Prentiss Riddle: Garden

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Plant bamboo, go to jail

Why on earth do people plant bamboo outside its native habitat? Don't they know that once it's planted it's virtually impossible to remove? And it's extremely invasive -- it will not only take over your yard but your neighbor's. It's common to see bamboo planted for privacy along a fenceline consume 15 feet or more in every direction. You can't plant anything around it because it will outgrow and engulf everything in its path. If you cut it down it sends up spikes immediately, so even if you try to control it by chopping it to the ground and mowing frequently the resulting "lawn" will be an unusuable punji trap. Barriers are futile because it sends out subterranean runners like bermuda grass and digging it up is equally useless because it will grow back from any shred of root you miss. Short of tactical nukes or laying concrete there seems to be no way to get rid of it.

Supposedly there are non-invasive varieties but I don't know how widely available they are. Maybe the people at the Texas Bamboo Festival could say, although something tells me that asking might be like inquiring about "smart handguns" at an NRA meeting. I have bamboo-loving acquaintances who think of me as an anti-bamboo bigot because I made the mistake of sharing these opinions with them -- in much milder terms, of course!

Bamboo isn't just a backyard nuisance. Here in Texas there are numerous groves of bamboo in parks and undeveloped land. As an invasive exotic species, bamboo displaces habitat for native plants and wildlife as effectively as a bulldozer. I don't see how people who complain about clearcutting or acres of parking lots should feel any more kindly toward bamboo.

Native plant activists would do well to come up with a responsible alternative to bamboo as a privacy planting. There must be some native Texas tree or shrub which could be trained or trimmed to grow in a dense and compact vertical form, without being as aggressive as bamboo. (And if not, there's always the composting fence idea.)

garden 2003.08.11 link


I kind of like bamboo, although I agree with you that it's a scourge...why do I like it? Because everyone else hates it. Which means that if you want bamboo, it's free if you'll just haul it away. And once hauled away, it makes an excellent and lightweight building material for rattleclap tiki bars, wacky Trading-Spaces-esque furniture, frames, flutes, stilts, and just about anything else you can imagine. Bamboo is a boon to the creative yet impoverished, for sure.

Reen • 2003.08.12
Oh, sure, I like dead bamboo just fine. The only good bamboo is a dead bamboo.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2003.08.12
Never having lived in a climate where bamboo has half a chance, I can only wonder if "bamboo shoots" as served in restaurants could be harvested from the growing mass of plants.

Or bring in some pandas?

Edward Vielmetti [emv cxe monkey punkto org] • 2003.08.12
You speak with the vehemence of a man who has spent his weekends wrestling with incursive bamboo, in the same bitter tone that people in my neck of the woods reserve for kudzu. Is Texas doubly cursed? Have you both bamboo AND kudzu?

Reen • 2003.08.13
Bamboo is both from Asia and from the America continent. In its American version, it grew everywhere it had the conditions, although I haven't ever seen it in the huge swaths you describe. In Colombia there are cathedrals, monorails, towers and pavilions and the like made of bamboo. It is cheap, plentiful and, oh the best, excellent at protecting the soil against erosion.
Speak not bad about the bamboo. Be the bamboo.

Camilo [camilo cxe confusedkid punkto com] • 2003.08.14
Further on the bamboo, or guadua

Camilo [camilo cxe confusedkid punkto com] • 2003.08.14
Oi Prentiss,

I have perused your site these past years. I came across it from a link on the Enigmatic Mermaid's site.

You always impressed me with your eclectic mix of links and viewpoints. However, your bambuphobia disappoints me.

Yes, bamboo is invasive and in my opinion, very "tackily" used in the US but in the "developing world" like my native country of Brazil, it's the best sustainable/renewable resource, we got yo!

If bet if you even asked Snoop Dog ( he would agree that the bambiznit is the shiznit, yo.

I might be bias because I dedicated the past 3 years of my life and all my resources to learning about bambu and breathing it 24/7, but I also like to think of myself as a rational human being.

Viva El Bambu e Snoop Dog!

Joao Bambu

check out for the real shiznit on bambu

João Bambulione [joao cxe bambubrasileiro punkto com] • 2003.09.12
There are several note worthy species of clumping bamboos. Check out Having spent time in the Guaduals (Guadua Forests) of Colombia in the Eje Cafetero, I am completely biased about Guadua. You can see my pictures on trek share under Joaos page. Curiously, You wont see any photos with him.
All bamboo needs maintenance so removing old culms once a year is crucial. This can be a gardeners nightmare but there are aesthetically pleasing aspects of bamboo. Dont plant bamboo if you don’t like a lot of leaves and yearly maintenance.

will [will cxe koolbamboo punkto com] • 2004.02.18
Since I keep getting comments on this, I'll revisit it.

Despite the tongue-in-cheek title above, I'm not an anti-bamboo bigot. What I'm really against isn't bamboo per se but exotic invasive species.

Whenever plant or animal species are introduced in places where they aren't native, there is a risk that they will overrun the landscape, driving out native species and reducing biodiversity. We've heard about plagues of rabbits in Australia, kudzu vines in the southern US, etc. Isolated ecosystems -- islands, for instance -- are especially vulnerable. They say that in Hawaii more native species have been wiped out by invaders than still survive, and you can look at a lush forest scene and think you're looking at primordial Hawaii when in fact every species in sight is an invader.

Here in Texas the poster child for invasive species is the fire ant, an aggressive stinging insect introduced during my lifetime which means my kids can't run around barefoot the way I did when I was their age. In the fire ants' native Brazil there is a parasitic wasp which keeps their numbers in check and makes them nocturnal, but in Texas there are few predators that affect fire ants and they run wild. Fire ants aren't just a hassle in a suburban lawn but are life-threatening to the young of many mammals and other native species. They may even be a greater factor in the rapid decline of some native species than pollution or habitat loss.

As I first blogged, in Texas bamboo is another invasive species, not as serious a problem as the fire ant, perhaps, but a major nuisance nevertheless. Bamboo in its native habitat is great! But keep it out of places where it doesn't belong, please.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2004.02.18
I want to plant bamboo along my back fence line and I hope it invades both of my neighbors yard, and grows so thick I can't see them or their house. As you can tell I don't like either one of them. I just wish I had planted it when I moved in..One of them dumps run off water on me, and the other is a smart ass know it all doctor who has barking dogs. I hope it grows 50 feet tall and has 8 inch stalks. The thicker the better. I can handle my side.....they can do what they please.....I just need to know the fastest and best way to plant it...:)

Kenny [kennycb cxe comcast punkto net] • 2004.03.11
We are thinking of putting bamboo floors in our house. Anyone have any thoughts? It's evidently becoming quite popular these days. Isn't it better to use an apparently inexhaustible "pest species" like bamboo for flooring than an alternative like oak or (as suggested by one retailer) "Brazilian cherry"?

bruce [bmccands1 cxe aol punkto com] • 2004.03.11
Yes! I've seen some bamboo floors and they're gorgeous.

And I don't know whether the bamboo used for floors is a "pest". As the bamboo-lovers above have pointed out, there are many places where it's native. The eco-friendly thing about bamboo is that it grows very fast and involves a lot less destruction of habitat per square foot of floor than hardwood does, or so I gather.

The one thing I'd ask about is what its potential for refinishing in the future is. When we remodeled a couple of years back we chose wood even for high-damage areas like kitchen and the dining room because it's possible in twenty years when the floors are really beat up to come back in and take off the top 1/16" or so of the wood and it'll be good as new. I'd ask whether you can do the same with bamboo, although even if the answer is no I wouldn't necessarily let it stop me.

If you go against bamboo, I'd also ask about recycled wood floors. We chose to use non-recycled wood because the builder talked us into it, saying he couldn't guarantee against imperfections in recycled wood the way he could with new wood. I always regeretted it. A few imperfections just mean "character" in my book, and even the new wood ended up with some flaws. The cost would have been the same.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2004.03.11
Thanks Prentiss, I'll ask about the refinishing aspect. One of my concerns is that while lots of folks are buying bamboo for floors these days, I don't know anyone who's used it for any length of time, so it's hard to know what it will look like in ten or fifteen years. I'll check out the recycled wood too--I'd never heard of it.

bruce [bmccands1 cxe aol punkto com] • 2004.03.12
The most invasive species, are rednecks...

arboloco [ertre21] • 2004.03.14
I think bamboo looks nice and if you had a neighbor like mine you would want it too. So if there is anyone will to send me a few roots i would be loving it

LeeAnn [lost_lee cxe yahoo punkto com] • 2004.03.30
Very interesting about bamboo I never knew it caused so much trouble as wellas pleasure

foggie [foggie cxe foggieslot punkto com] • 2004.03.31
What north Austin parks have bamboo investations? I desparately need to go survey one for a high school biology project! Thanks in advance.

MarkB [mbcoats cxe austin punkto ibm punkto com] • 2004.04.01
There are stands of bamboo along Shoal Creek between 29th Street and 24th Street. As I recall some are along the hike-and-bike trail and some are on the other side of Lamar, near where the Optimists sell christmas trees every year.

Be aware that the bamboo has long housed homeless people's campsites. (Lars Eighner wrote about them in his Travels with Lizbeth and I've wanted to go with book in hand and try to pinpoint the spot he wrote about and the nosy neighbor who called the police down on him.) I don't think there'd be any problems for a class of high school kids in broad daylight -- they're not as isolated as some of the homeless camps in South Austin, and my impression is that the inhabitants pretty much clear out in the daytime. But don't be shocked when you find evidence of habitation.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2004.04.01
I'm looking for a place, preferably out of US, to work and live this summer learning to use bamboo in reforestation techniques and craft projects. Can anybody give me the scoop on this??

bamboona [emiliah23 cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2004.04.08
Here's a New York Times article on landscaping for privacy that doesn't recommend anything invasive like bamboo.

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2004.04.18
We are overrun by some species of bamboo "weed"here in the wilds of northeastern PA. Prentiss, it is unstoppable and is undermining whatever lawn that I once had. I'm digging, digging against all odds.
Find me a cure and i'll give you my 6 kids!

John Kurilla [jgorila cxe echoes punkto net] • 2004.05.16
Bamboo, bamboo. I guess one can look at from two different perspectives. I am prepping a spot for black bamboo in my back yard to screen the alley. Am I making a huge mistake?

I am taking every precaution, root barriers, reading everything I can find on bamboo, including blog rants that crack me up.

Is bamboo a sin? Will I live to regret this notion of privacy brought to me by way of a tall grass? Do I have what it takes to manage my grove, lovingly tending it, taller and taller until it blocks the neighbor's 2nd story windows?

I guess when you think about it, bamboo is like having kids. Don't do it unless you are willing and able to lay down the constant energy, resources and attention it takes to ensure their health and well-being.

Any comments, for or against are welcome.

ash [trashleyace cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2004.05.20
A few points here. You should be clear. Your argument is an invasiveness argument, not a native plant argument. Running bamboo is just as invasive in its native environment of China and South America as it is in the U.S. Anyway, most "native" plants aren't native at all. They were just imported long before the memories of native plant activists. Most native plant mania is just xenophobia.

Invasiveness? A good thing when you want an area filled quickly. An annoyance once it has filled that area and still wants to wander. Some plants require more maintenance than others. If you can't dedicate a few hours a year to your bamboo grove, don't plant it.

oxo [Roger_Anderson cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2004.05.24
I think you're a little confused about what is native. Arudinaria Gigantea is native american bamboo, and it is very invasive. In fact, most of the Southeastern United States through Austin and East Texas was once covered with it. THIS BAMBOO is the native plant that has been displaced by imports. In fact some states are instituting programs to restore some o f this bamboo along roadsides.

Sono [Bob_Hardy cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2004.05.25
Hmmm, bamboo an invasive species?

Hardly. Invasive displace large areas of habitat, oftentimes taking over habitats entirely through fast uncontrollable reproduction. As (non native to the US) bamboo (for the most part) spreads via root (rhizome) growth, not seed it actually has very little potential to take over vast areas and displace other species.

I'll admit, it is quite good at taking over a yard or park if ignored, but look at the area and entire habitats engulfed by true invasive. The imported running bamboos will never have the destructive power of jap knotweed, kudzu, purple loose strife, old world climbing fern or any other of the infamous invasive.

I'd bet in 100 years we still have less mass of bamboo in the continental US than apple trees (another non-native).

In addition, barring the fall of humanity we will never have the sheer area of bamboo in the US that we once had from our native (Arudinaria gig.) bamboo which once covered millions upon millions of acres.

Speaking of that, we managed to get rid of millions of acres of native running bamboo in the past, do you really think it would be that hard to get rid of a bamboo species if the US decided to?

This nation is a melting pot of not only people, but biology. The purpose of species seems to be to spread and find new niches. Most species do this quite well and in a controlled manner. The ones who don't we fight. I'd say bamboo is adapting quite well, without displacing or destroying whole species.

P.S. John Kurilla if you have bamboo and not Jap Knotweed and want it gone, post on on the bamboo forum, the PA gardening forum and the bamboo exchange forum that you have a grove that you'd like people to come and dig up for you. People will come from pretty far away for free bamboo. It will go even faster if you find out what species it is by posting pics on the bamboo forum so your free bamboo adds can offer it's species.

Foom [sanders cxe batgate punkto com] • 2004.06.04
I have bamboo in my yard along the side of a fence. It is about 15 feet tall and acts as a lovely divide between my house and my neighbors. It was planted by the people that used to live in our house which we bought almost 4 years ago. The bamboo was planted in plastic containers that are in the ground. About 4 feet from the containers and parallel to the fence is a beautife swimming pool made of concrete and slate.

Here's the problem. The bamboo is spreading out of the containers and I have found all these underground root systems that go all the way to the pool. I have worked to pull out all the root systems that I have found and want to plant other plants in the dirt between the pool and the bamboo. My two questions are:

1. Will the bamboo possible destroy my cement pool making it crack as the bamboo roots take hold between parts of the cement? Or am I completely paranoid? and

2. If I plant in the dirt, will I just have to dig up what I have planted as I continue to tame the bamboo from the inevitable spreading?

Julie Raskin [jvraskin cxe aol punkto com] • 2004.06.15
There are nearly 1400 species of Bamboo. Some are behaved clumpers and some are invasive runners. Bamboo can be killed if you know how and it can be contained with rhizome barriers. Law suits are happening over invasive Bamboo. People posting information on the Internet should know what they are talking about

bamboozler [bamboozer] • 2004.06.28
Speaking of species; I would like to know the species of the Bamboo, being sold everywhere, called Lucky Bamboo? I was thinking of planting it in a container as a house plant, instead of leaving in water. My sister inlaw has one in her house and it is about 6ft. tall and looks great! I would appreciate any thoughts and information on doing this.

Kay [Blues4ala cxe aol punkto com] • 2004.07.21
Those running bamboos are hard to keep. The good news is that you can knock down the new shoots easily as they have not developed any wall strength. Then try a little Round Up. Here we have the scourge of Brazilian Pepper, Australian pine and several species of vines that will completely take over any natural in a blink. I sympathize with you about running bamboos. The A.B.S. encourages people to plant only the clumping species of bamboo. The tropical species Guadua is still a clumper but it shoots 1- 2 ft from the parent so they do take up space. It has thorns so its perfect for keeping the neighbors at bay. Nothing is perfect and if you plant bamboo be prepared to give it some maintenance

will Pierson [will cxe koolbamboo punkto com] • 2004.07.29
to kenny the guy with the smartass doctor neighbor.your comments absolutely cracked me up.many thanks for the laughs!!!goto they have a wide selection of runners and will recommend a species appropiate for where you live and what you want to do.

jim [bigfootb1 cxe wmconnect punkto com] • 2004.10.16
Wondering if anyone has any experience planting Bamboo in the Northwest. I would like to plant a wall in my yard. Anyone know of people giving away bamboo in the Oregon area?

Matt Kuerbis [mkuerbis cxe yahoo punkto com] • 2004.11.02
It is not the Bamboo, it's those who plant it without first knowing what it is and what it will do. We have over 50 varities of tropical clumping bamboo, none are invasive, all are wonderful additions to the landscape. Find out about bamboo before you plant it and you you won't be looking for help later.

Rahn Skipper [Rahn cxe Palmbeachbamboo punkto com] • 2004.11.07
There seems to be an invasive glom of ill-informed individuals on this site. And with a vendetta, I might add, for a truly beautiful plant.
I've heard these horror stories of the killer bamboo (Fire Ants, give me a break) my moso bamboo gets up
early every morning brings me coffee in bed, while the Robert Young bamboo mows the grass and the Native
bamboo feeds the dogs. They are all self contained well adjusted and would never invade anything nor anyone. I suspect they are democrates, but I have never held personal belifes in politics or religion against them.

ArkansasLizard [ronaldhigginbotham cxe alltel punkto net] • 2004.11.12
i am starting a new interest in bamboo
art and crafts. i am looking for bamboo stands that i can use for my new projects. i am going to build a green house out of bamboo, amongst other things.does anyone know where i can go to harvest without getting into trouble. i would be willing to go to anyones house and cut if someone wants it gone. email me please @
thanks, ginny.

ginny [subterraneanmix cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2004.11.13
I was just trying to find someone who might have some bamboo plants/seeds to give away. I need them for a class project. Any assistance would be helpful.

Michael [lantzmich cxe wmconnect punkto com] • 2004.11.22
How to kill bamboo:

Cut down to about 4-6 inch stalks. Take a metal spike (rebar e.g.) and pound through the next couple of bamboo segments and down into the roots. pour some concentrated Round-Up into the stalks. You need not do this to every stalk. Maybe 1 per foot or so. This can easily kill bamboo from the same root system 20-40 feet away. Environmental impact unknown, but it does work...

doug in rosedale [doug cxe conley punkto org] • 2004.11.23
Bamboo privacy replacement:

Japanese Ligustrum. It is native, grows very tall very quickly and does not spread like bamboo. Not the same thing as the slower growing 'Wax leafed ligustrum'...

doug in rosedale [doug cxe conley punkto org] • 2004.11.23
I have to say that I love bamboo and planted it along my fence to provide privacy. It's funny to me the extreme reaction some people have against it. I love clipping it, eating it, building with it, and burning it on the 4th of July and New Years eve. My dogs love it in the summer and they can dig to their hearts delight instead of in my lawn or other plants. And as far as invasive species are concerned, humans are at the top of the list. The new highways around Austin must cover more acerage than all the bamboo in Texas. Hey, you brought the subject up.

Vince Hannemann [cathedralofjumk cxe hotmail] • 2004.11.25
We have just bought a small Bamboo shrub would this spread
we live in England

foggie [foster punkto terence cxe gmail punkto com] • 2005.03.16
We recently purchased a home and there is bamboo planted between our house and our neighbors. It is taking over my garden...and forget about stopping it with concrete our blacktop. The bamboo is actually shooting out of our neighbors driveway and the foundation of their house. I just keep stomping on it...and I think that it might be bad for our dog...she likes to tear it down and play with the sticks...but I've never seen her drool the way she does after playing with the now I not only have to deal with keeping it out of the garden, but also with keeping my dog away from it.

Antoinett Dufort [adufort cxe twcny punkto rr punkto com] • 2005.04.26
Bamboo is planted by people that do not care about anyone even their neighbors. You cannot kill it and it looks terrible and ruins a persons nice green backyard.

L Christen • 2005.04.28
One of my friends was having a property line dispute with a surly neighbor. The neighbor had a survey done, but moved the survey stakes when he thought no one was looking, so that the stakes were practically touching my friend's shed. When my friend was at work, the neighbor kept putting up a fence, about 10 feet over the property line, alongside the shed. My friend just tore the fence down every weekend when the neighbor was grocery shopping or whatever. Finally, he planted a row of bamboo, about two feet from the shed. At first, the neighbor thought he made out like a bandit... ...heh heh heh. Within two years, the bamboo swallowed up a swath 15 feet wide, crossing 5 feet over the property line onto the neighbor's side, and it continues to spread. At its current rate, it will reach the neighbor's bedroom window pane in about 10 years. Meanwhile, the shed prevents the bamboo from spreading any further into my friend's property.

Erik [erikbjarling cxe yahoo punkto com] • 2005.05.09
My questions is? I purchased several starter plants of a black bamboo plant from a lady in South Carolina. Being just starting from the root, growth about a inch up to 6 inches. Then I purchased what they call a yearling. All of these were sent by dry root method in the middle of July and sent to Oklahoma 3 days to deliver and the packing was still really moist. When I got them I soaked them for 6 hours and then put them into a pot with Wal-Mart potting soil and with only receiving morning sun. I have since removed them from their pots and put them into the ground this past month of Sept. The roots were still flexiable but not show any signs of growth. My questions is with the root still being flexiable is this plant sitll alive?

Teressa Housley [teressahousely cxe sbcglobal punkto net] • 2005.10.04
My faithful readers have continued to add to this controversial thread for over two years now despite a bug that cut it off after the first few comments. You'll be happy to know that the bug is slain and now what you post here will actually be visible. Let the bamboo-bashing and bamboo-basher-bashing resume!

Prentiss Riddle [riddle cxe io punkto com] • 2005.12.23
Since I wanted to Asian-fy the yard in my just built home, I went out & dug up some bamboo from various places -- not sure what kind. 4 years later it has not been that bad: yes, the shoots pop up in various places but since the root is not deep, I can just pull it up along w/ several feet of the runner.

I also recently bought black bamboo which I think is a clumper.

I have not yet regretting the decision to plant bamboo around my yard & I hope this continues.

Stewie Griffin • 2006.01.02
Lucky Bamboo is not bamboo at all; it is a Dracena. I'm getting ready to plant some giant bamboo, and I'm looking forward to cooking the shoots.
The canebreaks along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers (and other streams) nourished cattle magnificently until the white man dug them all up to plant corn and cotton. The cane served as great wildlife cover and they prevented erosion in times of flood. They also improved the soil dramatically. If one wants to get rid of cane, cut it down and keep mowing it--plants without a source of sunlight die. Also, withhold water from it (such as covering it with plastic to prevent rain from reaching the roots)--it will die. Bamboo is not a problem, it's a solution.

Rich [Rmaasp cxe aol punkto com] • 2006.01.07
anyones idea on how to get rid of bamboo

lorraine thornley [thethorlays cxe xtra punkto co punkto nz] • 2006.01.08
Unfortunately the problem here is that you have only been exposed to the problem of 'running' bamboos. The 'clumping' bamboos stay in clumps funnily enough! and do not cause this type of problem!

However, in order to kill off 'running' bamboo, you need to harvest all the culms - and sell them on if you wish.

The next bit is most drastic. Basically you need to use something like roundup and paint it neat onto the new shoots that come up. This needs to happen for about 2 weeks of the year when the shoots come up. This virtually guarantees that you've killed off the bamboo.

Obviously use protective clothing when using this non-specific herbicide.

Alternatively just keep harvesting the shoots for the next few months:) (You will probably have to eat shoots for a couple of years to guarantee that the bamboo is completely gone if you go for the natural method.

The final problem is that you need to get rid of the rhizomes which can be fairly tough. A decent rotavator can chop this up a bit, and then over the next few years the rhizome will rot and fertilize the soil.

Peter Edmond • 2006.01.15
i need to know how to kill the bamboo its taking over my back yard and its tall

risa [risababyjoey cxe aol punkto com] • 2006.02.16
I'd like to create a bamboo planter for my atrium. any ideas?

mzwebb [mzwebb cxe aol punkto com] • 2006.03.06
So many misinformed people... Only the running type of bamboo is invasive. Clumping bamboo stays in place. And many many people think its beautiful. Everyone has an opinion. I guess some people think Hummers are great cars...

Jane [wlkabt cxe aol punkto com] • 2006.03.13
Bamboo is horrid! Had some in the backyard in BC, Canada and it was IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of.

nb [nitroburn cxe shaw punkto ca] • 2006.04.11
will golden bamboo kill trees?

peter perschbacher [pperschbacher cxe uaex punkto edu] • 2006.04.14
My neighbor planted bamboo two years ago and I found it growing in between my Crepe Myrtl this morning. I am going to use the Round Up suggestions - will this kill the bamboo in my neighbors yard also?

Denise [dleparik cxe aol punkto com] • 2006.05.26
I think this post is a type of blogging bamboo. I couldn't believe, upon returning to the site for the first time in weeks, that the latest comment was related to the post from two years ago which I'm sure many of us (on both sides of the bamboo fence) had hoped was finally eradicated.

lize burr [esb cxe austin punkto rr punkto com] • 2006.05.27
I think this post is a type of blogging bamboo. I couldn't believe when I came to the site for the first time in weeks that the latest comment was related to a post from two years ago which I'm sure many of us, on both sides of the bamboo fence, had that finally eradicated.

lize burr [esb cxe austin punkto rr punkto com] • 2006.05.27
Im looking for some bamboo for some projects here in southern california.I would be happy=) to dig it up if someone just wants to get rid of some nearby.pleeeeze reply via E mail and put "FREE BAMBOO" in the subject box. thank you.....Amy

amy [madammoneygrip cxe aol punkto com] • 2006.06.01
The primary invasive species I know of is Concrete. I-10 is being widened to 22 lanes. If anyone knows of free bamboo plants or canes in Houston I would appreciate it. I dig.

Charles [charlesmcphate cxe sbcglobal punkto net] • 2006.06.25
Any suggestions regarding my concern about bonsai products?

My husband and I were married in Hawaii and I ordered the Hawaiian umbrella tree from a reliable site at that was referred by a friend. This Bonsai Tree was an anniversary gift to him. Because of the weather I wasn't expecting to see it for awhile. When I got home yesterday, it had arrived.....on our anniversary! It is the most beautiful Bonsai Tree I have ever seen. We look forward to buying many more trees from that site for a remarkable service. I do have interest in buying Bonsai Seed kits, Ikebana, Specimen Bonsai
and Bonsai specimen. There are other interesting items found in their site such as Bonsai Figurines, Feng Shui products, Feng Shui, Lucky Bamboo, Lucky Bamboo pots, Lucky Bamboo kits, Bonsai humidity trays and lots of Bonsai under $30.00. I think they also offer Bonsai tree wholesale, Bonsai trees wholesale and Bamboo wholesale packages for those who wants to have a business venture for all types of Bonsai.

Or is there anyone who can recommend a better site that offers more bonsai products?

aian • 2006.07.11
The folks that lived here before we moved in put up a bamboo barrier and I absolutely love it! We've been here for about 8 years now and the neighbor came over several times at the beginning to ask about removing the bamboo. My answer was No Way! Not only is the guy nosey (keeps binoculars on the kitchen window sill!) but I happen to like the bamboo. He complained that it was invading his yard. I told him to lay down a rhizome barrier (which works great BTW). Last summer he sent his daughter over to try to get me to cut it down, burn it down, anything. I stood my ground. It is a lovely privacy screen and I won't remove it ... BUT, get the rhizome barrier and all will be well.

Earlier this past spring I watched with a smile as my neighbor set down a rhizome barrier. Now maybe he will leave me my beautiful bamboo alone.

Oh, and it's Great for projects. Curing is a breeze and it's fun to work with.

J, south carolina • 2006.07.22
What is this "Plant Bamboo" (with the N reversed) bumper sticker I keep seeing? What does it mean? I'm perplexed and keep seeing it. Thanks for your help.

Cletus Van Damme [toolin_round cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2006.07.25
Well there certainly seems to be alot of differing opinions on bamboo. I happen to love it, and also grow it for a living. If anyone here is interested, please take a look at my website. We ship to anywhere in the world.

Thanks - Suzan

Suzan Savage [starmedia1 cxe hotmail punkto com] • 2006.08.16
Humans are the ultimate invasive species... but we don't complain about us taking over the planet and wiping out the native species. Evolution does not care about saving native species, it only cares about life that is the most suited to thriving in a particular niche...

Momo • 2006.08.16
To the enquirers on containment of bamboo. For above ground planters: half polypropylene barrels are great for holding bamboo plants, they can be tipped out when the roots need to be reduced. An alternative is construct a solid timber planter with external bracing. Best with slight taper for removal and root pruning if needed, such as with shallow planters. Line and nail to this 1.5mm to 3mm high density polyethylene sheets to minimise leaks and save timber. Drill the drain holes down the centre of the bottom only. The medium above drainage material should mimic the strata of soil, heavier mix from the base to topsoil then compost in the top 50mm. Such a medium will keep your bamboo stable for many years as opposed to spending itself quickly on loose plant mix then drying out too frequently. If you use the fine stem papery leaf varieties then you only need to use a standard planter with a pumice and peat mix or topsoil.
For those who have invasive bamboo to contend with: If you have planted this on your boundary you may wonder what the fuss is if the sun is to the neighbours side. Most of the vigour of the bamboo will happen towards the sunward side of the boundary. A line barrier will not help. The bamboo will follow the barrier and enter at the next break re-entering your property and the neighbours. Dilligence by all parties may slow the bamboo.
For those with clumping bamboo, a line barrier can be used if: 1. it must be about 400mm below ground 2. it must have a lip above ground of 100mm kept clear and defined 3. it must have debris and humis removed to prevent rhizome growing above ground and aerial rooting 4. the bamboo should have old stems removed regularly to keep the bamboo young 5. the bamboo should be kept at about 600mm depth for ease of maintenance. For those concerned about bamboo and trees: suckering bamboo may develop rhizome through tree roots to destabilise the tree, bamboo will also limit nutrients and moisture to trees. It will drop mulch on small trees and shrubs. So if your trees are dwarf, bear softfruit, shallow rooting, love moisture, are preferred because they are fast growing, do not plant bamboo next to them unless they are well established or well maintained and cared for and some distance from the bamboo. The height the bamboo grows to is the distance it should be from a vulnerable tree.
For those poisoning bamboo. Most comments have been said but if poisons are the only resort ensure the desiccant or hormonal poisons are not used where bamboo interwines through the roots of trees. An excavator that scrapes the top of the gornd is the most effective and cheapest method.

NZ Bamboo Specs. [bamboo cxe iconz punkto co punkto nz] • 2006.10.01
How do I tell if I have bamboo growing or if it is cane?

Sue • 2006.10.06
I use clumping bamboo as a screen to block the view of my neighbors ugly home. It sends up new shoots inches away from the parent shoot but that's no big deal. I mow my yard once a week in the summer and that keeps the new tender shoots from spreading. On the neighbors side however, they grow unchecked. Mabey in a few years, they will cover his broke down car.

odessa • 2006.10.09
HELP!!! I keep seeing a bumpersticker with Plant Bamboo on it. The "N" in plant is backwards. What does it mean?

Johnnyo [johnnysportsguy cxe adelphia punkto net] • 2006.10.10
I have had a beautiful crop of giant bamboo by my back fence for 8 years
and only now it is creaping slowly
into my neighbors yard and must do
something about that. Is there
a chemical I can use to kill it?
Any suggestions?

Dale [dixiebone cxe san punkto rr punkto com] • 2006.10.12
My neighbor planted clumping bamboo along our shared fence. His intention is to build a screen in an urban neighborhood where yards are samll. The shoots are 30 feet high and lean well into my yard and brush my house. Does anyone have advice on a screen that will counter the growth over my fence? Do pine trees work?

Andrew [parsons cxe airmail punkto net] • 2006.10.21
To manage giant bamboo on a boundary. The only effective means is to chainsaw the bamboo down. A systemic poison will have an effect 1m into a running bamboo grove. But because there are a host of dormant buds below ground on the giant clumper, once the stems are removed the buds will send new ones up. So they will need topping too. Full removal is by painting by the dessicant poisons to the freshly cut stumps of all stems. Apply until all new sprouts have succumbed. Cover with a mound of clay to break the wood down.
For a screen to contend with big bamboo? Try alnus trees. They have big roots that suck the moisture out of the ground. They will cause the bamboo to dwarf and be dwarfed in turn, if you can get them established. Only thing is, they are brittle so will lose branches.

NZ Bamboo Specs. [bamboo cxe iconz punkto co punkto nz] • 2006.11.03
I'm desperate for a way to get rid of the bamboo that my late husband planted 2 1/2 year ago as a barrier along our fence. It is now taking over our back yard and is huge, growing all the ay to our screen porch and trying to come in. Since he has passed away, I am alone and have to get rid of this awful nuisence. I'm sure when he planted it he didn't know what it would do. Please Help Me!!

JANE [JANEAJ2000 cxe AOL punkto COM] • 2006.12.16
I'm desperate for a way to get rid of the bamboo that my late husband planted 2 1/2 year ago as a barrier along our fence. It is now taking over our back yard and is huge, growing all the ay to our screen porch and trying to come in. Since he has passed away, I am alone and have to get rid of this awful nuisence. I'm sure when he planted it he didn't know what it would do. Please Help Me!!

JANE [JANEAJ2000 cxe AOL punkto COM] • 2006.12.16
I want to plant running bamboo. I have a lot of property and am not worried about all this invasive stuff I keep hearing about. In fact, I would like it to invade the area around my pond, also. I need a fast, inexpensive privacy barrier to give me a little privacy along the country road that runs along my property. what type of bamboo should I buy? I have no idea. I read how to plant it and take care of it, but I have no official name so far. I need something that grows tall very quickly. thanks for your help.

Mary [mary punkto livingston2 cxe us punkto army punkto mil] • 2007.03.13
There's at least at least 15 to 20 clumping (non-invasive) species and 50 or so running (can be controlled without much trouble) that will thrive in Central Texas and will serve a variety of purposes such as
a) creating beauty
b) visual and sound screening
c) windbreak
d) erosion control
e) shade
f) providing culms to harvest for garden building projects or craft and
g) producing delicious and healthy edible shoots.

Contact me at for more details. I can provide the education re bamboo and its maintenance and the bamboo itself.

Cheers, Jayne

Jayne Willingham [jdwilling cxe akamail punkto com] • 2007.03.22
I got it. It's out of control. I'm gonna try to kill it. I'll give it to anyone who comes and gets it. 1511 W. Cedar, El Dorado, Arkansas. Y'all come!

Stephen Twink Terry [TerrySteve cxe suddenlink punkto net] • 2007.05.29
We had bamboo here when we moved in. It is spreading all over my neighbor's backyard. Am I legally responsible for having it removed from his yard if he decides to get cranky about it?

Stacy [bunnyboymom cxe aol punkto com] • 2007.05.31
We live in the northern DFW area of Texas and have a creek at the back of our property line. Our survey says it ends across the creek at the top of the bank. I would like to plant something on that bank to block my view of the neighbors eyesore of a hobby "junk car collecting" Any planting suggestions? Bamboo or other

JL [fkal cxe aol punkto com] • 2007.06.14
We purchased, from a reputable nursey, 3 types of "clumping bamboo". They were perfectly well-behaved for almost 4 years. Now, one of them has killed off the the other two, and is invading my lawn. And yes, we put in a concrete barrier, but the root stalks grow both under and over it. Do your homework before you buy, and DO NOT trust the what the nursery container states.

Cynthia [cynwilson5 cxe msn punkto com] • 2007.07.07
I found this web site that tells how to kill bamboo cane , but it takes several people to do the job

I know of someone with bamboo who has dug a trench to contain the bamboo. Needless to say it works. I honestly like it and am looking to plant it as a highway barrier but after reading these posts am having second thoughts. Will regular mowing not contain it??

Jen • 2007.07.22
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