Very 15'+ tall clumping bamboo for screening (Seattle)?

Tessinseattle(8)May 4, 2014

Hi there. I live in Seattle and have been researching tall clumping bamboo. I'm trying to screen out a 3-story apartment building on the western border of our property but am too apprehensive about the use of aggressive runner bamboo in an urban area (even w/ rhizome barrier). I've researched my options online and it seems Borinda Boliana is likely the tallest of the clumping bamboos? Does anyone have any experience with this bamboo? How does it over-winter? Does it get really very tall or is that a myth? Does it have an upright shape or do the canes drape over significantly? I'm looking for maximum screening capabilities w/out the liability hazard of running bamboo. Any recommendation for good bamboo screens would be very much appreciated. FYI: this bamboo would only have direct sunlight in the morning as the western apartment building would block afternoon sun. The soil is on the rich, loose side, though I'm not sure of its acidity.

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide. Locals don't seem to have heard of this bamboo...


This post was edited by Tessinseattle on Wed, May 14, 14 at 12:00

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

It is also known as Yushania boliana. I grow bamboo in the Seattle area and have not grown this one. I think it could survive winters here, but would look pretty ratty. My suggestion for a tall clumper that would do well here is Chusquea culeou, Chusquea culeou 'Cana Prieta,' or one of the Fargesias.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 2:49PM
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Thanks for the recommendations. A local bamboo retailer recommended against any of the Chusquea saying that one (I believe a Chusquea Gigantia) dove below a 34" rhizome barrier and spread aggressively. Do you think that might be a specific tendency of the Gigantia because it's a large timber bamboo? Have you hear good things about the ease of controlling Chusquea Culeou in an urban environment? Thanks in advance for you input. I keep returning to this thread hoping
someone will have offered their advise.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:06PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I saw your other thread about gigantea and I think that vendor was full of it...just not credible. I have two large Chusqueas now and have been growing them without barrier for 9 years in the Seattle area. They have required no control as they don't need it; the base just gets a bit bigger each year. Some day the clump of Ch. culeou may get too big and I'll divide out a chunk, but it's not a problem. If I get a chance in the next few days I'll take some pictures and post them here.

You should get yourself some bamboo and enjoy it, and not listen to tall tales about how rampant it is. I grow many runners without barrier and just do some maintenance to keep them in line; for the clumpers I do nothing.

This post was edited by kudzu9 on Tue, May 20, 14 at 22:33

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 11:55PM
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I'm beyond excited to make your acquaintance. I think bamboo is the only real solution for my screening problem but I've been frightened away from it from countless horror stories. What runners/clumpers do you recommend for my situation? I've been considering sumiarundinaria fatuosa veritis (that's Temple Green, yes?) for it's upright habit and semi shade tolerance. I also like the phyllostachys nigra (I don't know if that's the only bamboo called 'black bamboo' or if there are others). I've heard it's less aggressive but not as upright. Upright is very important as I'd like to get tall coverage of the adjacent structure without loosing all my sunlight on the ground. I'm open to other suggestions if you have them. Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 11:11PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Ph. nigra is a beautiful bamboo and mine is quite upright. It's also a very healthy runner, so factor that in. The S. fastuosa viridis is a very nice bamboo that has foliage all the way from the bottom up and is called hedge bamboo because it is so erect. It also will run.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, here are two pictures of my Chusqueas after 9 years in the ground with no rhizome control:

Ch. culeou 'Cana Prieta'

Ch. culeou

(The barrier is 6" deep and is to keep the grass out, not the bamboo in!)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 10:32PM
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