Stopping spread of bamboo

Asked May 22, 2015, 10:08 AM EDT

Years ago my neighbor planted bamboo. Over the last 6 months or so I've beaten it back. I'm determined to dig a trench and put a barrier that will help me or at least stall the spread. I've searched online, but I can't find any reputable (e.g., university or state government) site that shows how deep the barrier needs to go and what is a good barrier material. I suspect 18" inches minimum and a hard barrier, that is, not something like landscape cloth. I'm thinking of corrugated steel and fiberglass. Please point me to some solid recommendations from state government and/or a university.

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

We get many questions about how to control bamboo, which is a non-native invasive plant which causes tremendous problems in natural environments in Maryland, but also in neighborhoods like yours.

We are familiar with bamboo barrier options. Cement barriers will crack eventually in the freezing-thawing cycles of Maryland, and the bamboo roots will grow through it, so we do not recommend this approach.

Make your barrier of a heavy grade butyl rubber sheeting inserted into the trench. It should extend down 36”.

There is more information on controlling bamboo by chemical or mechanical means in our bamboo fact sheet: