The invasive plant called Japanese knotweed comes literally from Japan although it is not considered there like a pest, but rather a native plant that is non-invasive at all, however, across Europe and the United States, this plant is responsible for millions of dollars and pound sterling each year.
Property damage costs a lot of property owners millions worth of damage because of the plant’s ability to grow rapidly through the small gaps, pavements, roads, and wall structures of properties that result to cracks, poor structural integrity, and loss of value of the property.
Also, it kills native species of plants because of its unfair advantage of growing a lot faster than the native plants which then takes over the entire area, leaving nothing for the native plants.
In fact, the United Kingdom allocated £1.56 billion which is the total cost to control the invasive plant. The control and elimination of the plant use chemicals, however, many environmentalist groups do not side this kind of termination of the Japanese knotweed because of its unsustainable way. The only solution to this is a cost-effective solution that will not harm the environment and poses a longer-term solution.
Japanese knotweed can grow anywhere, it can even penetrate on hairline cracks of concrete, it destroys river dikes, and car parks, not to mention wall structures and pavements that costs a lot of money each year for property owners.
The reason why Japanese knotweed is considered invasive and harmful to other plants is that it is not fit for biodiversity, instead, it invades the native vegetation by limiting native plants and animal species that are already diversely inhabiting there. Also, scientific studies found out that Japanese knotweed damage is caused by the plant’s release of chemicals which suppresses the growth of other plants in the vegetation.
It also risks the area where it grows of flood and decreases the water quality. Scientific studies also found out that aquatic organisms are not able to process knotweed leaf compared to the native vegetation because it displaces potential food chains. It also causes denser foliage that causes heavy shading along narrow streams that reduces the aquatic plant to grow abundantly along riversides. It also reduces rivers to carry floodwater effectively because of its canes that block grids and sluices and on top of that, it causes erosion that silts fish spawning areas.
Japanese knotweed is also known to be an obstruction for hikers, and boaters along the river banks because it impedes full access to the area.
Most importantly, its damage causes a lot of money from property owners because of its ability to grow on concretes regardless of where it is located that costs development and the regeneration schemes of the owners.
The value of the property decreases because there are more mortgage companies that refuse to approve applications for properties that Japanese knotweed is growing abundantly. In fact, it already cost the United Kingdom an estimated £170 each year, not to mention the cost of eliminating this invasive plant.