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Is Welshpool turning Japanese?

 
Created on 24/09/2010 @ 15:07
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The most invasive plant species to have ever invaded Britain is spreading fast across Welshpool, wreaking havoc on our indigenous vegetation.
Japanese Knotweed has been described by worried Powys County Council as “Britain’s most invasive plant” which is so dangerous that it can even expose weaknesses in buildings, foundations, concrete and tarmac.
Welshpool’s infestation is believed to have first been reported in Bron-y-Buckley this summer but the killer plant has since been detected in other areas of the town, causing damage to local plant life and buildings. The recent Powys County Council planning report for the Withy Beds included a large section on the problems the plant is causing there.
And the bad news is that if the plant is detected, it can take up to a year to completely eradicate from its original location and immediate area.
“Legislation puts a duty of care on landowners to be proactive in controlling and eradicating this plant,” said a Powys County Council spokesperson. “If there is Japanese Knotweed on our land, we control it by spraying a herbside. We can only spray it at certain times of the year as well. The nature of this plant also means that one treatment is not enough and we would have to spray it every year until it is eradicated.
“If the plant is found in the hedge, then we would cut it out of the hedge but then all parts of the plant and any soil contaminated with it are classified as controlled waste and are required legally to be removed and disposed of by a licensed waste control operator.”
So what do you need to look out for?
Japanese Knotweed is lush green in colour with heart-shaped leaves. The stem is bamboo like in appearance and it produces white flowers around September and October. It can grow by as much as 10cm per day with a stem that can reach up to 3m high and can move up to 7m away from the plant.
For a full guide on what to do if you suspect Japanese Knotweed on your land or on public land, please visit: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/sectors/31364.aspx
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