suggestions on running bamboos

greenthumb5280November 7, 2009

I am looking to plant several running bamboos to act as a privacy screen. Our lowest average temp is around zero degrees. Most of the area to be planted is partial sun.

what types of running bamboos should I consider for my yard, and what measures should I take to control it's spread? I read that you need to trench the bamboo two feet, should I use sheet metal to contain it, or would a heavy duty landscape plastic do the trick?

Ideally, I would plant the bamboo to fill a trench 2-3 feet wide by fifty feet long, with a 90 degree turn in the middle, to follow my fence line.

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

What are your expectations for winter appearance of the bamboo? People do grow bamboo in Zone 5, but suffer a lot of aboveground damage to leaves and culms each year.

As for preventing the spread of runners, putting sheet metal in the ground will be effective only until the metal rusts through. Landscape plastic is of no use. If you want a barrier that lasts, you need to buy a specialty product called bamboo barrier, a hard plastic that comes in rolls (24", 30", and 36" wide) and costs about $2-3 per running foot. The material ranges from 40-80 mils thick. You trench down at least 2' and put it in place. However, in your Zone, I'm not sure how much spread you will get because the cold may limit expansion of the root system to some degree. An alternative technique is to dig a 2' deep ditch and fill it with something easy to penetrate, like sand or compost. Then, once or twice a year, you take a sharp shovel or a pickaxe and chop down through the ditch. Any roots you sever will die. If you do this consistently, you should have no problems.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 8:21PM
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My suggestion is Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis'. It is hardy to negative 10 degrees.My Spectabilis seems to do great with the cold. It is vigorous and cold hardy.Mine has grown impressively quickly. It is also very beautiful.Here is a link to where I bought mine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spectabilis

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 8:51PM
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