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Old 04-23-2015, 11:12 PM
Location: The Palmetto State
635 posts, read 575,165 times
Reputation: 330


I have never had a problem with my neighbor's bamboo but this year, it is finally spreading to my yard. It looks horrible. Sticks are sprouting up all over and it's growing at an enormous rate. How can I kill it AND contain it from spreading?
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Old 04-24-2015, 04:27 AM
1,706 posts, read 1,371,329 times
Reputation: 4839
To keep the bamboo off your property you will need to remove any existing plants/rhizomes on your property, dig a trench on the property line, put in a deep impermeable barrier, and be on constant alert for rhizomes that may manage to get around the barrier.
Controlling Bamboo
Suggest talking to your neighbor- he/she is the one who should really be containing the bamboo and keeping it on their property.
I love the look of bamboo, but it is highly invasive and imho should only be used in container plantings.
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:38 AM
2,600 posts, read 6,615,020 times
Reputation: 2453
How to Kill Bamboo Permanently

How to Kill Bamboo Permanently | Home Guides | SF Gate
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:40 AM
Location: NC
7,257 posts, read 8,980,399 times
Reputation: 15321
If the source is your neighbor's yard, you are almost doomed to a forever fight against it. need4speed has provided an excellent link, but if the mother lode is on the other side of your fence, it will keep coming back. Regular mowing on your side of the property line will work for you, but if it comes up in a shrub or flower bed you will need to keep removing each new shoot by hand. Encourage your neighbor to join you in this fight and you might be able to get it under control. There ought to be a law, but even that won't be enough to stop people planting it since it is 'pretty and fast growing'.
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:41 AM
Location: The Palmetto State
635 posts, read 575,165 times
Reputation: 330
Oh I'm so screwed. My neighbor is a renter and older, and the owner does not upkeep with the outside. He would not care about this issue.

I don't understand WHY it's starting to spread after so many years. It was contained in a bulk like area, but I don't know if it was because we had snow/ice or maybe because my neighbor messes with it (she trims them back), seeds could have come into my yard?

There's at least 20 sticks just popping all over the place. Last night, we grabbed one that wasn't even that tall and the root was massive. I'm just ticked that I can't cut all of it down since most is on the other property.

Question...would a fence have prevented them from growing into my yard? I did remove a fence about a year ago, so maybe that's why it's spreading?
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Old 04-24-2015, 07:53 AM
Location: Connecticut is my adopted home.
2,298 posts, read 3,209,567 times
Reputation: 7161
Let this be a lesson to all that want to plant invasive plant species in a receptive environment where the weather won't be enough to keep it in check. The barrier solution is your best bet and keep it mowed down for now. A fence won't do doodley squat as the bamboo is mostly coming from underground runners rather tan seed. Likely your neighbor's chopping at it has caused the plant to go into expansionary mode to "save" itself.

Good luck.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:12 AM
5,075 posts, read 8,944,885 times
Reputation: 4639
As for why removing the fence may have let it spread... bamboo tends to spread toward light and heat (warm ground) so the rhizomes tend to migrate south and west. You'll see some fairly large stands in my area that aren't making much progress moving north or east, but they're going wild on the south and west sides. A fence doesn't prevent the roots from spreading unless it's 2' or more deep but shade can discourage it from spreading.

Once it has spread you have to dig all of the roots out. Bamboo generally doesn't spread by seed. What you'll find if you dig down is a thick mat of rhizomes that is difficult to cut through. I've removed/replanted a bunch of it and the fastest way I've found to cut the rhizome is with a sawzall fitted with an 9" pruning blade. It's not an easy job. Lots of digging and cutting. Once you get it out you will need to put in a solid 24" deep barrier (PVC or galvanized steel work). The sharp roots will pierce any thin or porous barrier and work their way through rocks. Solid cast concrete will work as well, but roots can work themselves between bricks or wood timbers if they're not 'tight' enough.

Some people have had good luck mowing it and applying roundup to the cut shoots, but that will require repeated and ongoing treatment.

All of my bamboo is either planted in containers or with a deep barrier for a reason.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:16 AM
12,468 posts, read 18,087,250 times
Reputation: 6457
Get yourself a pick-axe.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:17 AM
Location: NC
7,257 posts, read 8,980,399 times
Reputation: 15321
Just want to add for others reading this that there are two kinds of bamboo, clumping and running. Clumping is fine to plant in the ground IF it is in a limiting environment, that is, where it was proven to be a clump type. It is tricky knowing which type you have so it is generally recommended to ONLY plant any bamboo where it is contained in a big pot or where there is a barrier of at least two feet going into the ground. Even in a big pot you need to check regualrly that it is not sending runners out the drain holes.
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Old 04-27-2015, 01:47 PM
1 posts, read 2,185 times
Reputation: 10
I planted bee-balm to attractive humming birds and it is spreading all over. I never read this was a invasive plant. Will round up stop it from taking over the flower beds? rob from ny
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