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Posted by patj53 6 (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 14, 08 at 13:55

I recently took a trip to GA. at Fort Benning to see my nephew. I live in Ky. Can some one tell me if it is illegal to dig up a start of bamboo growing along side of the road. I would love to get a start of it. I will be going back to GA. Nov 7 for graduation

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: illegal

It is illegal to dig up things without permission whether it is bamboo or anything else. Perhaps you can ask at the nearest house? I imagine they wouldn't mind if you asked.

RE: illegal

It is illegal to dig, collect, cut or otherwise disturb any vegetation upon public lands. This prohibition also applies to seed. Even those plants that are designated as noxious weeds (I'm sure Bamboo is included in that category) is included. Most states have similar laws.

A botanist friend was severely reprimanded by the Highway Patrol for collecting Ferns from a road right-of-way, in southern GA. He said it required a lot of explanation (and probably a lot of lying, too!), to avoid a summons. The Ferns he was collecting, grow like weeds there and are routinely cut by mowers, but that didn't excuse him, he was informed.

As esh_ indicated, permission of a property owner is necessary, before entering or collecting plants from there.
Some property owners grow certain species of Bamboo for sale or donation to the Atlanta Zoo to feed their growing population of Pandas and may not appreciate someone poaching from their crop.

RE: illegal

Thanks for your help
I was not going to steal it, I was talking about the road right-of-way that get mowed.
Also I sure wouldn't do any poaching.
Does any one know a land owner that sells it

RE: illegal

The road right of way area still belongs to a landowner, the landowner just grants right of way access to the state/county. For example, even the road in front of your house - no matter how big or small - entails some right of way access. In our neighborhood, the county used to come through and trim trees that extended into the road, impairing the view. They were able to do this because of their right of way access (I think it was 12 feet on either side as measured from the center of the street in this residential area).

I know you didn't mean that you were going to steal it, I just wanted to clarify that it all belongs to someone.

Bamboo is readily purchased in many places, we would really need to know more about what plant you mean. River cane is a native bamboo, but most of the tall bamboo that you see is an exotic import that has escaped into the wild.

Here is a link that might be useful: Arundinaria gigantea (native)

RE: illegal

The areas along state and county roads are actually owned by the public, having been purchased from individual landowners. While they are often referred to as "right-of-way", that is a misnomer. An adjacent property owner has no more or less rights to the property, than you or I.
The state or county is also responsible for maintaining those public lands.
You often hear the term; "state-owned or county-owned property", which is also a misnomer! The United States is a Federal Republic and no political entity, Federal, State or Local can "own" anything! It is purchased with taxpayers dollars and held in trust for the benefit of all citizens.

City or county streets and roads are treated somewhat differently. There is usually a right-of-way on both sides for the provision of underground and aerial utilities or in some cases, drainage of runoff water. This strip of land can vary in width, up to 20 ft. in some areas. The adjacent property owner is responsible for maintenance and can use it for their own purposes, as long as they do not interfere with the utilities and street/road signs or traffic control devices placed upon it. If used for drainage, you cannot place anything there that would impede the flow of water.
If you check the legal description of you property, you will probably find that it excludes the right-of-way portion adjacent to the street or if for drainage only, a drainage easement & width specified. That said, whatever you plant in that area is your personal property, under your control and the public has no right to enter the area without your permission. I might add that includes irresponsible dog walkers, who seemingly get some satisfaction from allowing their pooch to use a prized plant/shrub as a faux "fire hydrant"!

My 2 (which is worthless in today's economy!)

RE: illegal

Appreciate your comments, old man by the sea.

Let's hope the property tax excludes that portion too! ;)

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