Overgrown and dangerous what’s lurking in your garden?

News at Kerr & Co | 29/06/2018

With the recent wet weather and sunny spells, we have seen gardens burst in both colour and overgrown greenery.

If you are thinking of buying or letting your property over the next 3 months you should make a point cutting back any overgrown hedges or trees.  Properties which have large mature trees and shrubs need particular attention, especially have been rented long term.  

Common problems include :

Structural damage caused by subsidence: This is generally only a problem on shrinkable clay soils, especially in London. Buildings up to four storeys constructed before the 1950s are most at risk, as they frequently have comparatively shallow foundations

Drain damage : Roots may enter and block drains. If the drain leaks it can lead to the formation of cavities where water flows into the soil. Older drains with poor seals and rigid joints are most susceptible

Physical damage : Branches can cause damage to roofs and guttering. Suckers and expanding roots can lift paving and lightweight structures, such as paving, garages and sheds.

Keep footpaths clearTrees and hedges are the responsibility of the owner of the land they are situated on. Therefore owners have a legal obligation to keep any over grown greenery from encroaching on the highway, this includes blocking pavements and signage, failure to keep overgrown vegetation can result in a fine which  issued by the council.

Not So Pleasant Plants 

Japanese Knotweed is an ornamental vine which was originally brought to the UK during the Victorian era. The weed may appear harmless, but it has the ability to break through concrete and tarmac causing damage to building foundations and retaining wall structures. This will not only damage the stability of a residence or workplace, but it will also seriously depreciate the property’s value.

According to rules recently proposed by the government, the punishment for neglecting civil responsibility for growth of the evasive plant could become increasingly severe. Anti-social behaviour orders could be distributed as punishments to those who fail to control infestations, if found guilty of the spread of Japanese Knotweed, you could  leave yourself open to fines of up to £20,000. 

Deadly night shade and Hemlock

A flowering plants with attractive purple flowers but produce poisonous berries in the autumn .  Hemlock is a tall green plant with purple spots on its stem and leaves similar to the carrot plant, it has white flowers. If it is eaten hemlock causes sickness and in severe cases it can kill by paralysing the lungs.

Creepers and Climbers 

Ivy, Virginia Creeper and Wisteria are all steadfast climbing plants which are attractive in the garden,  but can cause damage to walls and brick work if not properly maintained.

For more information please see : https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=524