Bamboo encroachment into our yard

Asked December 5, 2017, 2:32 PM EST

We are trying to find a law or case law that we can use to force the neighbor whose bamboo in their yard has rooted all over our yard and has grown over 30 feet high. The bamboo is destroying our ability to use our own backyard. We are located in Multnomah county in Portland , OR. There does not seem to be any law which holds the neighbor responsible for this destructive mess we have in our backyard. Other states have laws relating to this issue. If we can even get someone here in Portland to pay attention we’d appreciate it. Any help in dealing with this would be advantageous to others with the same issue. Thank you. Leslie Crouch

Multnomah County Oregon

9 Responses

Bamboo removal is a subject of prior Ask an Experts, such as this one,
Your question about dealing with the neighbors is not one I'm able to answer well as a volunteer. I found information about Portland's Neighbor Mediation program,
I will forward your question to our Extension Service professionals for further suggestions.

Another thought is to ask the soil and water conservation district for help/suggestions. On the east side of the river, it is Eastern Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District,
West side,

Hello Leslie,

Unfortunately, you do not have any legal recourse with regards to the bamboo encroaching on your property in Portland. It is a very aggressive plant and difficult to control once established as in your situation.

In addition to the mediation service mentioned above, Resolutions Northwest provides mediation service to help people solve disputes:

If you are able to initiate a productive dialogue with your neighbor, I can provide consulting services (for free) to come up with a management plan to remove the plant material.

See my contact information below. Please let me know if I can help further.


Thank u for your response regarding the bamboo. I notice some states are enacting new laws regarding the responsibility of the persons yard where the bamboo is coming from. I believe Oregon, specifically Portland needs to do the same. It is truly a huge problem for those of us whose yards are being ruined by an unwilling neighbor to take responsibility for this

Although it is true that there is no specific Portland ordinance regarding bamboo, you should be aware of ORS 105.505, which allows a remedy for a nuisance lawsuit. If you have been unable to resolve this through alternative dispute resolution (mediation) or Weston's offer of a management plan, you might want to consult an attorney to assess your legal rights under this statute.

Dear Kristena,
Thank you so much for responding to my question. I truly appreciate it. Your answer is so helpful. I am going to follow up and see if I might be able to work with an attorney to solve this extremely frustrating situation. I don’t know if you are able to refer someone or if u yourself could work on this case? I just thought I would ask. Thank you again,
leslie Crouch

Thank you for your response, Leslie. Unfortunately, I am an inactive member of the Oregon State Bar, and do not practice law. However, the Oregon State Bar has a Lawyer Referral Service that you can access here, if you don't know of a property rights attorney. I'm not sure the online referral request link is working, but you can give them a call this week to get information. Good luck!

Thank you again! I will call the bar and see if I can find a referral. Just curious, do u know of any cases I could research on the particular law? I’m a paralegal so doing research is not unfamiliar to me.

Thanks, Leslie. I don't have access to caselaw such as I used to, but in some states, the term "nuisance" is also called "encroachment" as applied to roots (and tree branches.) However, a quick search of caselaw turned up Carvalho v. Wolfe, 207 Or.App. 175 (Or.App. 08/02/2006), which you might want to research. There are some annotations to the statute I referenced, listed here, but none address this specific topic. I'm sorry I lack a way to look further, but it's a start. Fingers crossed!