WORCESTER has been named as the top Japanese knotweed hotspot in Worcestershire.

Infestations of the invasive plant can cause issues for homeowners as it is known to severely damage properties.

Environet, an invasive plant specialist, has revealed this year’s Japanese Knotweed hotspots in Worcestershire.

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Knotweed hotspots in Worcestershire revealed - full list

With a total of 446 known infestations across Worcestershire, there are three occurrences of Japanese knotweed in every 10km².

Japanese knotweed usually emerges in March or April and grows rapidly to reach up to 2.5 metres in height by mid-summer.

It is identifiable by its hard, bamboo-like canes and distinctive shield-shaped bright green leaves which grow in a zigzag pattern along the stem.

Mature plants flower in August, becoming covered in clusters of delicate tasselled creamy-white flowers. Knotweed does not produce viable seeds as all the plants in the UK are female, so it is usually spread accidentally through the movement of soil or gardening waste, or via rivers and streams when pieces of rhizome break off and take hold in new locations. 

Worcester News: 2023 Japanese knotweed hotspots in Worcestershire.2023 Japanese knotweed hotspots in Worcestershire. (Image: Environet)

Nic Seal, founder of Environet, said: “Vigilance is the best way to protect your property from the risks posed by Japanese knotweed.

"Make sure you know what knotweed looks like and how it differs from other common garden weeds like ivy and bindweed, so you can keep an eye out for it in your garden and neighbourhood.

"Knotweed is easily identifiable during summer, but as we head through the autumn and into winter, the above-ground growth dies back and it becomes much harder to spot.

"It’s also easier to conceal, so anyone viewing a property to buy should be extra careful.

“There are lots of horror stories out there but with professional help, knotweed can be successfully treated and a property’s value can be largely restored.”

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Environment estimates that approximately 5 per cent of homes across the UK are currently affected by Japanese knotweed, either directly or neighbouring an affected property, typically impacting property prices by around 5 per cent - or up to 10 per cent in severe cases.