Japanese knotweed map shows hotspots in West Midlands as homeowners issued warning

An interactive map shows Japanese hotspots across the UK as homeowners have been warned that they require to share whether or not it is present on their property if they wish to sell. The invasive species can be damaging to native plants. And since 2013, sellers are required to state whether it is present on the property.

This is done through a TA6 form which can be explained by a conveyancer or solicitor. If you are selling, it is your responsibility to check the garden for Japanese knotweed - bearing in mind that it can die back in winter. Whether a buyer or seller, it is also worth being pro-active and checking the property for the plant.

QUIZ: Can you guess these Birmingham hidden gems through old photos?[1] Get breaking news on BirminghamLive WhatsApp[2] Disputes over the identity of a plant, the failure to disclose its presence, or the lack of a management plan can result in delays, increased costs later in the buying process, or even a possible misrepresentation claim after the sale, so this approach will help avoid problems, RHS says.[3]

An interactive map on environetuk[4] details occurrences of Japanese knotweed in areas across Britain. This includes more than 100 in the West Midlands.

Japanese Knotweed

How to identify Japanese knotweed

Paul Kershaw, from TradeFix Direct,[5] said: "Japanese knotweed can change in appearance over the seasons. In spring, the plant emerges in the form of red shoots which later grow into broad, green leaves shaped like a shield or a shovel.

Between late August and early September, the plant will begin to sprout small cream-coloured flowers that tend to bloom in clusters. The leaves will turn yellow and drop as autumn approaches. "The stems are reminiscent of bamboo and are covered in purple speckles.

Knotweed can grow up to 2-3m in height during the summer with the leaves growing up to 14cm and flowers up to 15cm. It can often be found growing along canals and rivers, in residential gardens, near railway lines, on motorways and along public footpaths. "One of the main difficulties in identifying Japanese knotweed is that it can be misidentified for a number of other plants.

This includes (but is not limited to) other forms of knotweed such as lesser, giant and dwarf knotweed; dogwood; bamboo; buckwheat; horsetail; red bistorts and Russian vine."

What to do if you identify Japanese knotweed on your property

Mr Kershaw added: "Early identification of Japanese knotweed is crucial, as the longer it is left to take root, the harder it is to extract and can require extensive treatment plans which last months and sometimes even years. Smaller clumps of knotweed can typically be dealt with using a glyphosate-based herbicide. However, it can take up to three years for knotweed to be treated using chemicals alone, so the plant must be resprayed regularly.

"It can be a criminal offence to handle knotweed on your own. Improper removal and disposal of knotweed can further the spread and cause structural damage, which can lead to hefty fines and leave you liable to prosecution. Instead, contact a licensed professional to remove and dispose of the plant.

It is important to consult the Environment Agency before removing or disposing of knotweed. They can also answer any questions you may have, advise you on how to go about legally handling the plant, and direct you to any companies who are licensed to do so for you."

Legal and financial implications

"If you are selling a property, it is your legal responsibility to check your garden for knotweed, confirm if it is present and display that you are taking adequate steps to ensure its removal," Mr Kershaw said. "If someone buys your property and identifies knotweed that hasn't been disclosed, they may be able to make a claim against you so that you are liable for the costs of the treatment. "Japanese knotweed can significantly reduce a house's value due to the structural damage that it can cause.

The larger the infestation, the more capacity it has to devalue the property, so it's important to make a thorough assessment of the extent of the knotweed infestation before committing to buy a house.

It can be challenging to secure a mortgage for properties where knotweed is present, and in some cases, lenders will outright refuse to get involved with a property in which knotweed is a factor."


  1. ^ Can you guess these Birmingham hidden gems through old photos? (xd.wayin.com)
  2. ^ BirminghamLive WhatsApp (chat.whatsapp.com)
  3. ^ RHS says. (go.skimresources.com)
  4. ^ environetuk (www.environetuk.com)
  5. ^ TradeFix Direct, (tradefixdirect.com)