Bamboo containment

Asked January 25, 2018, 11:09 AM EST

Hello. There is bamboo growing on the property next to mine, and it is making inroads into my garden. We have dug up runners as long as 8-10 feet, and as you can imagine my gardens are now just trenches. I would like to contain the bamboo and restore my garden. I have three questions regarding containment. 1. I've noticed that while the runners are long, they are not deep, not much more than a foot down. I've read about barriers that can be put in the ground to stop the runners. Do you have recommendations for such a barrier and how it should be installed? 2. I have a mature silver maple tree along the property line. Bamboo shoots are now coming up very close to the tree. What risks are there to the tree? And what is the possibility of installing an effective barrier without removing the tree? 3. Baltimore County owns the land where the bamboo is growing, and has agreed in writing that I may extend a barrier from my property line to a cement retaining wall on their property that is thirteen feet away, in order to protect my maple tree. (They agreed because they do not mow or otherwise maintain the property.) How can I best install a barrier up to the cement wall and leave as little a gap as possible for the bamboo runners to get by? Thank you for your help on this. I have attached photos.

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Running bamboo is invasive and difficult to control. Invasives take over areas and don't allow our native plants room to grow.
Here is our page about Bamboo, including control methods:

We tend to think control thru herbicides is more efficient and less expensive than a barrier.

We wonder if the county would be willing, as good stewards of the land, (and since they have departments that do this very thing) to kill the bamboo on their side, or if they would allow you to do it or hire someone to do it. There are specific times that are best so be sure to read all the info on that page.

In your third photo, we don't see any bamboo, but do see multiple other scrub trees and vines (looks like an invasive ivy growing up the tree) that will compete with your tree for space and nutrients. They too should be removed.
English ivy can smother trees. Additionally, if it's allowed to climb them, that's when it can bloom and birds move the seeds around to other areas, again displacing our native plants.