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How many people can identify Japanese Knotweed

HootieHootie Posts: 3


I'm an avid gardener and have been buying this magazine for years and grew up watching Percy Thrower and then Geoff Hamilton with much interest.

I just wanted to let others know about the turmoil this stuff can cause if you come across it in your garden. We don't have it after paying for a specialist survey.

I have never come across Japanese Knotweed but we have just lost our buyers due to a valuation surveyor from e-serve wrongly identifying a bush in my garden. 

Having designed, planted and constantly weeded my garden for some time I have never come across JK and we are so shocked this has happened.

The Japanese Knotweed that the surveyor has notified the bank and buyers of  has now been identified as  Cornus Alba , Siberian Dogwood by a specialist at the councils environmental health department. I knew it was a cornus but as its just always sat there and not done much Iv never really given it much attention.

My neighbour has it on his side and I think there might be a forsythia bush in the mix.

So we are truly fed up. I shall continue to look after my garden and have considered taking out our Siberian interloper but as the knotweed specialist said, why should I. I was planning to put some weed membrane down over some areas this winter as I have Plantae fascia to cut down on the weeding. Im not sure quite what to do now.

On the RICS guidelines for surveyors is states that some people will try and cover up KW with weed membrane. Surely this is nonsense as JK grows through walls, paving and weed membrane would not hold it back. So maybe the surveyor saw my small covered area finished off with Cotswold chippings9Next to back door to stop mud coming on from the dogs paws) and thought I had tried to cover up the spread of JK. Which I don't have anyway.







  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    I would write to the surveyor's governing body and make a very forceful complaint. Make sure you quote his name as it is a scandal if he is saying this on every report he does. I would also make a formal complaint to the firm he was doing the survey for.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,836

    Oh dear there are some idiots out there.  That is definitely a cornus.

    I think I'd feel like sueing e-serve - their employee's mistake has cost you a lot of money image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • HootieHootie Posts: 3

    Thanks for your replies. This is a nightmare really. And yes there are some idiots out there employed to look for something that they are not qualified to identify. Sure he's had a lovely weekend. I have his name and apparently he's an expert surveyor!

     Its beyond belief and basic intelligence that our cornus could ever be confused with JK. The specialist company that did the survey have been backed up by our local Environmental Health who have taken a keen interests in this case. Apparently in recent months people have been turning up at the council offices with specimens of possible JK for them to identify

    I have looked into litigation but it could cost us more than its worth to go to court.

    We have been offered advice from our conveyance solicitors if I want to go down the small claims route to get money back for the survey which is very kind of them.. But I have to be careful here as I'm sure if there's a way the company involved will wriggle out of it .I shall write first and go through the process with any advice I can get. Also the buyers are out of pocket as they paid for this untrained botanist come surveyor to survey our house.


    Not sure about this but we have read that if you try killing it with round up or root killer it just distorts it and it carries in growing. We've been really lucky with weeds in our garden, Just the normal culprits and lots of mint that wont go away. and two giant fuchsia bushes infested with spiders throughout the summer.

    Also we just wondered how many people who do not realise what JK is chop it down or try and dig it up and shred it or compost it and therefore unknowingly spread it.

    Glad we don't have it.!


  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,498

    Why don't you ask the estate agent or your solicitor to contact the potential buyers or their solicitor and say that there has been a misidentification of JK in this case?

    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Is this like the scare ramped up about non-existent danger from asbestos cement?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,754

    I'd follow Redwing's advice. You may get the buyer back if this can be sorted out properly. Ridiculous situation.

    I wish people could hear the ludicrous statements some surveyors come up with - I've had previous experience which shows, at best - how daft they are, or at worst - criminally negligent. image

    If it's costing you the sale of your property, I'd definitely take it further.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,836

    Our surveyor told us there was a gas fire in this house ......... it's electric image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,754

    The one that did my Dad's house brought up the 'attic conversion'

    I said to my lawyer -  'would you like to know what he's talking about?'  

    It was the little pieces of timber my Dad had attached to the walls and some of the joists, to make little shelves to hold all his little jars and boxes for his work and DIY projects......oh how we laughed.....

    You couldn't make it up....image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • HootieHootie Posts: 3

    I'm going to start the process today. The buyers have been told that the surveyor is wrong but they are very nervous having moved here from abroad.  I would be the same in their situation.

    The estate agents are up in arms about this and trying to rectify the situation.

    Im going to see if e- surve have received my specialists report today as they had not last week. The lender had not received it either. Then write out a plan of action.

    Jo47 and others,  thank you as you have helped me clarify what I need to do.

    This is not what I had in mind of doing this week, but at least I can get rid of some of the  stress by clearing leaves and being outside with the kids in the garden.

    My husband has decided we should name our Siberian Dogwood, Vlad the imposter.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,836

    Nah - call it Vlad the Impaler and send it after the Surveyor to get it's own back for casting aspersions!!! image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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