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Fear of Bamboo

Posted by MiaOKC 7 (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 21, 11 at 11:06

Hi everyone! You may remember I posted a while back about taking some plants with us when we move houses. Well, it looks like we may have found "the one" and might be moving next month! Exciting yet terrifying all at the same time. :) One good thing about the potential new house is that there is a small hobby greenhouse in the backyard. I saw it and was like, "It's a sign!"

Anyway, one big drawback, IMHO, is the stand of bamboo in the backyard against the back fence. I imagine this was planted for privacy and it is doing that job in spades. I need to look at it again to be sure, but I think there are at least two different varieties - one that had leaves sort of like a nandina and one that had thick strappy leaves like a corn plant or something. I also noticed at least a few culms that were popping up in the lawn a good 15 feet away from the stand. Ack! In the main stand, plants are very tall, some probably close to 20 feet.

DH said he likes it, but I'm afraid of it. And I think his fancy will wear off quickly if we have it sprouting all over the lawn, too.

Advice? Experiences? Is it possible to keep some of it and get rid of some or is that a pipe dream? I imagine this bamboo is now shared with about four backyard neighbors... I wonder what they think of it.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fear of Bamboo

When it comes to invasive plants, this is one of your worst case scenerios. I think it should be illegal to plant bamboo in the city or a neighborhood because the neighbors don't have any choice about it growing on their property unless they take the time and expense to trench deeply and install a barrier before it greedily takes over. Terrified, not afraid, is the reaction I would have as a gardener. I think the novelty will wear off quickly with your husband.

The only way to stop it is with a deep barrier that goes past the roots. You would probably have to grind out the root system that is already in there and spend a lot of time eradicating it. It will take over more feet each year otherwise.

I personally would not buy the house just because of the bamboo because of how important my garden space is to me. I once saw it growing in the backyard of a house and it had grown under the house to the front yard. It would be easier to build a new greenhouse than to get rid of the bamboo.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

To quote spademilllane, who upon purchasing his home also became owner of Oklahoma's largest privately owned stand of bamboo, "friends don't let friends plant bamboo."


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

I was wondering if it might be the reason the house is for sale. Anyone with a greenhouse is obviously interested in gardening and they had this dense wall of bamboo getting bigger every year. Wait 10 or 15 years and see why "friends don't let friends plant bamboo". We have a friend with a large lot and his neighbor planted it to block the view. The shoots are now coming up at least 40 or 50 feet away from the original planting and getting close to his house. He is starting to worry about his foundation. Its turned into a thick forest and he has no idea how to control it except to keep mowing the shoots which just come back.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

The owners have gotten a divorce, I think that has more to do with the sale than the bamboo. :) I've read several articles about how to eradicate it, which sounds arduous to say the least and would require monumental patience. Even so, the house has all the other qualities we are looking for and we will probably go forward, even with the bamboo. I've read if you starve the rhizomes for two years by defoliating (after culms grow, right after they leaf out, cut them down) to exhaust the rhizomes it will kill the stand. Also, I am a person that willfully planted two wisteria on my own pergola in the backyard, and I love it, even though someone else might consider it a nightmare.

Anyone with experience with removal?


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Hahaha.... I have bamboo and wysteria around my yard. Bamboo was placed so that we would not have to see neighbours (who have moved since) throw their beer cans in their back yard (which faced our back yard) and throw up all over the place. I keep it in check. The wysteria we have trained on trellis systems and wires around our porch. They take work, but they can be managed!


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Thanks, kfrinkle. We trim our wisteria every month or so in the summer, it's trained on the pergola and if we don't want it to jump to the roof and eat our house, we cut it back. What kind of maintenance are you doing to the bamboo to keep it contained? I've read about root pruning and rhizome barriers so far.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

My Uncle has had 2 stands of what I call "river Cane", or "Fishing Pole Cane" for over 40 years and loves it. It goes well with his Oriental style of landscape with the fish ponds, Lilly pads, Pagoda and Banana trees.

I ask him a few years ago about how he kept it under control. He told me that he just kept what he didn't want mowed. (he lives in the country, nearest neighbor 1/4 mile away). I liked the way it looked, but not enough to get a start of it because I have heard too many stories about how the stuff wanted to take over the world.

Larry


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

I know a foolproof method to eradicate unwanted bambo. Simply cut it down. Then build a pen around it and keep a pair of goats in the pen. Inside of two years the bambo will have given up. Goats could conquer kudzu. There are small breeds of goat. So one could have them, even on a small lot. Oh yes, they would need some form of shelter. But I KNOW this would work. I tried to establish some bamboo, down by our creek. Even when we only had two goats, and they had free range over our ten acres, they still hunted out my bamboo and wiped it out.

Definition in gardener's language "Goat = weapon of mass destruction"

George
Tahlequah, OK


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RE: Fear of Bamboo continued

LOL! Will have to check the neighborhood covenants on any goat restrictions. :) This is in the city, and I have a feeling the neighbors might have something to say about it.

I have read that the first step to eradicating in mowing it down. Some sites suggest letting it sprout up, then wait to cut or mow until it starts leafing out, so that the rhizome spends energy but is denied photosynthesis to recharge.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Mia,

I simply cut down encroaching bamboo stalks. You just have to be persistent and not let the patch get too big in the first place.
The same thing goes with wysteria. I actually trim back the wysteria on our front porch about once a week in spring/early summer until it starts to slow down.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Excellent. We are doing our inspections on Monday and I will try to take a few pics to see if I can identify or get help to identify if this is a clumper or runner.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

I guess we just have to keep our fingers crossed that when we move on, future owners will be just as persistent as we were at keeping these invasive plants controlled and just not let them get too big in the first place to avoid creating overgrown nightmares. I'm sure thats what happens considering most people are conscientious gardeners. Its a nice legacy pass on to future generations. And so considerate of the neighbors too.


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bamboo never sleeps

Beware of Bamboo

I like bamboo but you have to know your variety and also know how much work it is to contain and not stint on it. I had golden bamboo in a hedge next to my house for 30 years and we controlled it the old fashion Japanese way. We basically had it growing between two retaining walls and it was a gorgeous hedge. On can not do it the lazy way of containing one side of it. Bamboo never sleeps. After the nuclear end of the world, cockroaches and bamboo will survive. Clump bamboo is controllable easily. running bamboo must be given room. It is a plant for an estate or rural area. It should not be planted in a neighborhood without retaining wallS or the rubber stuff that goes down 24" ALL around it. No corners cut.

I think we were successful in our efforts to contain Golden Bamboo. I go back and visit and 10 years later, it is still right where it is supposed to be and the guy that bought the house is a very lazy gardener. The guy that lives on the down hill side of the outside retaining wall and he is very lazy too. He checks for escaped roots once every two years and so far he has caught the two times it got out. I ran into him at some function and I asked. I always felt responsible for the bamboo. It looked beautiful in it's 2' strip of land and grew about18' up where we let it grow naturally. By my husbands office, we kept it trimmed down to about 10' to let in light. It did give us some privacy on the side of the house but not complete privacy, it made a very vice alley . I had one guy from japan come and visit and he said it made him feel like he was at home. I had this odd brick mosaic walkway that was about structured pattern breaking gradually into chaos as one walked down it. I hate it when one guy will put in his splotch and dig and surround his side with his barrier and not do the back into the rest of the neighborhood. It is amazingly thoughtless. I think the true traditional traditional method of planting bamboo in a small garden is to build a deep masonry ditch 2 ' deep complete with a bottom to the ditch also. There can not be TOO much work spent in containing. Mowing the culms is only a partial solution.

I love listening to it in a soft wind. I had it outside my bedroom window and it was very restful. I miss the sound. I would like to grow it IF I COULD out here, but the dirt is wrong , the water is wrong....Right now bamboo is dead all over Austin, but it will return from the roots.

When I was very young in Thailand the bamboo grove would groan softly at night in the wind. The culms would rub against each other and make this low throated sound. It was the very big stuff. It was almost human, definitely an animal sound, sometimes ghostly. I have fond memories of that grove, great to play in as a kid.. For years, americans had access to only one or two varieties of inferior bamboo, and we did not know how to grow it. We just let it run away....It takes discipline and space. It is not a plant for amateurs. It is not the plant for a rental house. Lots of old neighborhoods in Austin are over run by it. The homeless love it as a place for homeless camps.

When I went to Mainland china, I learned Chinese and history sitting in a outside classroom that was in a grove of very widely spaced running bamboo that had been trimmed up. It was a shady room with a high ceiling and pillars. Every village had extensive bamboo groves that were well tended because they were growing their houses. I am fascinated by the bamboo cultures. They use bamboo for everything. They eat it , eat out of it live in it, cut it down and make houses, pipes, rebar in concrete, scafolding, window trim, furniture, house beams, agricultural drainage and irrigation. Now they weave it into cloth. Have you felt the new bamboo cloth. We are an oil culture. We make everything out of oil with our petro chemicals from plastic, saran wrap, fertilizers,etc..... I even saw some square bamboo growing at the Dragon Well Tea House in Hanghjoe. I go on ad infinitum, sorry.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Wow, wantonamara... beautifully written. Poetry!


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Bamboo Won't Die and You Can't Kill It

Mia,

Please be sure you won't mind if you have to deal with the bamboo for the rest of your life, because if you buy a house with uncontained bamboo, you will have to deal with it forever.

I grew up in a neighborhood in Texas where several homes (though not ours) had uncontrollable bamboo running wild in their yards in the 1960s and 1970s. I love the way bamboo looks and would love to plant it here, but memories of the Bamboo Wars I witnessed as a child have, so far, made me rein in my desire to grow a nice patch of bamboo out back somewhere. I have mixed feelings about it because I love the way it looks and the way it sounds in the wind, but having watched those neighbors make many futile attempts to remove it (ha ha ha ha ha!), I have chosen to live without it. Those neighbors' attempts included having someone try to dig it out with a bulldozer or a front end loader type thing, and having someone dig it out by hand which took months and months in the black gumbo clay soil, and then they poured concrete and put in a new garage and driveway where the bamboo used to be....and then the bamboo came back all around that house, garage and driveway. Another neighbor had bamboo roots mixed in with tree roots and with a chain link fence and they couldn't get rid of it. So, even as a young child, I understood that growing bamboo meant you faced the challenge of controlling it, and I also grew up believing you'd never get rid of it once you had it.

So, I guess all I am saying is once you have bamboo, you'll likely have it forever and the best you can hope for is to contain it somewhat. Is that a challenge you're willing to take on? Apparently the answer is yes, so I'll just wish you luck with it.

Would I buy a place with bamboo? (sigh) I don't think I would, but then if I really loved the house and the greenhouse, maybe I would. That's one of those things where I think I wouldn't do it, but then I know it could be pretty easy to talk myself into it if I loved the house and greenhouse.

We have acreage and I could plant bamboo, if I wanted, far from the house and just let it run wild. However, we have neighbors we like, and I'd worry about it creeping onto their property and they, or someday their children, having to deal with it. I also don't want for our son, who someday will inherit this place, having to spend years or decades fighting bamboo. It is bad enough that we have to fight the Johnson Grass here and the cattails too, and while they are bad, they are not nearly as bad as bamboo.

Wantonamara, I love your description of the bamboo culture. I'd rather live in a bamboo culture than an oil culture, if I had the choice, because bamboo is so much more sustainable over the long term. I love the bamboo towels (they are so soft!) and flooring I've seen sold here in this country. I love the way bamboo looks in oriental-style gardens, but I don't want to have to deal with it on our property. And, if the Texas drought doesn't kill all that bamboo and it does came back from its roots....well, then, there really isn't anything that will kill it, is there? I do know that the bamboo in my childhood neighborhood was planted in the late 1940s or early 1950s and survived the six or seven years of drought in the 1950s, so I expect much if not all the bamboo currently growing in Texas will survive the 2011 drought.

Dawn


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

When making these comparisons and extolling the qualities and beauty of bamboo, I think the fact that bamboo is an Asian native needs to be considered especially if anyone decides to plant bamboo. I know the bamboo in question is already there in this situation but still, its a factor in the subject. China is a culture that has used a native plant as a resource. That makes a big difference.

Here in the US its an exotic import that replaces our native environment and ecosystem. It is not a good choice to plant as a fence as it creates many serious problems instead of solving one simple problem. I am referring to the running types. Planting it in a neighborhood, such as Okiedawn is describing, it is especially irresponsible and causes innocent people problems and major expense. I think the legitimacy of a lawsuit would not be out of the question if it were planted in an irresponsible way, meaning, not contained and spreading into the property of others.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo considerations

I was out walking in my garden thinking about this and have another comment to consider. I am not trying to be negative, only realistic. I have been in that situation of wanting something new so bad that I close my eyes to any flaws. You have to ask yourself some serious questions.

The story Okiedawn described with the bulldozer and concrete is seriously bad and that is what I keep thinking about. I knew bamboo could be bad, but not that bad.

How important is gardening space to me? Once the new wears off, will I regret inheriting this problem? What will it be like in 10 or 20 years? Bamboo coming up in a lawn you mow is one thing, coming up in a garden is an entirely different matter and could be exasperating and make it impossible.

I get the feeling you want positive feedback because you love the house, are excited with the prospect of moving and feel you have finally found the perfect one. Is it just a fly in the ointment or will it turn into something you regret? Just make sure this is something you will be able to live with and don't be blinded with excitement and think it will all work out in the end.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Thanks, Cactus, I really appreciate that you've been giving this serious thought on my behalf! While I am excited about the prospect of moving, I'm primarily collecting info at this time but not making a decision about removing or not (since it's a bit cart before the horse anyway). Thinking ahead to some of the great points you mentioned... The side where I would put my veggie garden is on the far side of a driveway (turnabout rear load two car garage, so pretty wide swath of cement between bamboo and veggie plot) so it would likely be safe from the bamboo. As to the rest, when we go back on Monday for inspections I can check. On the side closest to the house, I think I recall it was bordered by a low stone wall about a foot high. Will have to see if there is a root barrier as well. Between the stone wall and the house is a large in-ground pool and cement patio, so it won't be able to migrate right to the back door. I will need to check into barriers (possibly already installed or we could install one) to the left, right and rear of the stand. If we were to do something to eradicate or contain, I'd likely enlist the support of our new neighbors. It's a large cul-de-sac lot, so there are at least four back neighbors and one to the side. Will have to see which properties may be affected and approach them. Heck... for all I know the bamboo might have started in a rear neighbor's yard and this is the overgrowth!

Funnily enough, my brother can't wait for us to close on this house so he can come transplant some bamboo to his backyard. (!) And several people I've spoken with have lovely stories of their bamboo, and the privacy, etc, all positive reviews. I had a friend who has since moved who had the most beautiful backyard, entirely populated by bamboo. Every so often was a new clearing with a patio, or fire pit, or dining table, etc, and it was like an enchanted secret forest with lovely hideouts. Will have to make contact with him to see what his experience was.

Okiedawn, thanks for your input, too. It's funny you mention the Bamboo Wars, because that was exactly my vision of what we would be doing to try to remove it! I spoke with my boss, who lives on an acreage, and she LOVES her bamboo out there. Provides an excellent windbreak/dustbreak/visual barrier from the road, etc, and nothing but good to say about it. It sounds if we try to corral it/eliminate it, we will have no shortage of takers to come dig some up (I've read a Sawzall will be integral to this process) and spread the love. Muaah-haaa-haa... world domination!


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

I can tell you about how much I enjoyed the beauty of bamboo, but it was a hell of a lot of work to get it that way. I hate yards where it has run away and dominated the space. We spent two years running down and following carefully every root in all directions from every culm that appeared during one "outbreak. That was when we were depending on sheet metal. The thick rubber was not available at the time we first started having to really control. it. We dug down and pored a 2'deep slanted retaining wall. that lined a brick walkway. One year it escaped again and went under the house and came up on the other side of the building. I got down and dug it out in the crawl space. FUN. We dug down again and removed part of the walkway,dug up more dirt, pored more concrete, replaced walkway. I think we got it that time. I think I had to clip a few roots that came up to the surface trying to jump over the concrete and walkway. It was easy after that. We had our springtime bamboo chores. Our calendar was set by it.

So you see, one needs to do twice the work than you think you need to because you will only be doing it over later.

In Hawaii, my neighbor used some wild bamboo to build a fence. This variety SPROUTED and grew! When he was gone one weekend we pulled his fence up soaked them in poison and sprayed the leaves that were growing on new small branches. He never knew.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Just call me an anti-invasive exotic plant bigot.

The point is to approach some things with a bit of seriousness and responsibility especially when handing out new plants for others and joking about world domination.


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RE: Fear of Damn-Boo

Here's a link that might be useful.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.plantanswers.com/bamboo.htm


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Thanks for the link, Cactus. I'm sure you didn't mean your message to come off so nasty. Appreciate everyone's input, happy Thanksgiving.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Clumping bamboo is not invasive. Is the bamboo at this place clumping or running? I've been studying it because I'm planting some this spring. Quite a few people in our neighborhood have lovely, clumping bamboo and it's very well behaved.


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Root barrier, perhaps?

How do you know they didn't plant it properly with a root barrier? If it was planted properly,it should be fine.
I love bamboo, just so long as its confined or the clumping type.


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Oops

Sorry, I reread where you said its spreading out into the yard. That's too bad, sounds like the barrier failed.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Hi Tracy,
We were back at the house yesterday and I've decided it is definitely a runner, possibly yellow bamboo (the canes are yellow where they are mature, way up high). Have a few pics to post in the bamboo forum tonight. In the neglected flowerbeds, the bamboo has sprouted up in the bushes, etc., and in some lawn areas that haven't been mowed or cared for. I also discovered what I thought was bamboo in one corner is probably arundo donax (sp?) or river cane type stuff. Discussed with the neighbor, he's been working to eliminate HIS river cane that has spread into our (potentially ours!) yard, which he got through spreading from ANOTHER neighbor behind him. Ha! Sharing the love with invasive plants in this neighborhood is the theme, I guess. he says all the backyard neighbors tend to like the bamboo/cane because of the privacy, but not the spreading. Seller says no neighbors have complained in the 11 yrs he's lived there, and they all love it... taking that with a grain of salt, of course.

DH and I are thinking of trying to install a rhizome barrier to corral it to the area behind the pool. Renting a trencher, buying the barrier, etc. Seems like maintenance to keep it in check as it tries to leap the barrier is similar to the fight we already do with bermuda. Will be checking with seller to see if any type of barrier was ever installed, but I think I know the answer already.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

It sounds like the new rhizome barriers that I've read about are much better than using the old fashioned methods of concrete and metal. A lot of people with experience in WA state and Florida.
I've been looking at some of the beautiful chocolate and black clumping varieties to replace some invasive trees that I've removed that was screening our pool and backyard from the neighbors.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

I'm watching this thread closely and soaking every bit I can get off of it. And Mia - IF you get the house and need to get rid of some, I wouldn't mind taking some off of your hands.

Now, before any one tells me I'm crazy...yes, I know I am. But we have a west road that is really eroding and it's a LONG way from the house and there's NO way anything is EVER going to be built or grow on that hill by the road. Bamboo is honestly the only thing I can find in my research that will block the dust, hold the dirt and need very little care. If it spreads 5 or 6 feet either way it's not going to hurt anyone or anything.

Keep us (me) posted, Mia! And good luck on the new home!

Paula


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Thanks, Paula! And of course, my (potential) bamboo is your bamboo! It sounds like the application you have in mind is what my boss was explaining as her situation, and why she loves the bamboo on her property so much - it blocks dust from the road, controls erosion and provides privacy on their acreage. I do want to mention that in checking into the rhizome barrier, you may think about installing one before planting any bamboo, even far from the house, to keep bamboo from trying to destroy your road. I clicked on a link here on GW for bamboo barrier (deeproot dot com slash bamboobarrier) and there were some before and after photos from Japan where bamboo was bucking a paved walking trail. They are selling barrier products, so take it for what it's worth.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

p-mac. It will spread WAY more than 5 or 6 feet. Once it gets going, it will do that while your sleeping every week.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

I've seriously studied the rhizome barrier and I'm not skeeeered. DH (in his younger life) was a concrete man and when the body started telling him "enough!", he took classes and became very knowledgable in concrete re-enforcing along with every element involved. I believe he's got the knowledge, skills, tools (and man-power!) to build a retainer that will last at least as long as our life-time and maybe our g-kids that will inherit our acreage. The road is not one we use at all, in fact, we've diverted from it because of the run-off situation.

I've been warned extensively by all these wonderful peeps here to stay away from it but it STILL seems to be calling me. Ecclesiastecs says "there's a time and place for everything"....guess I'm taking this literally.

I just LOVE a good challenge and this one just might be calling my name. Just occurred to me...wonder if this might be any kind of barrier for pocket gophers that seem to come from that direction?!? Hmmm....(hehe!)


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Or maybe the pocket gophers might find sharpening their teeth on the barrier a good sport. I am just saying the bamboo needs it's proper place and strong impediments ALL around it. Underestimate it at your own risk and one will pay with twice the work later. I did and I had to come back and do it right after pulling roots for days. I am not saying don't, but I am saying be aware of the commitment before the fact and be aware that as the years pass, that we will grow old and that Bamboo, well, it just grows stronger and stronger, larger and larger till it blooms and then the whole stand will die.....but you will be dead and gone by then.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

BTW, thats 30 feet per year. Not 5 or 6 feet. I can think of many less aggressive and rampant plants that would solve the noise, erosion etc problem besides running bamboo but who am I to argue with scripture?


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Oh, one thing, I think I said this was possibly Yellow Bamboo but I really meant Golden Bamboo. I also ran a search of this topic in the forum again (which I'd done before I first posted but didn't get any results for some reason) and saw that you all have patiently answered this question (repeatedly) for many other newbies before me. Very gracious of everyone to take me by the hand yet again. Even if we don't all agree, I appreciate everyone's perspectives and that you have taken the time to share.

Also, it looks like we will be closing Dec. 16 and moving just after Christmas! Right now the plan is to order some root barrier and rent a trencher to corral it where we want to keep it, and all the rest will be either cut down/mowed repeatedly/dug out for transplants. Better study up on transplanting, Paula, and sharpen your spade! :)

Lastly, very sad to be leaving our home of 10 years but excited for the new chapter. Will be searching and soliciting advice on taking cuttings from my current yard to help populate the new. We are going to rent out our house that we're in now, so I will thankfully be able to come back in the spring to get what I need.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

It seems to be a topic people get emotional about. People who love it get quite defensive. You will find no shortage of defenders if you want to support your reason to plant it or keep it. Our opinions or tastes in landscaping do not change the facts or the way this plant spreads aggressively and are beside the point in the discussion. If someone else loves theirs, so what? Bamboo doesn't care one way or another.

People who are concerned with the damage it costs in the country annually ($138 billion) and neighbors who unwillingly get stuck with a serious problem become appalled at the callousness, lack of forsight and lack of courtesy of others.

Anyone who is fighting this or any other invasive plant, especially if it is next door or who cares about native ecology is going to respond vigorously. I would be alarmed if my neighbor was planting Golden Bamboo and am glad I am not in that situation. Its bad enough dealing with neglected hackberry trees coming up unchecked.

I really hope all of these people you are planning to give it to are sensitive and will act responsibly. I don't believe there is a warning that is too exaggerated.

Unfortunately, judging by my experience, most people inevitably get bored with a thing and it soon gets out of hand. It wouldn't take very long with Golden Bamboo. These days, people move every 10 years or so and there is the mess for someone else to deal with. It will detrimentally affect anyone within close proximity. As Wantanamara pointed out, the plant will out live us most likely and keep going at an alarming rate of underground growth.

The plant is listed among the Worst of the Worst invading species. That should be taken seriously. If someone wants to plant bamboo, please plant the clumping type.

I hope that isn't being too nasty.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

It's not nasty at all, Cactus. I tend to fall on the sarcastic side of the fence and there are no sacred cows when it comes to my sense of humor... bamboo included, I guess. I am happy to get your input, even if we don't agree. You have often provided thoughtful, insightful commentary on this forum and I appreciate you taking the time to give my problem a moment's consideration.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Mia, I am confused about what we do we not agree on? You were initially calling the bamboo a big drawback because you were concerned about the invasive nature and asked for advice. The title was Fear of Bamboo.

My husband and I are also looking at a piece of property that has bamboo invading it. It is just something to think about seriously and ask what you are willing to do or put up with. I have been trying to look at the problem realistically and take off any rose colored glasses thinking it will be an easy fix. Or if in fact it can be fixed at all. I have read some real horror stories in the last few months and frankly, I am angry at the person who planted this particular clump of running bamboo now coming 50+ feet into the property we wanted. How can people be so inconsiderate and ignorant? He planted it for privacy. Well, its certainly a lot more than that now. Its an ugly problem. Weedy looking.

Besides, I just don't see how it can be contained if you can't trench around the original clump --meaning ALL the way around it and install the barrier. If its on someone else's property, that would be impossible (not to mention four peoples property). I am not friendly to running bamboo no matter who sings its praises or jokes about it, which just pisses me off now after seeing what this crap is capable of.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Mia, I just wanted to say that I hope you enjoy your new home. It's an exciting time when you get to move to a nice new place. You have chosen a busy time of the year for the move, but I hope everything goes well for you.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

I guess we disagree about it having an appropriate place in some circumstances... from what I understand, you are firmly "anti-bamboo" and I am cautiously "maybe-bamboo-moreso-if-it-wears-a-rubber." And we definitely disagree about topics we can make jokes about. Any plant matter is fair game to my twisted sense of humor, as I try my best to avoid hurting people or animals with cruel jokes but plants just can't fight back so I take full advantage. (See? ha ha! Inappropriate humor in uncomfortable situations - that's me!)

Initially, I was posting for further information: at the time all I had to go on was an idea that it was invasive and could be a problem, but no specific firsthand experience to draw on, and no real recollection of where or how I got this bad impression of it. I guess I will have direct experience to draw on pretty soon! Also have researched the heck out of the internet, so I feel like a seasoned bamboo observer (just like I feel like I could give someone a tracheotomy with a pen because I watch a lot of ER).

I am going to have to investigate if/how far the bamboo has infiltrated any backyard neighbors (i.e., if they have kept the grass mowed right up to the fence on their side, they should not have standing bamboo in their yard), but I plan to hack out a strip on the back fence line and install the barrier on all three available sides (the pool may be the barrier 4th side. Not sure yet. Might get that side with root block, too, for complete enclosure. TBD). If they have bamboo babies that have been kept mowed on their side, once I cut off their lifeline to the main clump, the babies should die out after repeated mowings (which is how I plant to get rid of it where I don't want it in my yard, too... starve the rhizome and maybe a little help from my little friend Round-Up/other noxious chemicals). If they have bamboo in their yard and let it go, all I can really do is try to give them information on containment/eradication and hope they use it. And possibly budget to install root block all along the back fence, to keep theirs out of my new bamboo-free zone.

Sorry you're pissed off about my jokes and sorry the property you are looking at has this deal-breaker for you. I totally empathize with your disappointment! We've looked at HUNDREDS of houses online and visited dozens, and this is the third house we've tried to purchase in the last three months (meaning two others fell through) so I've had some very low lows myself. Happy it's going through now and excited to forge ahead. Good luck to you in your house hunt.

On another note which hopefully won't be controversial - has anyone heard about developers treating the soil with a strong chemical that inhibits termites for 100 years? The termite inspection came back clean, and the inspector said he'd done the house next door just last year and that the developer (in the 70s when house was built) treated the soil something that will last 100 years. Makes me wonder about the veggie garden I'd planned. Not sure what the chemical was... to Google I will go!


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Thank you!

Thank you, Carol! I was an army brat all my childhood but have been in OKC for the last 15 years. It seems so scary to move now, when before it was no big deal. How times change, huh? And I've become so cozy where I am (same house 10 years) that my DH is periodically "talking me off the ledge" of my anxiety. So, picture alternating exhilaration and terror - two sides of the same coin in my household! I keep telling myself it's like flying... gotta go through the plane ride to get to the beach. It will all be worth it in the end! Thanks again.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

I can joke about it if I am slandering it, but I can't really condone spreading it. So we do disagree on that. I'd be interested to know how successful you are with it. The story Dawn told about the guy trying to bulldoze it out really got me. My husband and I had discussed dozing it when the land is cleared over there. That story was disheartening because I thought it was a real solution and I walked around my garden thinking we had better come up with a different plan if we buy this property. Except I am not sure what that new plan will be now. If we do buy, I will not be giving any of it away to be a nuisance elsewhere. I'm crabby that way.

I'm not firmly anti-bamboo and I am no zealot. I am just tired of dealing with people who don't maintain their own growth and it spreads everywhere while they ignore it leaving other people to deal with it and pay for it. We have spent hundreds on the neighbors trees as we watch his whole yard look like hell. I am anti-slumlord, anti-lazy and anti-stupid. I live in the inner city and I have seen a lot of over-growth get out of hand causing blight.

Changing gears...

They used to use a chemical called Chlordane for termite control. It was not used to kill them, rather, its a long lasting barrier against them entering. I don't think it lasted quite 100 years but it was a long long time. It was banned because it stays in the soil so long without going anywhere or leaching out. Banning it was one of those dumb moves made for our protection. (in many peoples opinions, especially exterminators) Well, duh, thats why it worked and why in the "old days" you could get a guarantee on termite prevention.

It was sprayed around the foundation and was 100% effective against them (if there was no infestation). So, if your house had that done, it is only around the foundation and ain't goin' no where else. I would count that a good thing. Children and dogs shouldn't play up against the foundation, but, like I was describing, it stays put A LONG TIME where they applied it and doesn't leach into the rest of the soil. Which is why it was banned but also why it worked and I could go round and round again, but you get the idea. Crazy making. I wouldn't worry about the vegetable garden if thats what was applied for termites.

Anyhow......good luck and congrats to you on the new home and keep us updated on the Bamboo War. Who knows, you might sound just as nasty about bamboo as me in a few years. Ha!


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Mia - thank you for your retort and Carol, thanks for backing her up on the main points.

Cactus - I thought you were BIT strong in your attack considering that few of us here (unless we really "connect") get a chance to view anyone's actual layout of land so hence, my summary of your reaction. It's a given that you're entitled to your opinion based on your actual situation, but you've got to understand that not all of us stand in your yard. Also, Dawn has actually been at my place, stood in my yard and warned me of the potentials. I'm really so sorry that the situation for your place is so difficult. Maybe we all need to man shovels and come help you eradicate the problem?!

Mia - regardless of this thread....I'm envious of your "clean slate" and LOVE SUPPORTING new endevours! YOU GO GIRL!!!! Next spring is going to almost be like Christmas and all I can say is if you want to take cuttings from the old place, buy some rooting hormone! Several of us have been there, done that so don't be shy about coming back to see how any of us dealt with it! (Seedmama had her whole place bazed by fire a year ago and is recovering!)

Several dear peeps have previously been a part of this forum and left because of this kind of controversy. I sincerely hope that this does not persist, like the problem bamboo. I, for one, will not contribute anymore to this particular thread. To each his own. Happy Holidays and catalog shopping to you all!

Paula


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

If its that thin skinned around here, I've decided I will call it quits on Oklahoma GW. I wouldn't want any peeps to leave because of something I said about some plant or because I didn't back them up in agreement.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Hey Paula, you can always buy a goat....but they might eat your plums. LOL


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Thanks for the info on Chlordane, Cactus, that does sound like the chemical he was talking about. Good to know I don't have to convert to 100% container gardening!

Paula, I have your email from the fling and will keep in touch about divisions/transplants. Will put rooting hormone on my list for Santa, too! I took many cuttings for Seedmama before this year's fling to help her out after the fires, but I had practically no clue what I was doing. I'll run some dedicated searches on the topic before venturing forth and will be back with any questions.

Didn't mean to shake a hornet's nest with my questions, but in my experience, there is always something in any online forum that will be polarizing. People are passionate, I guess! I've been guilty of my fingers typing faster than my brain thinks things through, so I assume others have too. Just try to not let it get to me.

Again, thanks everyone and we'll let this one retire. Back tomorrow with a new thread on something milder like pro-life vs. pro-choice or liberal vs. conservative. hee hee... have a great weekend.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Mia, Good luck with the house and the bamboo.

I know y'all are ready to let this thread die, but want to add one thing about chlordane. As best as I can remember, it has a half life of 20 years or so, so you would have the residue in your soil for roughly 40 years at a minimu. Some time ago, a research institution grew vegetables in soil outside their own building that had been treated with chlordane about 20 years before. Their goal was to harvest the crops and test the veggies for chlordane. When they harvested and did the testing, everything they tested contained chlordane. So, when siting your edible garden plants, I wouldn't plant them right up next to the foundation of the house where the chlordane was placed, but you shouldn't be worried about a garden site that's not right there next to the foundation.

As for bamboo, I think it is anyone's choice whether to buy property with it or not, or whether to plant it or not. The important thing is to do your research and have a plan for containing it and for dealing with it if it escapes your containment efforts.

I am excited for you that you're getting the house you want and look forward to hearing all about it as you make the yard and garden your own. It is always such an adventure to start over with a new place.

Dawn


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Its easy to see that you guys are pals and will circle the wagons if someone is perceived as being "attacked" by anyone who has strong opinions (read nasty person).

If you want real information on bamboo and are serious about getting rid of it or controlling it, this is not the place to be. Go to the Bamboo Forum where they can actually give you some usable advice. Be forewarned, you might read some rants about it there because some people have big expensive battles on their hands they received from neighbors who recklessly planted the stuff. Just try to stay calm, it doesn't mean they are villians or non Christians. If you just want to feel good and be congratulated and told what you want to hear, this is the place.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Cactus - I think because we communicate here where we can't see a person's face or hear the inflection of their voice that we sometimes get off-track. (Insert here sad face and a really regretful person) And yes, we ARE all pals. But you're one of us too so...

I was just a bit (ok, a lot) offended that I was being branded as a person that gave no consideration of the generation that will come after me and what they will deal with, along with being a person who wouldn't deal with the substance in my life-time. I promise you, I'm none of those. I really try to give careful consideration to that because honestly, my g-kids will inherit our place and I've got a pretty good idea of what they will and WILL not do.

I live on an acreage that gives me many options as far as landscaping, etc. I'm just trying to make this a better place so that when I leave...I've improved it and made it better for the next person that lives in my "bit of heaven". One plant that I LOVE is what we call here "Mexican Petunia". In Florida, it's wildly invasive and even outlawed (from what I've read). Heck, I can't get the stuff to last here thru our horrible winters these last fews years and I love the blooms in summer! I've just got this HORRIBLE hill that is washing out monthly and I've GOT to come up with something that will hold it that I can afford. And yes, I'm willing to pay "sweat equity" to do it and do it right. I'm still young enuf...I think...maybe? ha!

I've visited the bamboo forum, the tomatoe forum, the antiques forum and the harvest forum. Maybe some others too and they all have great info but this forum is about Oklahoma gardening and I just take that into account when reading. I've also got several very dear friends that no longer participate here because of ...."attacks"...and I hate that because they could really be contributing a lot. I'm just lucky that they are still my friends and I didn't loose them because of some unfortunate occurance.

You've contributed a lot to us on natural landscaping and I hope you don't leave us completely. SO...okay, I said I was leaving this thread (ONLY!) and now I really, really will. Mia - I'll be watching my in-box for updates! After all...you just kinda know where I live so you could sneak in and plant this creature if it's really bad just to get back at me for .... something! LOL! Carol - I could get some goats but then I'd have to fence, etc. and you know the layout here...I'd have to get rid of them if they ate my plums because they (the plums) make the BEST jelly!

Cactus, hope to see ya around! (and a big, waving "hello" to you too, Dawn!)

Paula


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Paula,

I was writing about bamboo in neighborhoods. If you will read my first response, I said cities and neighborhoods. I have heard some heartbreaking stories and witnessed serious damage this plant can wreak on city lots. Its especially bad when it wasn't planted by the person who is suffering the damages and expense. I don't take that lightly nor do I think its funny.

I was joking with the bigot comment. But I do think its something people should be wary of and plant with extreme care and I was offended by the idea of spreading it around like its no big deal.

It seemed some people were making fun of this attitude and that you were cracking jokes and trying to protect Mia from "the bad guy", rescuing her and acting as contrast to my "paranoia" in the form of a dare. In the end, the whole thing was feeling like I had stumbled into a tight clique rather than a discussion of how to deal with problem bamboo, where the main objective is to agree, support and back pat each other. I don't know any of you and it feels rather phoney for me to get into the "I'm so happy for you! Congratulations!" thing. I run into this a lot on this forum and its awkward for me personally. I'm glad you all are such good friends but I am interested in discussing gardening with a bit less touchy feely.

I don't know you and you don't know me and I never did care if you plant it all over your property, build a barrier, or don't build a barrier. Its your land, you can do what you want. But you are on an acreage, its apples and oranges. Can you not see the difference? I do not think the state is in danger of being over run by bamboo and anyone who has the space........plant it.

I had found I really don't have much in common in my plant interests with anyone on this forum and was pretty much giving up hope of finding anyone anyway plus I don't think my personality fits very well here. I wish there was more activity on the Natives Forum.

Don't worry about it. This kind of misunderstanding happens all the time online. I am glad you wrote, I was feeling rather creepy. I apologize for any misunderstanding from my part.

Janet


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Mia, congratulations on your new house! Good luck with the bamboo! I'd love to have my own supply of bamboo poles for the garden. I need to get serious about shopping for my clumping bamboo.
From what I've read, the new flexible barriers ar far more effective than concrete.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Dang.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

After reading this Thread, I think I want a bamboo house. I think I can weave good cord between the poles to form walls that wont blow away. In a few years I could have a High-rise penthouse, and no lawn to mow.


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

I think that is a capital idea! People are always looking to go green. You could be a trendsetter.
mo


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

I am trespassing from the Texas form. In inner city Austin they have had lots of trouble with bamboo. I have seen some old persistent groves get removed. I think the rising value of the land has made the effort worth it It seems that de-bamboo-ification is part of gentrification only to be followed by some re-insertion of more exotic specimens. What a hoot.

The parts that get removed from the parent grove when you trench for your barrier will make it own shoots. The roots need to be removed, all of the roots. I do not think it is enough to ring them and mow the remainder.. THat has been my experience living 25 years with bamboo. I have grown black bamboo from 12' root pieces successfully and easily.

Not to be a snot, but I would not give the bamboo away if I were you. BUt, If you insist , you should make damn sure about where it was going and what their intentions are in planting it, and that the recipient had the finances and physical wherewithal to ring it in a barrier and wage war with appropriate weapons and Personal healthy ENERGY. This is not a plant for old, unhealthy , lazy, transient or irresponsible people. Your responcibility as a responcible gardener is to make that judgement or trash the weedings. If in doubt, trash them.( I hate throwing plant materials out) Yes that means passing judgement on other people. We think nothing of questioning people about their intended care when we give or sell a cat to a person.

I am with Cactus Garden in that spreading it is not like giving cuttings off a rose bush. It is a dangerous act. I like that you are willing to take the project on. Because it is best for this particular grove at this particular house, that someone willing to combat it on any level moves in. It is not going away because you do not buy the house. Now your life may be less painful and you might have more time to meet your girlfriends for a latte if you buy another yard. You need to Do three times more than what you think is necessary to control it and maybe you have done enough. Doing control actions after the fact is always more destructive and harder than doing it on the front end. I would not plan to put in any beds for three years where the bamboo is and just make sure that your efforts seem effective and stable. It will take three years for segments left in the ground to sprout. You will need to do some more digging up then. Actually I wandering jew and a relative of WJ, Tahitian bridal veil growing at its base, so ripping it up was easy. I did not harm the plants at its base . they recovered quickly..


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RE: Fear of Bamboo

Correction. I grew black bamboo from 12" pieces.


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