Bamboo as a privacy fence?

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by Hybrid Theory, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. Hybrid Theory

    Hybrid Theory Active Member

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    I am new to bamboo and there are some people around me that have been using it as a privacy fence due to laws around me stating you can not have a fence more then 6' high. I want a kind that can take full sun grow to at least 10' and be very dense to hide out my neighbors house which is a piece of crap. any advice I would appreciate it very much.
     
  2. englak

    englak Active Member 10 Years

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    Planting shrubs is not the same thing as building a fence, check with your local city hall (quick call) to see if they have bylaws regarding planting for screening at property edges.

    As far as growing bamboo goes - be careful! Some are very aggressive. I've seen golden bamboo send up shoots right through 2" thick concrete paving, which would quickly destroy a driveway or patio as you can imagine. Be sure that you are planting something that will solve your problems (screen an undesirable view) without adding new ones.
     
  3. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Easiest to do a search for "bamboo" and "screen" or "hedge" on this forum, there are many past discussions on the topic, containing all you'll need to know. Basically, with an adequate rhizome barrier running won't be an issue.

    Stories of bamboo punching through concrete, foundations, etc. are legion, though upon further examination, are not as alarming as they seem. Without a doubt, the concrete was cracked, or the bamboo came up in the spaces between pavers. Aggressive runners will do that. They'll sometimes come through asphalt as well, but there is no way a shoot will punch through solid concrete. A shoot that encounters strong resistance will simply go around the obstacle. It's a little like those myths of bamboo shoots used as torture: the old "it'll go through a human body" schtick. As a plant, bamboo manages to breed a particular sort of hysteria.
     
  4. SfumatoPants

    SfumatoPants Member

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    I live in a downtown penthouse and have a roof top deck, bordered by built in concrete planters. I planted golden bamboo 1.5 years ago to create a privacy fence along one side. When I read above how agressive golden bamboo can be, my heart jumped, but I have to say that I haven't had any problems yet. It filled in quickly, by the middle of it's second summer, and screens very well, also diminishing sound. I prune it back to keep a vertical shape and keep it at about 7 feet high (9 feet with the planter hight). At the height of summer I'm pruning about once a week for a few minutes at a time, not a lot of work over all. The planter is about 15 feet by 2 feet. Full sunlight and hot by the way, with full exposure to cold and wind in the winter.
     
  5. SfumatoPants

    SfumatoPants Member

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    As for the question of golden bamboo penetrating concrete, I chose it for 2 reasons, it was cheap, and I had seen it on friends balconies in terra cotta pots and it had filled those pots but had not broken through them as I would have assumed an "aggressive" bamboo would have. It simply filled the space it had and then slowed it's growth.
     
  6. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    Bamboos are a great plant so long as you are planting the right variety. Be sure you buy any plants from someone who has a good knowledge of their product.
    Bamboos are one of the fastest growing screening plants (Bambusa lako at home grew 35cm in a 24 hr period (see pics 1 is @ 6mths 2 is @ 3 years; it started off as a single shoot!)) Notice it is a clumping variety and has stayed well within it's designated space.
    There are a huge variety available from dwarf plants to giants but they all are reliably quick growers in a warm climate, plenty of water and excessive amount of lawn fertilser in the growing season will assure that.. My bamboos get about 30 to 50 square metres of lawn fertiliser dumped on them twice in 6 mths then once in slower period. That does sound like extreme amounts but after telling a mate about it he trialled it at his place (he has too many varieties for his own good). Walking down the rows of bamboo it was obvious to see from colour and performance which had been super fed.
    I know it does sound impossible that a shoot would crack concrete but I have heard of a small shed slab being seriously damaged by a large bamboo (with some varieties shoots being 30cm wide they have some serious growing force behind them).
    So basically plant the right ones, pick the right spot, give them good care and you won't be disappointed.
     

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