japanese knotweed plant japanese knotweed plant

Your Japanese Knotweed Experts

IMS provide one of the only licenced facilities in Ireland for the off-site biosecure disposal of Japanese knotweed
men covering ground with large plastic covers

The problems with Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed is an extraordinarily aggressive and fast-growing invasive species which poses a substantial threat to the built and natural environment. The knotweed is capable of damaging built environments by exploiting cracks and weaknesses in tarmac and paving or mortar as the rhizome root system extends in search of moisture.

The problems it causes to the floral environment are even greater, damaging biodiversity and increasing flooding risks as the plant wins out over native species.

IMS provide one of the only licenced facilities in Ireland for the off-site biosecure disposal of Japanese knotweed. Now that Invasive Species Surveys have recently become a planning application requirement in many Local Authority areas, this service will prove vital to many developments.

The Situation in Ireland

In Japan, a combination of fungus and insects are controlling the spread of Japanese knotweed. In Europe, and more specifically in Ireland, we lack natural threats to protect our soil and stop the invasion. These past few years, Japanese Knotweed has spread throughout Ireland, competing with native species for vital light, water and nutrients and causing irremediable damages to commercial and residential properties.The knotweed is capable of damaging built environments by exploiting cracks and weaknesses in tarmac and paving or mortar as the rhizome root system extends in search of moisture. Even fragments of the plant left in soil can start a new plant - even a small piece is sufficient to start another plant and such fragments are easily picked up in soil and on equipment.

Close up of cut Japanese knotweed root
Roots can cause structural damage. As with other woody plants, the pressure exerted by the expanding roots can cause structural splits and push up through car parks and drives. The rhizomes can damage pipes and cabling, blocking or lifting the pipework and clogging sumps.
japanese knotweed plant
Japanese Knotweed can damage the floral environment. The problems it causes to the floral environment are even greater, damaging biodiversity and increasing flooding risks as the plant wins out over native species.
men covering ground with large plastic covers
Japanese Knotweed needs an expert. Knotweed spreads by fragments of its roots being distributed to new locations. This means the plant cannot be cut back like other flora - no attempt should be made to deal with it without the involvement of a licensed expert.

The Legal Situation

Japanese Knotweed and the infested soil are subject to restrictions under the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011. The law states that it is an offence to ‘allow or cause to disperse’ such plants. 

As such, any Japanese Knotweed plant material or contaminated soil that is to be removed from an infested site can only be done so under a licence issued by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

In relation to planning applications, permission for a development can be refused by any Irish planning authority on the basis of Japanese Knotweed being present without expert mitigation measures being part of the plans. Conditions are being attached to planning permissions seeking written confirmation from suitably qualified experts that a management plan is in place for the eradication of such invasive species.

soil being emptied from back of a truck

The Knotweed Solution

The safest option to deal with the risks caused by Japanese Knotweed is to completely remove the plant from the site. This is done by controlled excavation and managed offsite disposal at licenced facilities, such as IMS’s.

Our removal service includes assessment, licence applications, supervision excavation, transport and disposal.

An ecological survey, biosecurity plan and licence are required in advance of disturbing the infected area. Strict and verified biosecurity and control measures are put in place to reduce risks associated with excavation and transport of the materials.

IMS work with the best experts in this area. They send us samples from suspected Japanese Knotweed. We then run the tests and formulate a biosecurity and decontamination protocol for the material to make sure that the plant is securely removed and transported until it reaches us and we dispose of it.

Disposal is carefully coordinated under the supervision of an ecologist and landfill engineer to ensure the fullest protection possible for the environment and building readiness of the site. Full chain of custody and safe disposal certificates will be provided.

Not just is this in line with best practice and regulations for our built environment, it is also vital for the health of our ecosystems and biodiversity.

people in hi-vis on site with machinery

Do you have a Japanese Knotweed problem?

So, if your site shows any evidence of Japanese Knotweed, contact us today for a consultation.
Call us on 01 843 3744 or email us at info@imsirl.ie.