Clumping Bamboo by Fence

michelle329March 29, 2010

I'm planting some textilis ( along my fence line, however, I'm torn trying to decide whether or not to use a rhizome barrier.

If I plant the bamboo 5 feet from the fence, I could just kick the new shoots over each year.

However, my yard isn't terribly large and I don't want to lose any more space than I need to. Therefore, I'm considering install a rhizome barrier right next to the fence and then planting the bamboo close to the fence/barrier. (The fence is just a solid "Windham Vinyl Panel" fence from Home Depot.)

Does anyone have an opinion or advice about this?

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Why are you worrying about using barrier with a clumper? The bamboo won't send out runners, but will simply get somewhat larger each year. Unless you plant it right up against the fence, it will take quite a few years for the root ball to expand near the fence. And at that time, many years hence, you could just divide out -- with some effort -- part of the root ball if it was getting too close to the fence.

Further, the plastic panel you are talking about using might not work well over the long-term as a bamboo barrier for any bamboo: a running bamboo could probably penetrate it, and the panel may deteriorate and weaken in in the ground. I wouldn't bother with it.

Just plant it in a good place away from the fence so it doesn't looked smashed up against it as it grows and takes shape. You can control the bamboo by kicking over shoots, although the below ground root ball will still expand over time.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 2:12PM
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The barrier ( is to let me plant right up against the fence where I won't have access to kick down shoots.

I'm just worried that the barrier won't work as well for the clumping bamboo and that I'll end up with fence damage anyway.

I can plant a few feet back from the fence, but that's definitely not my preference, so I was hoping for some opinions from other folks here.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 3:30PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Sorry...I mis-read what you wrote and thought you were going to use fencing panel for barrier! If you want to use barrier, then bamboo barrier is the product. However, the Berkey barrier is, in my opinion, too thin. Below is a link to a barrier that is twice as thick and is just a few cents more per foot.

I am still of the opinion that it is unnecessary for you to install barrier with a clumper, and that you will end up having an unattractive planting if you plant it right up against the fence. But, it's your call....

Here is a link that might be useful: Barrier

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:24AM
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I thought I read somewhere that clumpers will exert too much pressure against bamboo barrier, and it will eventually split. I can't confirm that from personal experience (can't grow the big clumpers here) and can't remember where I read that either.

Has anybody else read anything like that?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 12:54PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I'm not sure that sideways pressure from a clumper will split barrier, but I'm sure it could exert sideways pressure and cause some deformation. However, I haven't seen anything like that, either, probably because most people don't use barrier with clumpers. I did once see a very old clumper that was planted in a space about 2' wide between a building and a sidewalk, and the top side of the root ball was sort of "oozing" over the top edge of the concrete sidewalk, but there was no evidence of any cracking anywhere. My view is that the barrier might keep the root ball from advancing as much in that direction as on the open sides. However, my own preference would be to plant without barrier and use digging tools to go after the part of the root ball that was expanding in a direction I didn't prefer. I will admit, though, that dividing the root ball of a mature clumper takes a fair amount of work with saws and shovels.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:37PM
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