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Do Barriers Work?

Posted by mdbamboo none (My Page) on
Fri, May 11, 12 at 21:04

Hello -

I live in Maryland - zone 7 and am about to plant 50 yellow groove to create a living fence. I plan to have trenches dug on both sides of my living fence and to place plastic 60 mil barrier down 2 feet with a flap over the side of the top of the trench. I have been told this will prevent the bamboo from becoming invasive and going into my neighbors' yards. Is this true? Will the barriers prevent unwanted invasion? Does anyone recommend the 80 mil 3 foot barrier?

Advice Appreciated


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do Barriers Work?

Yes for awhile but you will still have to watch for rhizomes jumping the barrier and it must be installed correctly. search installing rhizome barrier on this forum and it will teach you how to do it properly you must follow directions carefully. Only reccommend 80 mil 3 ft if your soil is very loamy or sandy. But it sure wouldnt hurt.


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

Thanks for the advice. Seems that the bamboo can be controlled with the barrier and mowing on the edge of the living fence that is facing the rest of my yard. However, seems it would be hard to control the bamboo even with a barrier on the edge lining my neighbors' yards. Should one leave several feet between the property line and the bamboo living fence so there is access to maintain the bamboo? Sounds like the barrier will not be enough as I had hoped.


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

I would definetly leave the space between you wont regret it. Plus if the boo does escape it gives you time and space to dig it up before it creeps into your neighbors yard. But the maintenance will be very minimal with the barrier installed correctly. Just cutting any rhizomes that try to jump the barrier. I dont use the barrier I just let the canes grow and then I dig them and sell or put them in my blank spots. But I def reccommend the barrier next to a property line.


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

Thanks for the advice. A lot of people are telling me not to plant bamboo due to its invasiveness and that nothing will contain it. It seems it is possible to plant it and control it but it is a bit of work. I really don't want issues with neighbors so I hope to be able to contain it along property lines.


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

Once you have your barriers in place, you will be fine. The people telling you to not plant bamboo either have never grown it, or planted it and never maintained it. If bamboo we're as much of a problem as some folks would have you believe, it would have taken over the world by now. Don't let their ignorance interfere with your well-thought-out plan.


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

Thanks for the reassurance. Do you feel overlap by 4-5 feet and double sided adhesive works on ends of the barrier or do you think the clamps are best?


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

I agree I grow 34 different species on 3/4 of an acre for 14 years and it hasnt become a problem yet. Absolutely use the metal clamps tape will not hold it. Overlap doesnt matter as much but I would still go as much as 5 ft if I had it. Dont listen to anyone who has never grown it. It is a beautiful plant.


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

If you are afraid of bamboos going into your neighbor's yard, I would simply recommend putting a barrier down at an angle right alongside the entire property line so rhizomes never get onto the other side, but nowhere else because it's pretty easy to control the rhizomes by either having the entire bamboo planted on a raised mound, or you could simply rhizome prune around the bamboos with a pick each fall, and right after shooting season if you missed any rhizomes. Most bamboos don't grow that deep.

I simply grow all my bamboos without barriers, but with cool summers, rhizomes also don't travel very far each season. Even if you get hot summers, it's still pretty easy to rhizome prune since severed rhizomes without any attachment to a culm will eventually rot. I attached a link to show how my bamboos are all grown.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of my bamboo


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

Any recommendations on website to buy the clamps? Not sure the nursery from which i am getting the bamboo sells clamps as they recommended overlapping and tape. Interesting advice to put the barrier at an angle. All good advice, informative and reassuring after being warned not to put up bamboo. I am planting this beautiful plant as a privacy screen against unfriendly neighbors. They wouldn't be very pleased to say the least if the bamboo creeps into their yard. I am really trying to assure my beautiful bamboo stays in my yard. So looking forward to my garden


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

more follow up questions: I am thinking of putting barrier just on side lining my neighbors' yards and having a raised bed and no barrier on the side facing my yard. My thought is from reading sites is the barrier is less likely to fail on the property line side as the rhizomes will go toward the yard side and there will be less likelihood of bamboo becoming root bound and breaking barrier. any thoughts on this? no clamps needed for this method, right?


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

It will not get rootbound if left open on one side,but you'll still have to keep an eye on it from jumping the barrier. Wont need clamps this way. Shiny side of the barrier goes on the inside facing bamboo. Leave 2 inches above ground so you can see when bamboo jumps it. and definetly put it at and angle so the rhizomes go up not down. Good Luck and enjoy your privacy.


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

Here is a link that will help you:

Here is a link that might be useful: Barrier


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

Thanks so much for all of the advice. In the picture there isn't a lot of space between the barrier and the fence - is that because there is less risk of rhizome going toward neighbors' yards with the one sided barrier? Previously I was advised to leave several feet between fence and barrier so that I could go behind bamboo to maintain rhizomes before they get to neighbors' yards


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RE: one sided barrier follow up

Seeing Gardener1's response as well. Seems still need space between barrier and fence as still risk of rhizomes going toward neighbor with one sided barrier......thought that bamboo would take path of least resistance toward my yard instead of barrier near neighbors' yard. Will need to maintain both sides of living fence....


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

Here's an even simpler method of growing bamboo.

If you are in zone 7, you could simply grow some tall fargesia robustas, chusqeaus,thamnocalamus, or any of the other hardy clumping species which will only spread a few inches each year without the threat of running into the neighbor's yard.

The only draw back to them is that these species are typically under 20ft tall, and you have to buy multiple plants since you can't pamper a clumper to grow in certain directions and fill out a screen. Zone 7 along the east coast sounds like an ideal climate for cold hardy clumpers.


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

Thanks for the suggestion, but I decided on running bamboo because of the potential for fastest growth and greater height. I'll put in barrier with either the closed loop barrier on an angle with clamps or the one sided barrierat an angle with a raised bed. Either way seems I need to maintain the rhizomes - but the beauty of the yellow groove and spectabilius along with the privacy it provides should make up for the maintenance.


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

I don't necessarily believe that a one-sided barrier encourages the plant to grow in the opposite direction. But there are other reasons to leave room.

I always leave several feet free on the back side so I can work along a property line. It makes it easier to get on all sides of the plant and clear out dead culms, and it makes it easier to see if a rhizome has jumped over a barrier (although this is not a common occurrence). The thing to remember with any barrier is that it's not the end of the world if a rhizome escapes...you just deal with it. when you remove a rhizome from the ground that is going where you don't want it to go, it's just necessary to get the main part of the root out; fragments left in the ground do not re-grow, unlike many invasive plants.

Finally, remember that any growth that hangs over the property line can be legally trimmed by your neighbor. At some point you will have culms right up to the barrier and foliage that arches over. If you do not have a good relationship with the neighbor, you don't want to plant your bamboo in a way that will allow him the opportunity to prune growth that may be over the property line.


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RE: Do Barriers Work?

I do not believe barriers work for long. We had a 75 foot, steel reinforced, concrete, barrier installed to keep our neighbor's bamboo off of our property in 2011 at a cost of 3,000 dollars. This Spring (2014) the bamboo grew past the end of the barrier. We dug a 6 foot rhizome out of our yard in April and another was growing in its place not 2 days later. If you are a victim of the bamboo you will have to barrier your entire property.


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