Japanese Knotweed - A Growing Concern for Home Owners
They have been known to grow through – and rip open – concrete foundations, retaining walls, and driveways, damage drains, destroy native plants and streams, and in general, be one voracious and highly resistant weed.
Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant species native to Asia. It’s now growing out of control in parts of the province, including areas of the Lower Mainland, Whistler, and Squamish. Although not out of control here yet, it is prevalent on the North Shore. Not only can this plant cause considerable damage to homes and surrounding properties, it is also a major threat to our environment and native vegetation.
The Government of British Columbia recently classified Japanese knotweed as one of the “noxious provincial weeds” that are regulated under the 2011 BC Weed Control Act. Under this act, an owner has a duty to control noxious weeds growing or located on their land and premises. It is also considered an offence if an owner knowingly fails to do so.
Once in place, Japanese Knotweed is extremely hard to control and eliminate. The only way to get rid of it permanently is with herbicide that should be injected into its stem. “It’s one of the most invasive plants in the world. It can’t be cut; it can’t be dug out. 0.2 grams of the plant results in a new one… This is how it spreads so widely on roadsides; mowers go straight over top of it, and they don’t know and quickly you turn one plant into one million plants,” explains Jennifer Grenz, a co-ordinator with the Invasive Plant Council of Metro Vancouver.
You might not be thinking of selling your home today, but downthe road, Japanese Knotweed on your property could alarm potential buyers. It's best to get rid of it now so you don't have to worry about it later.
For more information, visit the Japanese Knotweed page on the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver web site.
The District of West Vancouver site also has information about Japanese Knotweed.
If you suspect you have Japanese Knotweed but you are unsure, give me a call. I would be happy to stop by and take a look.