Root of the Problem: Bamboo Owners Urged to be Cautious of up to 30ft Growth

Root of the Problem: Bamboo Owners Urged to be Cautious of up to 30ft Growth

Invasive bamboo can become a major problem for homeowners who may not realise that some varieties can spread up to 30ft, environment specialists have warned.

When bamboo is left unchecked, certain varieties can cross boundaries, cause damage to property and prospectively cause problems with neighbours.

Environet UK, which specialises with invasive plants including Japanese knotweed and bamboo, has issued a warning for those renovating a garden who may not be aware of how certain bamboo can be hard to control. 

Bamboo is optimal for its screening qualities and helping to create privacy, but it has the potential to be damaging to property due to the remarkable distance the roots can travel. 

Certain varieties have large underground roots, and ‘running’ types can grow up to 30ft from the main plant. Bamboo owners will be able to attest to seeing new shoots unexpectedly appearing in new locations, and its powerful growth can push through brickwork, cavity walls and exploit cracks in concrete. 

Nic Seal, MD of Environet UK, said, “If you do decide to plant bamboo, make sure you choose a clumping variety such as Bambusa or Chusquea and avoid the running types which send long roots out spreading many metres from the original plant. It’s also a good idea to place it in a pot or bed which is lined with a strong vertical root barrier designed to contain bamboo.”

Types of running bamboo that can require attentive maintenance include Phyllostachys nigra, ablack bamboo that stands 20-35 feet, and Phyllostachys bambusoides‘Allgold’, which can reach a height of 35 feet. 

Renovating a Garden

If you are planning a garden renovation, there are several ways to ensure that you create a sustainable garden, such as using plants that are productive and wildlife friendly.

Sustainable gardens have the advantage of enabling expressive architecture alongside being able to absorb greenhouse gases, air pollution and dust. 

For example, early- and late-flowering plants provide nectar for insects just after they emerge from or before they enter hibernation.

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