Japanese Knotweed Removal by Herbicide Stem Injection

If you have attempted Japanese knotweed removal in the past you will know that it is not an ordinary weed. There are some options available though. One option for removing Japanese knotweed is not generally known. It is chemical stem injection.

You might already know that the herbicide, glyphosate chemical treatment is sometimes used to get rid of Japanese knotweed. Glyphosate can be applied as a leaf spray using a pressurised garden sprayer. But glyphosate can also be injected into the canes?

Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide. In other words, it kills just about everything. If you will be removing knotweed near your other plants, a spray of glyphosate could also kill them. So herbicide injection could be the answer when you are performing Japanese knotweed removal. It should, therefore, be used if there are environmentally sensitive factors such as watercourses, protected trees, valuable hedges, etc. which must not be harmed.

JBB GroundcareJapanese Knotweed chemical treatment stem injectionJBB Groundcare

If you take a look at a cane of Japanese knotweed at close range, you will it is divided into dead canes and new shoots. Where one segment ends and the other begins, you will discover a node. Between these nodes you will find a hollow tube, similar to bamboo. In fact, Japanese knotweed has a nickname of Mexican Bamboo.

Nodes are the places on a plant’s stem where branches grow. Similarly, on the branches, the places from which buds or other branches grow are called nodes. By making your cut above them, you do not lose out on the buds.

How to Remove the Weed by Glyphosate Injection

It is best to wait till late summer or early autumn to inject Japanese Knotweed when the canes are a half-inch in width between the first and the second nodes. Japanese knotweed plants are herbaceous perennials (a plant whose growth dies down annually but whose roots or other underground parts survive). Since their leaves die back during the winter months, it is through their roots that the plants have the ability to live on to grow again. At the very end of the Japanese knotweed’s growing season, its nutrients are passed from the leaves down through the actual canes themselves then down to the rhizomes – (a continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals). This continues until the first frost gives you the possibility to eradicate Japanese knotweed. 

An injection tool is simple to use. It has three parts. The gun, a reservoir and the needle that is in the tip of the gun itself. Preparing the gun goes as follows:

  • Put together the 3 parts of the injection tool
  • Fill up the reservoir with herbicide
  • Inject the needle between the first and second nodes of the cane
  • After pushing the needle into the Japanese knotweed cane ensure that the hole is placed in the hollow area of the Japanese Knotweed cane
  • Pull on the trigger which will discharge the glyphosate chemical
  • Repeat the injections year on year as necessary
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“I’d like to recommend Ian for his services on invasive weeds. As a Chartered Surveyor having an expert to turn to for advice and information is crucial. Ian spent time with me and 2 graduates on site to discuss the remediation of knotweed. His knowledge is second to none and the depth of information he provided in his area of expertise is impressive. I would 100% recommend Ian.”

Jonathan Annan MRICS