Best clumping bamboo for a hedge

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by pioniere, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. pioniere

    pioniere Member

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    Hello, first let me say that this is a great looking forum and I'm glad I found it!

    I live on Vancouver Island. I am looking at planting a bamboo privacy hedge between me and my neighbor. Because the area between our properties is only about 20 feet at the widest, and because I don't want the hedge spreading into the neighbor's yard, clumping bamboo seems to be the best bet. I would like something that will grow fairly rapidly, but would like the hedge to get no taller than 20-25 feet.

    What is the best variety I can get that meets these requirements?

    Thanks for this and any other information you can provide.
     
  2. petauridae

    petauridae Active Member

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    I am using Phyllostachys atrovaginata to cover a 25 ft long by 20 ft high 'tower' my idiot neighbour decided to build. I purchased seven 1-gal rhizome systems from the Bamboo Garden Nursery in Portland, OR. Right now the bamboo is only about 4 feet tall, but I've been told it should grow pretty quick (as in about 5 or so years) to the height I need. One more thing, this is running bamboo, so I had to buy a barrier, but I think it is worth it. Most clumpers are not as cold-hardy as runners and that was a big deal for me here on the other side of the Cascades.
     
  3. pioniere

    pioniere Member

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    I'll investigate that variety. How far apart did you plant them? Have they started to fill in the gaps yet? Thanks.
     
  4. petauridae

    petauridae Active Member

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    I only got them in Sept (yeah, kind of late for the year). They are about 3 feet apart. Don't expect gap fills for about 1-2 years as it can take a while to build up a root system to shoot the tall stalks. Then the stuff takes off (or so I am told).

    There is a good book called Ornamental Bamboos (which I just bought) and one called Cold-Hardy Bamboos: Taming the Dragon (which I don't have). Both are good resources. Also look up Lewis Bamboo (they're from Alabama) and the various Bamboo Society. As far as I know, there is a bamboo nursery in the Fraser Valley. Bamboo World, I think it is called.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Try Fargesia robusta.
     
  6. pioniere

    pioniere Member

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    Re: Fargesia robusta, how far apart would I have to plant them? How long could I expect it to take before they would grow out and up enough to become hedge-like?

    Thanks!
     
  7. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Chusquea coleou makes a nice hedge; probably available from Doug Box (Bamboo Ranch) or Naren Kartar (Bambusea) on saltspring island.
     
  8. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Since you are looking for clumpers, don't expect rapid increase in clump size. Ron's suggestion of Fargesia robusta is probably the fastest growing clumping temperate bamboo, but even then you can expect a lateral spread of 4-6 inches per year at the most. To get a hedge effect quickly, you will need to grow multiple clumps. What makes it a good bamboo for hedges is that it grows upright, to 15 feet, and seems to tolerate some shade.

    Note that all Phyllostachys are running bamboos, some spreading faster than others.

    I like the suggestion of Chusquea culou, but it's more difficult to come by. I gather that propagation by division is rather slow with this species.

    I have seen impressive bamboo hedges of Semiarundinaria fastuosa in Japan. The culms are straight, upright and clean - it seems to be perfect for hedging. It is also said to be a fast grower. But it is a running bamboo, not a clumper.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2006
  9. petauridae

    petauridae Active Member

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    The Ornamental Bamboos book I referred to in an earlier thread post states that Fargesia can experience flowering and die-offs with some 'frequency' (however irregular).
     
  10. blazespinnaker

    blazespinnaker Member

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    Any suggestions on good stores in Vancouver area for this?

    Can you plant them close to a cedar hedge and have them grow in while the cedar hedges are working their way up? How about buying bamboo stalks which already fairly well grown? Is that generally doable?

    Cheers =)
     
  11. bambooman

    bambooman Member

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    Clumpers are very slow spreaders and they don't attain their size as quickly as runners do. There are lots of phyllostachys that will work, but the fastest runners for me have been P. rubromarginata, P. aureosulcata, P. bissetti, and P. nuda. Now if you really want the clumpers you could go with some fargesias that are already mature but you are going to pay out the you know what. All that I have mentioned are cold hardy bamboos that will survive your winters. That is one thing you should make sure of before planting any bamboo. Personally, I prefer the runners to the clumpers, they make better screening and they size up quickly. I grow 19 different species of bamboo. Three of these are clumpers and they are very slow to size up. Hope this helps you.
     
  12. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member

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    I like Ron's suggestion of Fargesia robusta. This is a very hardy clumper (I give it no winter protection here in Maine) and the clumps spread vigorously, as clumpers go, yet don't require barriers like the running types. My only doubt would be whether it would ultimately achieve the height you want.
     

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