HUNDREDS of crops of invasive Japanese knotweed have been found across Herefordshire.

Japanese knotweed, which is not native to Britain, is a fast-growing and strong clump-forming perennial weed, which grows from stout, deeply-penetrating rhizomes, or creeping underground stems.

Because its stems can be up to ten feet below the ground, the weed is very hard to control and is difficult and expensive to remove by hand or eradicate with chemicals, it is an offence to cause Japanese knotweed to grow in the wild.


But that does not mean that the invasive weed is not growing in Herefordshire, with Japanese knotweed found in spots across the county, as revealed by a freedom of information request to Herefordshire Council.

Table shows number of Japanese knotweed treatments by street

The weed, which begins to grow in March or April after winter hibernation and can reach up to three metres in height by mid-summer, can push through cracks in concrete, driveways, patios, paths, drains and cavity walls, affecting property values and making homes difficult to sell.

Homeowners should be on the lookout for purple or red asparagus-like shoots emerging from the ground at this time of year. Japanese knotweed will quickly grow into lush green shrubs with heart-shaped leaves and pink-flecked stems.

Locally, Herefordshire Council said it has treated or put Japanese knotweed treatment and control measures in place a total of 700 times between 2018 and 2023.

The greatest number of treatments were in Manson Lane, on the Herefordshire and Monmouthshire border, where Herefordshire Council said it had carried out 22 treatments, while another 20 treatments were carried out on the A466 in the Llancloudy area.

How do I get rid of Japanese knotweed?

Japanese knotweed can be dug out or controlled with weedkiller, although this may take several seasons if tackled without the help of a specialist contractor.

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The Royal Horticultural Society says digging out this deeply penetrating plant without professional help can create disposal problems, as it is classed as 'controlled waste' under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and requires disposal at licensed landfill sites

Specialist Japanese knotweed contractors must be registered waste carriers to safely remove the weed from site but check first before employing their services, the RHS said, or it can be destroyed on site by allowing it to dry before burning

Japanese knotweed must not be included with normal household waste or put out in green waste collection schemes.