Bamboo type for privacy screen?

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Old 07-16-13, 10:17 PM
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Bamboo type for privacy screen?

Bamboo privacy screen species, which would you recommend and why? I live in 7 hardy zone. Thanks!!!
 
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Old 07-17-13, 02:31 AM
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Unless you plan well in advance how you will contain the bamboo, a word to the wise.....you don't want it. Bamboo will grow rampant and it grows by rhizome action under the ground.
 
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Old 07-17-13, 08:15 PM
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Yes, I have don't much research into containment.

28" trench surrounding with HDPE (high density polyethylene) 60 mil. thick.

I WILL be cautious with this grass but wanted opinions on species. Thanks.
 
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Old 07-18-13, 05:15 AM
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There are over a thousand species of bamboo. I would start by driving around and see what is growing in your area and check with local nurseries. Let availability help you decide. Many home/land owners will let you take a start of it for free.

I grow three different species and again must caution you before you plant. Do not skimp on your long range planning or barrier underground. Even with a underground barrier you still have to be vigilant. It's roots/runners will climb over the top so your barrier should extend a couple inches above ground so you can easily spot the roots making a jail break and nip them in the bud.

If it does get loose the only effective quick method of removal is to completely excavate the area and give the dirt to your enemies and bring in fresh, clean soil. Short of complete excavation expect 3-4 years of intensive effort killing everything as soon as it breaks the surface. If you are lax in your eradication efforts it allows the plant to regain strength and it's almost like starting over again at square one. Young bamboo shoots are easily mowed so if you are able to mow 15-20 feet all the way around it depending on species you can keep it contained by simply cutting the grass.
 
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Old 07-18-13, 10:13 PM
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Pilot Dane, can you give me your barrier technique that has worked for you? Material, depth, sloping material in a particular direction? Thanks.
 
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Old 07-19-13, 05:43 AM
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I have a lot of property so I don't know if my techniques will be appropriate for you. One species I have boxed in between old growth forest. Since bamboo is a grass it cannot get enough light under the taller trees and extends only about 30 feet into the forest where it stops. The other sides are blocked by a pond and deep canal since it does not grow underwater. And the last side with a grassy area that gets mowed.

If you don't have the space you can dig a deep trench around the area you wish to block and bury heavy gauge plastic. Many sites sell plastic specifically for this. Do not try using cheap 6 or 8 mil plastic sheeting from the home center. Bamboo's roots are incredibly strong and will easily push through. I have read some saying that 20" deep is enough but if going to the trouble to excavate I'd go to 30" or 36" deep. Make sure the edge of the plastic at least comes to the surface and better yet is to have it sticking up above ground so you can spot it when it tries to grow over the top.

Whenever you seam the plastic sheeting go crazy on joining the pieces together. Overlap the edges by at least several inches and through bolt them together with stainless steel bolts. The bolts don't have to be big but they do need to be close enough together to prevent the roots from forcing the plastic apart.
 
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Old 07-21-13, 11:24 AM
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Thanks for the info Pilot Dane. This helps a lot.
 
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Old 07-21-13, 12:41 PM
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I live on about 25 acres in central Missouri. A previous resident planted a couple of small clumps of running bamboo--specifically, Yellow Groove (Phyllostachys Aureosulcata)--on the place about 2 decades ago. He did little to contain it. By the time the guy died in 2003 or 2004, both groves had expanded to 1000 square feet or more.

Concerned that the two groves would eventually merge into a dense thicket that would render that portion of our property completely unnavigable by either foot or tractor, we have been brush-hogging one of the thickets a couple of times a year for the past several years. Even so, small canes still crop up annually, particularly around the bases of large trees where it's difficult to mow. Brush-hogging/mowing is not an ideal solution because the green cane stumps are capable of carrying on photosynthesis. Ideally, each cane must be cut off at or slightly below ground level if your goal is to starve the root system of energy.

The rhizomes can spread underground at a distance equivalent to the height of the bamboo. So if, for example, your bamboo is reaching 40' in height, you can expect to find new canes cropping up as far as 40 ' away from the central thicket.

Running bamboo has become such a scourge to homeowners in certain parts of the country that local ordinances ban new plantings of the stuff. As was stated in a previous post, the rhizomes are very powerful and can insinuate themselves into cracks and crevices in porches, driveways, patios, etc. In some cases, property values have plummeted in residential subdivisions overrun with running bamboo. There have been lawsuits over the spread of bamboo across property lines. Planting running bamboo anywhere near buildings, property lines, fences, or other permanent or semi-permanent structures or boundaries is asking for trouble.

Homeowners fully commited to keeping their newly-planted running bamboo in check should realistically acknowledge that, sooner or later, someone else will live on the property and will be obligated to maintain the established grove. At least some prospective homebuyers will consider a pre-existing grove to be a liability and a maintenance headache. Attempted eradication methods reported online include applications of Round-Up, salt, several feet of mulch, and even concrete, mostly to no avail. Excavation may work where buildings and large trees are not obstacles, but even one small chunk of rhizome left behind can precipitate the development of a whole new grove of bamboo.

With all that said, bamboo does have its virtues. Bamboo leaves are nutritious fodder for cows, sheep, goats and chickens. Depending on the season and the age of the leaves at harvest, bamboo’s protein content rivals that of good grass hay or even alfalfa hay. (Bamboo leaves are not necessarily recommended as horse feed for reasons I won't elaborate on here.) Most varieties of bamboo shoots are edible after boiling to remove in cyanogenic glycosides that are toxic to humans and livestock. The trimmed culms are handy for staking vegetables and for craft projects. If you intend to use the culms for projects, you will want to select a species that produces mature culms of a diameter and length appropriate to your needs. Untreated culms deteriorate in a few years when exposed to the elements. It is my understanding that treating bamboo culms to be weather resistant typically requires the use of noxious chemicals and sophisticated curing techniques.

I agree with Pilot Dane that surrounding ponds and canals provide effective containment for bamboo. However, I disagree that a dense overhead canopy will discourage bamboo growth, as that has not been my experience. Also, I have to wonder if even the toughest plastic barriers will hold up adequately over the many, many decades that the bamboo organism is likely to survive. Some clumping bamboo varieties should be hardy enough to persist in Oregon; they don’t spread as aggressively as running bamboos and might be worth considering.
 
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