Can you burn Japanese knotweed legally

Learn about the proper disposal methods for Japanese Knotweed in the UK. Find out why burning the plant is illegal and why it’s important to engage a professional specialist company for removal and disposal. Get the latest information on the effective management and containment of this invasive species.

In the UK, burning Japanese knotweed is not a recommended or legal method of disposal.

Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive, non-native plant species that is prevalent in the UK and can cause significant damage to buildings, structures, and infrastructure. It is classified as controlled waste under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and must be disposed of at a licensed landfill site. Burning the plant material is not only illegal, but it can also lead to the spread of the plant as small pieces of rhizome or stem can survive and grow into new plants.

In addition, burning Japanese knotweed can release harmful substances such as dioxins and other toxic compounds into the air, which can have negative impacts on human health and the environment.

The most effective method of managing Japanese knotweed is to prevent it from establishing itself in the first place. This can be done by removing all plant material, including roots and rhizomes, and ensuring that none of it is left in the soil. It is also important to keep the plant under control by removing new growth as soon as it appears and by mowing or cutting back the plant before seed production.

If Japanese knotweed has already been established, the best approach is to contain and isolate the infestation. This can be done by excavating a trench around the plant, removing all the roots and rhizomes, and then covering the area with a barrier to prevent new growth. The removed plant material must then be disposed of at a licensed landfill site.

In some cases, the use of chemical herbicides may be necessary to control the growth of Japanese knotweed. Herbicides such as glyphosate or imazapyr can be applied directly to the plant or injected into the stems to prevent growth. However, care must be taken when using chemicals, as they can have adverse effects on the environment and surrounding vegetation. It is recommended to use a professional specialist company that is experienced in the safe and effective use of chemicals for Japanese knotweed control.

Once the Japanese knotweed has been removed, it is important to monitor the site to ensure that no new growth appears. This may require repeated applications of herbicides or physical removal of new shoots.


Japanese knotweed is not a legal or recommended method of disposal in the UK. Effective management and disposal of the plant requires an understanding of its biology and growth habits and a multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates containment, isolation, physical removal, and, in some cases, chemical control. When disposing of Japanese knotweed, it is important to engage a professional specialist company with the necessary permits and insurance to handle the removal and disposal of the plant material to prevent further spread and infestation.