KNOTWEED SURGE Dangerous Japanese Knotweed being spread by illegal dumping in Dublin, experts say
DANGEROUS Japanese Knotweed is being spread by illegal dumping, experts say.
Council biodiversity officers tasked with trying to contain the invasive plant have revealed that its growth is most prevalent along waterways.
The Asian plant, which has been wreaking havoc all over Ireland, can undermine the structural integrity of roads and buildings if it begins to grow in cracks and crevices.
According to figures released to the Irish Sun, Dublin City Council has 72 known sites with the presence of the plant, while Fingal have recorded 174 Japanese Knotweed stands within its boundaries.
DCC Senior Executive Parks Superintendent, Maryann Harris warned the invasive species can also be spread by simply cutting through the plant.
She said: “In Dublin city, Japanese knotweed is primarily found along waterways but also may be found in localised areas where dumping of spoil and other materials have taken place, derelict sites and areas of former
landfills and reclamation. Japanese knotweed can be spread by the movement of soil which contains shoots or roots of the plant.
“The soil that Japanese Knotweed has been growing in is legally designated as a ‘vector’ and it can only be disposed of at specially approved sites. Managing soil movement is critical.
“Another cause of spread is through cutting of the plant when people are unaware of it, causing cuttings to spread as new plants. Therefore, surveying and monitoring is a way to prevent this.”
Maryann added: “It is distributed throughout the city in localised areas which often are a result of the dumping of spoil or soil.”
It is an offence to allow dispersal of Japanese Knotweed or cause its spread.
Only special weedkillers applied over repeated treatments helps eradicate it.
Fingal County Council Biodiversity Officer Hans Visser said: “We have found 174 Japanese Knotweed stands so far throughout the county.
“Most of these records are located along rivers and on sites where dumping of Japanese Knotweed contaminated soil took place.”