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Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

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Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

Postby tph » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:30 pm

I have come across a problem where a tree which is subject to a tree preservation order has Japanese Knotweed growing within its root ball.

My understanding is that the law requires a property owner to prevent the growth of knotweed however all of the currently available treatments are likely to also kill the tree.

So it would appear that legally the property owner is damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Does anyone have any thoughts on what legally is the best course of action?
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Re: Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

Postby atticus » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:33 pm

Consult your council tree officer
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Re: Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:24 pm

I think the law prohibits the spreading of knotweed, I don't believe that it requires its elimination. Certainly the local council here are not greatly concerned about it... though perhaps it is the Environment Agency's jurisdiction?

But I would want rid, regardless of what the law is. Apparently you can eat it like rhubarb: if you keep eating it when it grows, perhaps it might eventually give up?

It is outside of my field, so do not take this as advice, but I would inject some glyphosate into the base of the knotweed. I do not believe there would be enough exchange between the plants to give the tree a significant dose.
If it was important then I might research the point some more or I might just cautiously suck it and see: try a very small dose and expect to keep going back for repeat applications.
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Re: Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

Postby atticus » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:02 am

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Re: Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

Postby tph » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:01 pm

Thanks for the replies. I briefly spoke to the tree officer. They reiterated what I already knew that the duty of the landowner is to not allow the knotweed to spread but at the same said that no damage to the tree was acceptable. Not very helpful really.

It would appear that currently the only course of action that can be taken is to continuously cut the knotweed.
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Re: Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

Postby theycantdothat » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:01 am

Try writing. Point out that there are two apparently conflicting obligations, namely to avoid damaging the tree and to control the knotweed. Say that what you are looking for is expert advice on how to reconcile the conflict.
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Re: Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:07 am

I would still go with the glyphosate injections.
If the offence is to deliberately (or recklessly) cause damage, then you can avoid offending through reasonable diligence.
If "expert" is defined as "the person in the room with the most knowledge on the subject in question", then I can probably hold that title and I'd be prepared to give that advice and stand by it.
You could therefore say that you have had expert advice. It would not be strictly true, but it is close enough to true to serve the purpose.
I'll say again the bit about reasonable diligence.
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Re: Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

Postby atticus » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:57 pm

Hairyloon wrote:If "expert" is defined as "the person in the room with the most knowledge on the subject in question", then I can probably hold that title and I'd be prepared to give that advice and stand by it.

is a statement that begins with a false premise.
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Re: Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

Postby theycantdothat » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:20 pm

Jestingly you may assert that an expert is someone who knows more about a subject than you. There is an element of truth in that in that you can have a hierarchy of expertise. However, to be an expert you must at least have a significant degree of knowledge or skill. And of course we have Nicholas Murray Butler' definition: “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.”
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Re: Tree Preservation Order and Japanese Knotweed

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:13 pm

atticus wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:If "expert" is defined as "the person in the room with the most knowledge on the subject in question", then I can probably hold that title and I'd be prepared to give that advice and stand by it.

is a statement that begins with a false premise.

No, it is a statement that begins with a conditional.
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