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These five garden plants can devalue your home by 15% AND cost £15K to remove

Chronicle Live logo Chronicle Live 21/05/2022 Mike Kelly

Buying or selling property is often a stressful time, especially when you have to deal with unforeseen problems. As we head into summer, it is worth looking at your garden - as it turns out some plants can not only damage your property, but devalue it.

Some of the plants identified are attractive look at it, but also quite literally have a sting in the tail. Not only can they damage your property, they can adversely affect people's health too.

To help better identify invasive plants before purchasing a new home, or to solve current issues in your garden, surveyor experts at has revealed five of the most common garden plants that could devalue your property if not removed, and their estimated removal cost.

Read more: Where dangerous giant hogweed grows in the North East, mapped

1. Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed © Tomas Vynikal/Shutterstock Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant with bamboo-like red shoots and shovel-shaped leaves. It can grow up to three metres tall in spring and summer, but the worst part about this plant is that its roots can reach down to 20 metres underground.

According to Stokemont, the spread of Japanese knotweed underground could damage pipework and drains and weaken building foundation or paving, leading to foundational collapse and poor flood defences.

Due to these damages, Japanese Knotweed is listed as a defect to the property by the Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (RICS) Homebuyer Reports, with the potential to reduce the price of your property by 5% to 15%.

Estimated removal cost - up to £15,000

2. Ivy

Ivy on the wall of a house © Svitlana Tytska/Shutterstock Ivy on the wall of a house

Commonly seen across Europe, English Ivy is dangerous to your house. With a strong wall-climbing ability, this garden invader could easily penetrate your wall cracks, damage the mortar, and bring dampness or leaks to the house.

Estimated removal cost - up to £1,000

3. Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed © Cyrustr/Shutterstock Giant Hogweed

Similar to Japanese knotweed, Giant Hogweed is also invasive with their fast spreading ability. More easily spotted in June and July, this cow-parsley-like plant has thick green stems with purple spots and white flowers shaped like a round umbrella on top.

It is widespread across the UK, especially around rivers and ponds, its sap is phototoxic and can cause severe skin burns or scars under sunlight. Though not causing direct harm to the property, buyers may still refuse to pay a higher price if present because of its high cost of removal.

Estimated removal cost - up to £15,000

4. Poplar, Willow and Oak Trees

An Oak tree © Allen Paul Photography/Shutterstock An Oak tree

While most trees cause no harm, large trees like Poplar, Willow and Oak can be dangerous if grown close to the property. For example with Poplar trees, their root systems, shallow and fast-growing, can spread out to 40 metres and take up 1,000 litre of water and nutrients from the soil.

They could live around 50 years and are harder to remove when their roots grow thicker and bigger as time progresses. Their age, soil type, location, depth all matter when deciding whether your tree is a problem.

If grown too close to your property, they could lead to further risks of cracks in foundations, subsidence and other structural defects.

Estimated removal cost - up to £3,000

5. Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam © INTREEGUE Photography/Shutterstock Himalayan Balsam

As the name suggests, Himalayan Balsam is from the Himalayas and was brought to the UK in 1839. It grows up to two to three metres tall and has pink flowers in summer and early autumn.

Despite its beautiful colours, this invasive plant could spread 800 seeds metres away or even through rivers, potentially killing off other plants and reducing biodiversity by stealing all lights, nutrients or water.

It does not have physical danger to humans but its significant ecological impact on nature and associated laws are not favoured by buyers. So it is recommended to keep this plant controlled or eradicated, and make sure it does not spread to your neighbours’ home as it can be illegal.

Estimated removal cost - up to £2,000

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