Oldhammi Invasion: Solutions?

bambam88October 10, 2009


Several years back my neighbors planted Oldhammi too close to a shared fence. It has been invading my side and for awhile I would just break off the stalks as they rose. But now it has done some damage to my part of the fence, and damaged my drip system hoses.

My landscaper says I should tell the neighbors they need to create a space and/or barrier between the fence and bamboo on their side. Also, that I should cut away all the roots (with a circulating saw).

But if the neighbor won't take responsibility and act to prevent future damage and invasion, what are my choices for acting unilaterally to keep this from happening in the future? One possibility I've thought about is paving over the area, which is essentially a pathway between the front and. back of the house. Is there a way to dissolve the stumps? Other ideas? I'd like to know all my options before I make a decision.


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You could sever all of the rhizomes along the fenceline, then as new shoots emerge on your side, simply break them off and the rhizomes detached from the mother plant will eventually die, or you could then dig them out.

A trench or rhizome barrier along the fenceline would help prevent future encrouchment into your property.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 11:43AM
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Thanks Kt. I can certainly do the severing you mention, though having neglected it because of being away a good deal that will now involve a lot of work.

As far as a trench, it is relatively narrow area between the front and back yards, plus I have tenants, so I don't think that would work for both space and safety reasons.

I have the same kind of bamboo on the opposite side of the house which has barriers in place, but they haven't prevented the spread of the bamboo. That's why I was thinking of paving over the whole area, which is now a combination of a concrete pathway and narrow strips of dirt on either side between house and fence, to make it all concrete where nothing could grow. BUT I want to be sure the bamboo won't crack or push up the concrete before taking that fairly drastic and expensive step.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 3:35PM
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My olhamii has culms just over 4 inches in diameter and it can push 16" X 16" X 4" cement blocks up as if they were paper.

If you have a solid concrete pathway that is reinforced and thick enough, it will stop it from coming up, but it still may grow past or beyond the path and put up culms.

Most asphalt drives that I have seen will NOT stop emerging culms, especially of that size.

A barrier would also have to be made specifically for the prevention of rhizome spreading, or also a seamless concrete barrier. Many people will use inferior products in an attempt to stop rhizome spreading, which turns out to be a waste of time.

Good Luck


    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 3:59PM
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OK, thanks again. Are you saying that after cutting away and removing the stumps I might want to put a vertical concrete barrier next to the fence line, as well as or instead of a solid concrete path over the dirt?

The flexible barrier I used on the other side of the house was high quality, but that was several years back and my landscaper says the new version may be better and more effective. But reading other forums it seems like some people say any barrier can and will be breached.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 4:33PM
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If you put in a solid barrier such as concrete, then you will stop the bamboo, especially a clumper such as Oldhamii. If installed correctly, you will not need to put in a pathway also.

Runners cause more problems with barriers than clumpers do.

The barrier needs to be installed correctly though, no matter what kind it is. If a concrete barrier is not reinforced and it cracks, then the rhizomes can eventually squeeze through the cracks.

For runners, the barrier needs to be leaning outward at the top, from the plant, so that the rhizomes will turn upward making them easy to trim. With clumpers it's not that necessary, but I would still recommend leaning it if possible, particularly if it is a flexible barrier.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2009 at 8:55PM
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