Narrow Trench to grow Bamboo

smoochas(zone 7a-NYC)July 28, 2013

I have a very narrow backyard. I also have a pretty ugly unfinished concrete masonry wall on on side that I would like to screen somehow and thus arrived at the idea of bamboo. If I want bamboo to grow in a trench area that is no more than 20-inch wide by 19-feet long, what type of bamboo would be best suited for this - clumping or running?

Characteristics of the bamboo I would like:
-Erect/straight, small to medium leaves
-3/4" or 1" dia. medium (?) culms with leaves from the bottom to the top
-Green, yellow or striped culm are all good.
-The height is important at 12-15'.
-Must be able to withstand full sun. In the summer its hot and humid. Winter has infrequent snowfalls (handful per season) and can do down to the teens.

If I am good about cutting out/removing rhizomes every year, will that help with the "narrowness" I've alloted for this bamboo?

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Pseudosasa japonica.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2013 at 6:25PM
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A few fargesia robustas may work well too, but they would take a few years to fill in for a screen, and you would need about 4-5 clumps of them, no barrier needed.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2013 at 1:07AM
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Pseudosasa japonica

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:16PM
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smoochas(zone 7a-NYC)

Regarding the crowding of the roots after a while, since running bamboo would definitely be 'trapped' in a rhizome ring, what can be done to help/maintain a crowding issue? Does one just keep removing all new growth after the "screen" is grown to a desired appearance?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 8:58PM
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smoochas(zone 7a-NYC)

Also, this is a plan picture of my situation - there is a concrete masonry wall sitting ontop of a concrete foundation on one side. When I install a rhizome barrier, should I still make a "ring" with it or can I just overlap say 5ft with the concrete part on each end?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 7:18AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

If the masonry wall is as deep as the bottom of the barrier, there is no need to form a complete ring around the bamboo. While it is possible that a rhizome could run along the masonry wall and then squeeze in behind the barrier and get out, that's not a huge risk, and would be easily remedied once it was spotted. If it were me, I'd install it just as you've drawn it, but with only a foot or so of overlap against the concrete on either end. Having more overlap does nothing, and just makes it harder to deal with a rhizome that goes between the barrier and the wall.

On the other hand, if you want to completely encircle it, have the lap seam at the front so that it is easier to deal with a rhizome that escapes between the overlap. People who are really paranoid close the lap with a pair of stainless steel bars bolted together, but I consider that to be overkill.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2013 at 12:50PM
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