Identify Japanese knotweed early in the season

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing plant that can cause problems for homeowners and businesses alike. The plant is incredibly difficult to remove once it takes root, and it can quickly spread to other parts of the property.

As a result, it’s important to identify Japanese knotweed early in the season so that you can take steps to remove it before it becomes established.

There are a few tell-tale signs that Japanese knotweed is present.

  • Firstly, the plant has large, heart-shaped leaves which are arranged in a zig-zag pattern along the stem.
  • Secondly, the stem is hollow and bamboo-like, with nodes spaced evenly along its length. Finally, small white flowers appear in clusters at the tips of the stems in late summer

Japanese knotweed is a dangerous invasive species that can spread quickly. If you notice it growing on your property, there are a few things you should do to get rid of it as soon as possible before it becomes a problem for you.

Noticing the signs early on will allow you to get rid of it sooner before it has time to spread.

Japanese knotweed buds growing on the clump of last year's growth - identify japanese knotweed early
Japanese knotweed buds growing on the clump of last year’s growth

Identifying the growth of Japanese knotweed

Identifying Japanese knotweed early is important because it’s a difficult invasive species to get rid of, and it can be protected in places that are hard to access which allows it to consume all in its path until it is the dominant species of plant within that area.

When you’re looking for something, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Japanese knotweed is an invasive species that can be difficult to get rid of, so if you think you might have it on your property, it’s important to know what the signs are. Here are a few things to look for so that you can identify Japanese

  • Look for bamboo-like stalks that grow from the ground and can reach up to 10 feet tall.
  • The stalks will have thin, reddish-green leaves that are around 3 inches long.
  • The leaves will grow in a zigzag pattern along the stem and will be heart-shaped
  • In late summer, you will see small, white flowers blooming in clusters.

When to identify Japanese knotweed early in the season

Invasive species can be a major problem for homeowners, as they can quickly take over an area and choke out other plants. Japanese knotweed is one such invasive species that can be difficult to get rid of once it takes hold.

It’s important to identify it early in the season so you can take steps to get rid of it before it becomes a bigger problem.

Signs that it is time to start looking for this weed

There are a few things that can indicate it’s time to start looking for Japanese knotweed on your property. If you see any of the following shoots or buds growing from the ground, then you know that this is Japanese knotweed and acting sooner rather than later is best.

Signs of what this weed looks like

Close up of Japanese knotweed shoots - identify Japanese knotweed early
Image 2: Close up of Japanese knotweed shoots
Roots of the young Japanese knotweed are already over one foot long in under 1 week of growth - identify Japanese knotweed early
Image 3: Roots of the young Japanese knotweed are already over one foot long in under 1 week of growth
Clumps of Japanese knotweed shoots and buds growing fiercely - identify Japanese knotweed early
Image 4: Clumps of Japanese knotweed shoots and buds growing fiercely

What you should do if you find Japanese knotweed on your property

If you discover Japanese knotweed on your property, there are a few things you can do to get rid of it.

The first step is to remove all of the plant material from the area. You can do this by hand or with a weed eater. Be sure to get all of the roots as well, as they can still spread the plant even if the above-ground part is gone.

How to get rid of Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed is a dangerous invasive species that can spread quickly. If you notice it growing on your property, there are many ways to get rid of it as soon as possible before it becomes a problem for you. Noticing the signs early on will allow you to remove this weed before it has time to spread.

Methods One – Manual removal

The first step is to remove all of the plant material from the area. You can do this by hand or with a weed eater. Be sure to get all of the roots as well, as they can still spread the plant even if the above-ground part is gone.

Tips for manually removing the weed are as follows:

  • Cut the stalks down as close to the ground as possible
  • Pull out any remaining stalks and rhizomes
  • Cover the area where the weed was growing with black plastic sheeting
  • Monitor the area for regrowth and repeat these steps as necessary

Method Two – Herbicide treatment

The next step is to apply a herbicide that contains glyphosate. This will kill the plant and prevent it from growing back. Be sure to follow the instructions on the herbicide so that you don’t damage other plants around it.

You can alternatively use a glyphosate-free herbicide but these will require more applications to be just as effective. On the plus side, they are safer for the environment, your pets and any children who may go into the treated area.

Method Three – Digging it out

If you have a lot of Japanese knotweed on your property, using a digger to remove it may be the best option. This will ensure that all of the roots are removed and will help to prevent them from coming back.

Tips for digging out Japanese knotweed are as follows:

  • Identify where the plants are growing and mark out an area around them
  • Dig a trench around the plants, making sure to get all of the roots
  • Dispose of the plant matter in a landfill or by burning it
  • Cover the area with black plastic sheeting to prevent regrowth

Method Four – Smothering it

If you don’t want to use chemicals or dig up your property, you can try smothering the Japanese knotweed. This will prevent it from getting the sunlight it needs to grow.

Tips for smothering Japanese knotweed are as follows:

  • Cut the plants down as close to the ground as possible
  • Place a thick layer of mulch or black plastic sheeting over the area
  • Weight it down with something heavy so that it doesn’t blow away
  • Monitor the area for regrowth and repeat these steps as necessary

When to call a professional

If you have tried all of these methods and the Japanese knotweed is still not going away, you may need to call a professional. They will be able to help you get rid of the weed for good.

In conclusion

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing, invasive plant that can cause significant damage to your property. Left unchecked, it can quickly spread and choke out native plants. It’s important to identify Japanese knotweed early in the season so you can take steps to control it.

Japanese knotweed is a difficult plant to get rid of, but it’s important to do so as soon as you notice it. By taking these steps by identifying it early on, you can prevent it from taking over your property.

Want to know more about how to identify Japanese knotweed?

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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