Japanese knotweed removal can be a pain in the ass and often takes a hefty toll on an individual whose garden or property has been infested with this highly invasive ornamental weed.  

Owing to the rampant growth synonymous with the Japanese knotweed, successful removal is a difficult exercise, but it is achievable if one takes the right measures that have been tried, tested, and proved to work by experts across the board.  

Consequently, this article’s subsequent segment will highlight the ways and means that an individual can put into use to effect Japanese knotweed removal for good. 

Physical removal

First and foremost, take note that Japanese knotweed can grow to a height of 10 feet tall with the roots extending to nearly twice the same length, this imposing nature of the plant can become a menace if left unattended hence the need for physical removal, which can be achieved by:

  1. Cutting down and removing the Japanese knotweed canes, individuals are encouraged to use very sharp objects such as pruning shears which are basically specialized scissors for use on plants. When cutting, one must ensure that the process happens as close to the ground as possible. The next phase will be to ensure that all the cut pieces of the weed and fragments are completely cleared from the area to prevent any fresh growth. 
  2. Constant pruning – it is advisable that the cutting of the Japanese knotweed should be done after every two to three weeks, the essence being to slow down its growth.
  3. Excavation of the Japanese knotweed – basically, this method involves the reliance on heavy machines that will help dig out the Japanese knotweed from the ground and its supplementary roots. Experts view excavation as a quick and effective way of Japanese knotweed removal; however, this method comes with its fair share of challenges; for instance, it is deemed expensive since one will need to hire or purchase the excavation machines where necessary. Additionally, excavation may lead to greater damage to the property or one’s yard because of the heavy digging involved. Finally, because machines often lack human precision, it is common to find that not all the plant fragments have been fully excavated, which poses a danger to the re-growth of the Japanese knotweed within the same area.
Japanese knotweed covering to smother it from growing
Japanese knotweed covering to smother it from growing

Covering / Smothering

The Japanese knotweed, just like any other plant, needs sufficient sunlight and moisture to grow and flourish.

This is why it is prudent that after cutting down the stems of the Japanese knotweed, one spreads an impenetrable cover that will resist easy wear and tear over the area that has been cleared of the Japanese knotweed.

The rationale for this method is to deprive the ground underneath the cover of sufficient sunlight and moisture content that hastens the weed’s growth.  

To avoid the cover from being blown away by elements such as strong winds, one can use heavy rocks or equivalent material and lay it on top of the cover and ensure it is evenly spread across the area intended.

It is important to note that a protective above the underneath weed may not be enough to guarantee Japanese knotweed removal as rhizomes of the weed may still find their way out through the edges of the over-cover. 

To this end, one may further be forced to ensure that they sink a barrier on the edges of the affected area and put in an extra over vertically along the perimeter. This can be done by sinking a trench and ensuring the peripheral cover is well-fitted from the ground up. 

Such impenetrable covers can be easily accessible from online stores. However, one must conduct due diligence to ascertain each cover’s quality.

  • Communal education

Japanese knotweed removal may sound like an individual problem that only affects a person whose property has been affected.

Still, the truth of the matter is that failure to take timely precautionary measures to eradicate the weed poses a great danger of spreading to neighbouring properties and becoming an uncontrollable monster across the board.

This is why communal education forums should be encouraged as a precursor to help in taming, managing, and preventing any further spread. Japanese knotweed removal becomes relatively easier when people put their resources together and formulate tactics to deal with the weed.

  • Burning and burying

Burning has been acknowledged as one of the effective Japanese knotweed removal mechanisms as long as it is done in the recommendable way, which requires complete drying of the weed before proceeding to burning it and disposing of the substance in a controlled land site.

On the other hand, Burying must also follow strict measures, including ensuring no other waste materials are buried together with the disposable Japanese knotweed wastes.

  • Herbicides

Commercial herbicides are chemical elements that have been widely used for Japanese knotweed removal. The herbicides are readily available and can be purchased in recommended places for such products.

Using any herbicide procedures must be followed for it to be effective and help eradicate the Japanese knotweed for good.  The use of hand gloves and face masks is necessary when using any herbicide.

By the same token, one must ensure that the surrounding environment is well protected when using herbicides by not spraying the herbicide carelessly but rather by spraying the herbicide directly to the Japanese knotweed cut stems area that has been cleared and needing such sprays to be used.


Evidently, Japanese knotweed removal is not child’s play but rather a serious business that requires persistence, patience (based on the extended time that it may take to eradicate the weed), and above all, the use of various approaches to tackle this weed.

Where one method does not effectively work, it is always advisable that a different approach is considered. However, being vigilant will ultimately help one overcome and guarantee complete Japanese knotweed removal.

Want to know more about Japanese Knotweed removal?

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.

Knotweed Removal, UK

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