressed money-wise, nothing stops you from doing this by yourself.
  • Licensed landfill – always ensure the intended landfill site for the final disposal of the waste material is authorized to handle such material. Do not just take it to any place and dump it.
  • Also, as a matter of prudence, alert the concerned persons working at the landfill site early in advance to prepare to receive the waste.

Burning and burying

Perhaps not surprising but one of the most effective methods to permanently get rid of Japanese knotweed is by burning. Subjecting the weed plant to incineration works perfectly in eradicating and, removing it completely from an infected area.  

For you to achieve satisfactory results you must ensure:

  1. The cut pieces of the Japanese knotweed are completely dried of moisture
  2. Capitalize on using a micro-incinerator so that you can be able to control the process
  3. Avoid using an open space when burning the weed plant to prevent emissions and fragments from being blown away.
  4. Leave no stone untouched – every tiny piece of the weed plant must be subjected to burning.

Notably, the burnt waste material should not be left lying around but rather taken to a disposal facility for its ‘final resting place’.

Burying, on the other hand, involves the packaging of the cut waste of the Japanese knotweed into containers or materials that are impermeable once sealed and disposing of by burying the waste in a place that is authorized for such business.

The only thing one should be wary of when disposing of through burying is that no other waste material especially organic in nature accompanies the waste from the weed plant as this may lead to a new infestation in a different area.

Removing Japanese knotweed by burning to ash before removal off your property
Removing Japanese knotweed by burning it to ash before removal from your property

Asking yourself ‘How do I permanently get rid of Japanese knotweed?’ then reach out to us

Knotweed Removal aims to provide the most up-to-date information, help and advice for YOU to make informed decisions. If you are unsure or uncertain about how to proceed, please reach out to us and we will gladly come back and advise you as best we can.

Governmental advice can be found here and the UK law covering the removal of Japanese Knotweed as stated under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 can be found here.

The best means to contact us is via our email – hello@knotweedremoval.tips

Do not forget we have a library of blogs covering many areas relevant to Japanese Knotweed, our free downloadable How-to Guides and Product Reviews on the latest methods being employed to eradicate or remove Japanese Knotweed.

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