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Old 05-02-08, 02:01 PM   #1
ravenmore
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Thinking about planting this in my back yard...



Those trees aren't trees. They're a really cool species of bamboo. Anyone have any experience landscaping with bamboo?
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Old 05-02-08, 02:02 PM   #2
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Bamboo spreads big time.....make sure the variety you are planting is not one that will become wildly invasive or you will regret planting it.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:03 PM   #3
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this one looks nice too...

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Old 05-02-08, 02:04 PM   #4
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Bamboo is an incredibly invasive plant and very hard to control/eradicate. I would highly advise against planting it, unless it was in containers. BTW, I studied horticulture at Texas A&M and this is one of my few serious posts.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:04 PM   #5
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I love bamboo, especially the sounds of the winds rustling through the leaves. They need a lot of water and they grow very fast. I heard that they can sometimes damage the sidewalk if they're planted to close (roots lifting the concrete), but I haven't seen an evidence of this.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:05 PM   #6
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I have witnessed bamboo running under, growing through a black top road/drive. It varies some by species,
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:07 PM   #7
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Bamboo takes over. I would not plant it anywhere.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:08 PM   #8
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Bamboo is an incredibly invasive plant and very hard to control/eradicate. I would highly advise against planting it, unless it was in containers. BTW, I studied horticulture at Texas A&M and this is one of my few serious posts.
+1 on containers only. You will regret it otherwise.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:10 PM   #9
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Yep, plant them far away from building foundations.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:11 PM   #10
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Wow - gotta serious post out of jsharr. Never thought I'd see the day.

I've been getting my info from this site:

http://bamboosourcery.com/

They have a section on the containment of bamboo.

Some species are very aggressive runners apparently. Some are "clumpers" and supposedly don't spread much at all?

I've always really liked bamboo. And the way my house/yard is laid out the neighbors look down into my house -even the windows in the bathrooms. I was hoping some strategic planting would give me a little privacy.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:13 PM   #11
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privacy is overrated.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:14 PM   #12
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My neighbors growing up had bamboo along the fence line between our yards. My parents still live there and the bamboo is still there. I don't know what they did to contain it but it never has come into our yard.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:15 PM   #13
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I'd avoid bamboo totally. I've seen people's back yards taken over by the stuff when the bamboo roots actually punch through the bottom of a container, go through the ground and start runners in all direction.

Yes, its a beautiful plant to look at, but it spreads fast, and almost impossible to contain once growing in the soil.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:26 PM   #14
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Bamboo is impossible to get out. I'll never forget the 4 full days we spent chopping my friends back yard down.

The pile of bamboo was about 6 feet tall, on a large tarp 25x25 wide.

His backyard was about 20x10 feet....

Grows so thick and wide.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:26 PM   #15
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Ravenmore, not a bamboo expert by far, but I would look for a nursery with bamboo experience to reccomend some non invasive species for the Austin area. The local Extension service office might also be of help here. There are root barriers that can be installed to help in containment, but this can be quite expensive and not guaranteed to work. If you are looking for privacy screening, I would look at red tip photinia and some of the ligustrums as options. Very fast growing evergreen shrubs or small trees. The photinia has nice red new growth in spring and fall.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:29 PM   #16
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This looks like a decent site to check out

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/growgreen/

I would think as green as Austin is, that you should have plenty of well stocked, well staffed nursery centers.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:30 PM   #17
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Ravenmore, not a bamboo expert by far, but I would look for a nursery with bamboo experience to reccomend some non invasive species for the Austin area. The local Extension service office might also be of help here. There are root barriers that can be installed to help in containment, but this can be quite expensive and not guaranteed to work. If you are looking for privacy screening, I would look at red tip photinia and some of the ligustrums as options. Very fast growing evergreen shrubs or small trees. The photinia has nice red new growth in spring and fall.
Those would be good plants for the TX area. If you need thicker coverage, let me know, I'll be glad to ship you some kudzu...it's another plant that was imported and planted...grows all over the freaking place now.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:31 PM   #18
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Also, you'd probably end up with a few of these guys living in your backyard...

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Old 05-02-08, 02:34 PM   #19
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Thanks jsharr - I'll look around for nurserys and landscapers that work with it. It's pretty common in the Austin area although most of the ones I've seen here have small culms and don't grow very tall. This is TX after all and is probably not an ideal environment for most species. Probably not even as good for it as California.

I've never had a green thumb or been much into plants, but I've always been fascinated by bamboo since I was a kid. I'd really like to try some if there is a responsible way to do it.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:34 PM   #20
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You want to to plant an invasive plant in ATX, good luck. Why not just grow something native? Like Scrub Oaks or Cedar...that way the city's "enviromental police" don't come knocking.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:35 PM   #21
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I was thinking - it would give your dogs something to chew on.....
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Old 05-02-08, 02:35 PM   #22
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My wifes grandpa uses it as a privacy fence. The stuff grows fast and gets out of control pretty quick, but makes a great privacy fence.
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Old 05-02-08, 02:39 PM   #23
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Raven - you will want to place a 6 inch heavy plastic border control around the area where you plant the bamboo to keep it contained - that is 6 inches down into the soil around it. That, and water will stop it from spreading...

We have some in our yard - the birds love it, it makes a great screen & wonderful noises.... BUT, thinking we really didn't need a border block UNDER the building, we skipped that. Now we mow the stuff down where it popped out 25 feet on the other side of the guest-house!

It may take a few years to really get going, but that is because it is busy building its root system before it gets into verticle growth mode.

So, it's really cool stuff, but you've been warned!!
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Old 05-02-08, 02:40 PM   #24
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The problem with bamboo, and even the plants that I recommended seriously, is that they are not native to the area and highly invasive. If planted and left to their own, they can and will take over the native species. This is a huge problem all over the US. Non native plants take over and the eco system gets out of whack as sources of food for native animals are killed off.

If you do not enjoy gardening, planting any aggressive growing plant could be bad news.

You might want to consult with a landscape architect to come up with creative non living screening methods to use instead of or in conjunction with greenscaping.

Okay, all this serious talk is freaking me out, I need to go have some beef jerky pie with quail ice cream now.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 05-02-08, 03:07 PM   #25
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Okay, all this serious talk is freaking me out, I need to go have some beef jerky pie with quail ice cream now.
How about we take this over to the frame builders area to weigh the pro's and con's of building your own BamBoo bike from bamboo you grew yourself?
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