damage by bamboo roots/rhizomes

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by prenne, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. prenne

    prenne Member

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    I am contemplating planting some bamboo near an asphalt-paved street. I have vague knowledge that bamboo roots and/or rhizomes can exert huge force and want to make sure they don't buckle the road surface. Should I plan to install a barrier? There are also likely utility lines (gas + water pipes) to consider- is bamboo known to cause problems here?
     
  2. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Install barrier for sure. Roots damaging underground pipes depends on species; if you're growing something with a short cane height, it probably won't be a problem, however if you're growing giant cane bamboos it may be.
     
  3. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member

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    Also depends on whether you have a running or clumping bamboo. Runners can spring up as much as 20' from the nearest cane, which includes going under a street and popping up on the other side... Even clumpers can lift full-sized paving stones, so you just need to get as much info as possible on what species you're looking to get, and what it's capable of doing. As noted above, the eventualy size is something you need topay particular attention to, as it can be a very, very bad thing.
     
  4. biaban

    biaban Member

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    Does the barrier have to have an open bottom, or does it have to be like a pot?
     
  5. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor

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    Open bottom is fine, since what you're trying to prevent is lateral movement of the roots.
     
  6. biaban

    biaban Member

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    Thanks lorax. How deep should the open bottom barrier be for the kind of bamboo in this picture? Please, tell me the name for this bamboo.
     

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  7. prenne

    prenne Member

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    Thanks Iorax and DGuertin- I'll act accordingly.

    Do either of you have a recommendation for a bamboo species? I want a good visual/sound barrier (i.e. leafy) with 8-10 ft high culms, spreading. I live in a Mediterranean climate, about 50 cm rainfall/year, rare freezing, summers to 40 C.

    One final question- does spreading bamboo starve or otherwise eradicate existing shrubs in its path? I ask because I want to replace an existing hedge, and the answer dictates how extensively I'll have to remove it.
     
  8. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member

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    It may well be easier for you to let us know what's available, and pick according to that. With all the species, there are liable to be a few dozen that would be exactly what you're looking for. Whether you can actually find them is a different matter entirely. ;-) I know when I was in San Diego last year the Home Depot I went to have several different species, so that may be a place to start, along with the real nurseries you may have around.

    For the species above, I couldn't tell you, but the persitent culm sheaths should be a good clue to someone. I was thinking Henon before I noticed what was what...
     
  9. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member

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    Oh, and you can kiss anything in the way goodbye with a runner. Genetic propensity for foresting as much room as it can survive in, so everything else gets wiped out, other than the odd weed here and there. ;-)
     

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