Strimming Japanese knotweed – sensible? No!
As much as I understand the worry and frustration at finding Japanese knotweed on your land, and even more so in communal areas where you may feel further frustration at a lack of independent control, it really is not a good idea to spend time strimming Japanese knotweed, nor chopping away at the plant with a lawn mower.
Increasing the problem
Have a look at this link to an article in the Lancashire Telegraph where a group of residents have been doing just this, and the problem has become worse: https://bit.ly/2NDE770
But why not?
Mowing and strimming will create tiny pieces of the invasive plant that have the capacity to regrow and spread the infestation even further afield.
Strimming Japanese knotweed
Strimming is likely to leave the plant matter on the ground which will through this process clearly increase the size of the growth area.
Rivers and streams
Strimming near a water source could also cause tiny pieces of the plant to become waterbourne, float down-stream and again spread the infestation far and wide.
Mowing Japanese knotweed
Mowing risks the temptation of putting the collected cuttings into your compost bin to rot down.
But when you come to use that compost on the flower beds in your garden you are potentially going to inadvertently grow new Japanese knotweed plants.
You MUST NOT put Japanese knotweed clippings, from any source, into the Council garden waste recycling bins or bags – it is illegal to do so under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981)
Japanese Knotweed is classified as an invasive species listed under Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981)
Schedule 9, section 14 states that it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause the species to grow in the wild
Section 14(2) : “if any person plants or otherwise causes to grow in the wild any plant which is included in Part 2 of Schedule 9, he shall be guilty of an offence”
Ignoring the problem
Fundamentally, by cutting/mowing or strimming the Japanese knotweed, you are storing up problems for the future, not only in the fact that you may increase the size of the infestation but also because, should you want to sell your property, you will find that any potential buyer will struggle to get a mortgage and if the plants on your land were to spread to your neighbour’s land, they can take you to court, and in July 2018, a precedent was recognised meaning that they are likely to win their case.