Control Japanese knotweed in the short term by burning it

Burning Japanese Knotweed due to its vigorous invasive nature, the resulting consequences are far-reaching depending on the size and area affected.

The Japanese knotweed, having established a reputation of not leaving any stone untouched when it invades an area with grave damages to property, biodiversity, and the natural environment, necessitating that quick action is taken to remedy the situation.

To this end, methods such as burning Japanese knotweed have been well utilized to ensure that the weed is eradicated. For that reason, the question of whether one can burn the Japanese knotweed is in the affirmative.

Notably, considering that the Japanese knotweed has become a menace posing a great danger on any invaded area, various legislations have been put in place to safeguard the proper management and removal of this weed, the reason being to control the ability of the weed to spread due to poor management especially by individual effort of human beings for instance when they want to burn, bury or even cut the weed.

Short term solution to kill Japanese knotweed would be to burn it as opposed to using a chemical treatment
Short term solution to kill Japanese knotweed would be to burn it as opposed to using a chemical treatment

In this regard, the next segment of this article will explain in detail what one ought to do when burning Japanese knotweed to ensure full eradication:

Drying of the Japanese knotweed

Preferably, once the Japanese knotweed has been cut or uprooted from the ground, the strands of the weed should be laid out on the sun or a very hot surface to ensure that all the moisture from them dries out.

Failure to ensure that proper drying occurs poses the danger of the weed infestation returning because moisture encourages easy and quick re-growth.

Manner of burning

In order to get the best of results from the burning Japanese knotweed, it is absolutely important to ensure that the whole plant is put through the fire and completely burned.

To this end, it is always recommended that one uses an incinerator that will lead to fewer emissions and damage to the surrounding environment.

Removal/disposal of the burnt Japanese knotweed substance

Although very rare, it is possible to find that certain stems or rhizome of the Japanese knotweed has survived the burning process and may invoke a new infestation if not well disposed of.

Therefore, this makes the disposal process very important after burning. For that reason, the recommended means of effectively disposing of the already burnt substance is by burying it or taking it to a suitable off-site destination.

Garden waste being burnt to ash before removal from your property
Garden waste being burnt to ash before removal from your property

Dos and Don’ts of Burning Japanese Knotweed

In this segment, we explore the necessary precautionary measures that an individual must keep in mind whilst burning Japanese knotweed and anticipating the full removal of the weed from an infested area. The following are the dos:

  1. Ensure that the landfill site where you intend to dispose of the burnt weed is well controlled and authorized to carry out such an exercise and one in possession of an environmental permit to do so. The reason for this is to prevent the weed from being disposed of in a careless manner that will invoke a new infestation. Complete removal of the weed should be the end goal. 
  2. Inform the disposal facility early in advance to make proper arrangements to avoid the burnt substance staying for long unattended to as this may lead to it being moisturized and possibly lead to the growth of rhizomes that may not have been completely burned.
  3. During transportation to the disposal site, it is prudent that one takes all the steps necessary to ensure that the burnt substance is transported in an enclosed material, the purpose being to prevent any spillage while on transit.
  4. Depending on the locality, it is also important to familiarize yourself with the laws applicable to the procedure recommended for burning, disposal, and removing the Japanese knotweed, not to face any government agencies’ punitive costs.
  5. You must not dispose of the burnt substance accompanied with any other waste material as this poses a danger to the weed finding suitable conditions for re-growth.
  6. Do consult with the authorities in occasions where the burning is expected to be large scale. You need to keep in mind of the safety precautions to protect yourself, the property and the environment.

The Don’ts are as follows:

  1. Do not burn the Japanese knotweed unless the plant has been fully dried and deficient in moisture.
  2. Burning Japanese knotweed should not be done in an open place as this may lead to emissions and the possible spread to adjacent areas aided by factors such as strong winds.
  3. Do not bury or dispose of the burnt substance in any area other than a recommended landfill site because this may invoke a fresh growth in cases where the burning was not fully effective such that the rhizomes of the weed were not destroyed.
  4. Avoid taking the Japanese knotweed out of the infected site for burning. When burning Japanese knotweed, it is always recommendable that this should always occur at the site of the weed growth. The reason for this is that with minimal transportation from one place to another, one is likely to avoid the further spread of the weed through unknown droppings of the weed along the way. Also, on-site burning ensures that the entire weed present is well and truly burned to the very last bit until an area is declared free of the invasive weed.
How to get rid of Japanese knotweed by burning it to ash
How to get rid of Japanese knotweed by burning it to ash

Will The Weed Be Fully Eradicated Through Burning?

The answer to the above question is in the affirmative.

However, burning Japanese knotweed is deemed an effective method if an individual follows to the letter the particular laid out procedures mentioned above, which in a nutshell are to ensure that the weed fully dries before subjecting it to the actual burning in an incinerator.

Once the burning process has ended, the remaining substances must be removed and disposed of in a landfill facility or any recommended site that handles such substances.

Finally, one must follow the dos and don’ts as outlined above to ensure that the burning is successful and that the Japanese knotweed is fully eradicated from an infected area.

Want to know more about burning 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 on 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 – knotweedremovaltips@gmail.com

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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Roundup Tree Stump Weedkiller, Super Concentrate 250 ml
  • Kills ivy japanese knotweed, saplings, brambles and nettles to the root
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Bayer Garden 2 x Path, Patio & Drive Weed Killer & Watering Can Set - 3 x 8g Sachets per pack treats upto 75sqm - Kills Ground Elder, Nettles, Docks, Couch Grass & Japanese Knotweed.
  • This exclusive twin pack and 9L Watering Set is everything you need for clearing weeds from paths, patios and rives including areas of tarmac, concrete and block paving.
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Bayer Garden 2 x Path, Patio & Drive Weed Killer - 3 x 8g Sachets per pack treats upto 75sqm - Kills Ground Elder, Nettles, Docks, Couch Grass & Japanese Knotweed.
  • Ideal for clearing weeds from paths, patios and rives including areas of tarmac, concrete and block paving.
  • Kills tough weeds and their roots including: Ground Elder, Nettles, Docks, Couch Grass, Japanese Knotweed, Brambles, Bracken & Ivy.
  • Each box contains 3 x 8g Simple ready measured soluble doses and treats up to 75sqm.
  • Apply at any time when weeds are showing green leaf and are actively growing.
  • Keep children and pets away from treated areas until the spray has dried.
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Rootblast 360 5L Pump Sprayer Glyphosate Weedkiller 1L with integral measuring device Pair of Gloves 1L makes up to 50L
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