Bamboo in WA. State

pezabelleFebruary 22, 2010

We are looking for a very hardy variety which will do well in zone 4, the S W corridor between Seattle, WA. and Portland, OR.

We have a slight hill side that we would like to used bamboo as a barrier/windbreak, so we need a variety that will spread easily and the height of the plant is not a problem.

One question we do have is the depth of the root system. We have about 3' to 4' feet of soil before the roots will grow into our drain field which would not be a good thing.

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer!


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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bamboo does not send roots down into the ground like trees and other plants. I don't think I've ever had my bamboo go deeper than 12", although in unusual situations it might get deflected downwards to maybe 24". I just don't think this is an issue for you. Bamboo roots like to seek out warmth and they stay fairly close to the surface, rather than diving down. Since the rhizome system spreads out underground, but near the surface, it gets plenty of water and does not need to go diving to look for it, particularly in the Pacific NW.

There are many varieties of bamboo that will be hardy and evergreen in the geographic area you describe, but I am curious about why you are saying you are in Zone 4/5. I'm in the Seattle area and in Zone 8. Where exactly are you?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 1:58PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Zone 4 as in Sunset Climate Zone 4. Most here are referring to USDA Hardiness Zones. If you compare Sunset and USDA maps Sunset 4-5 lines up with USDA 8 (in western WA).

There is a table of bamboos under Bamboo in the Sunset Western Garden Book, that might be of interest. The web site of The Bamboo Garden, near Portland has some nice pictures. There are multiple other bamboo specialists in the region, see the web site of The American Bamboo Society. Look at the Species Source List tables.

Local independent garden centers have also been stocking fairly big assortments, that include some interesting kinds.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 10:22PM
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Thank you both for the information. As to the zone, I took my information from a very old garden book. I will now update my book.

Thank you for the sources and I will do some looking around on the web. I like to know as much as I can about what I am planting.

As to where I live.....about 20 miles West of Chehalis along the Chehalis River. We are still rebuilding our gardens and yard after the river payed an unwanted visit in Dec of 07. In some areas it left behind a couple of feet of silt and lots of new weeds.

Again, thanks!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 12:15PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

For results of searching their web site for Sunset Zone 4 + Bamboo...

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Finder Search Results -

    Bookmark   February 28, 2010 at 1:57PM
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