Author: Daniel Pellowe
Size covered: 100 m2
Use of land: Commercial site
Knotweed Services (UK) Ltd were contacted by the client to organise a site survey on a commercial site in Telford. Our client had informed us that a groundsman had been treating the infestation with chemicals using a wipe. Our client came to a decision that they would prefer if a PCA Approved JKW Company could step in and take immediate accurate control. At time of call, our client informed us that Japanese Knotweed had been found in more than one location at the rear of the property and was approx 4years old. We recommended a 5 year treatment plan and a biomass reduction until completion.
The first and most essential stage of any successful management plan is to assess the extent of the problem. On day of survey back in 2017, I identified 4 zones of Japanese Knotweed whilst surveying the area of the commercial coal yard. Zone 1 was present on main road (which had been previously treated by a grounds man), zone 2 was noticed on the other side of the metal boundary and zone 3 and 4 were identified on the commercial yard.
I assessed the area and decided it was a RICS category 2, as although JKW was present on the land, the infestation was more than 7 metres away from habitable spaces. The JKW that was identified in zone 2 ran along a metal boundary, so to operate in the area, I informed client that the metal fencing would need to be removed to enable access. A height harness for safety was also considered due to the risk of falling off edges.
I recommended a 5 year treatment plan, a biomass reduction under chemical control, dead cane removal and a bespoke treatment plan until completion.
The mapping stage of our plans is crucial to identify the location of the infestation. This not only helps to indicate the proximity to boundaries/habitable space & outbuildings and the associated RICS classification, but also identifying the possible migration (7m buffer zone).
See Site Map below:
The next key step was communication with the client. We made sure that we fully comprehended the client’s proposals and timelines as this dictated the type of treatments we could undertake. I informed that a waste removal of debris and garden vegetation was to be conducted before any treatment went ahead. Following the removal of debris/dead canes, Knotweed Services analysed and accessed the remaining soil of the contaminated Japanese Knotweed.
On my first visit in July, I stem injected all stems of JKW using neat concentration of round up glysophate. I also sprayed all leaves of JKW using knapsack round up glysophate ratio 55-1. I recommended a visit in 6 weeks to see whether the 1st treatment had been any success and injected any stems that may have been missed.
On my return in September, I injected 30+ stems using stem injection guns. I could confirm on my second visit that all JKW had been treated in the area. I informed the client that an off season dead cane removal and a crown removal will be undertaken before next growing season. The area didn’t have any site restrictions so I recommended that all dead canes were burnt on site.
On my return in February 2018, myself and another technician P. Lennon cleared all dead canes and debris to allow for a clear space for the 2018 growing season. We applied no herbicide on our visit in February. Due to the steepness of the bank on which we were working on, the task required 2 technicians because of the dangerous nature of the drop. The whole area was cleared of dead canes. I advised the next visit will require a treatment at the start of the growing season 2018 and a visit for a second treatment at the end of growing season 2018.
I thought after viewing the area that maybe the area would benefit from a spray or injection once a year as the zone will prove very difficult to eliminate completely due to the size of the infestation. However, if the client choses to excavate the infestation, it will prove hard to irradiate.
Growing season came and I attended for 3rd treatment in July. The area of JKW were sprayed and I have informed our client I will be visiting next in October for 4th treatment.
Season 2019 will show if we are having an effect through our treatment programs.
INSURANCE BACKED GUARANTEES (IBG’S)
Knotweed Services UK offer their insurance backed guarantees through Guarantee Protection Insurance Ltd (GPI). GPIs primary and founding product was IBG’s and they are in the industries leaders in Japanese Knotweed insurance. The package we recommended for this project is the is “designed to provide cover in the event that the insured remedial works fail, during the period of insurance, and the contractor has ceased to trade and is unable to honour claims on the written guarantee.” (GPI, 2017).