Controlling neighbor’s bamboo

Asked May 3, 2018, 8:17 PM EDT

We have a summer project involving replacing a very large asphalt driveway and parking area. Before we spend such a large amount of money, we need to understand how to control/manage the bamboo in neighboring property that drives shoots up through the existing asphalt, causing small “ruptures “ and larger cracks. What can we do to prepare our parking area along the property line to keep this damaging, invasive bamboo from busting up our new asphalt?

Clackamas County Oregon invasive species bamboo

1 Response

Thank you for your question about bamboo. Unfortunately, there are no 'perfect' solutions to your problem, but here is what another bamboo expert recommended in a prior Ask an Expert question:

"Bamboo can be controlled in a small area by mowing or stepping on the young shoots. Mow a broad (fifteen to twenty feet) mowing strip around the planting, especially in the spring, when the new growth is tender. Runners that are creeping over from a neighboring yard will have to be cut off. Sever the runners from the mother plant and cut off any new shoots. This will deprive it of all food sources and it will die off. An intensive effort over multiple years will be required to completely eradicate bamboo. The easiest way to prevent unwanted bamboo growth is to install a root barrier between the bamboo grove and the bamboo-free zone. Dig a trench approximately 36 inches deep. Use rolls of fiberglass, aluminum flashing, cement or 40 ml polypropylene in the trench. Leave about 2 inches of the barrier above the soil to discourage rhizomes from growing over the top of the barriers. Few herbicides are effective on bamboo. They can also kill nearby ornamentals in the process. If herbicides are used do not plant herbaceous ornamentals or shrubs in that area."

Perhaps you (or your contractor), armed with this information, will be able to utilize this information while the area is torn up. Hope this is helpful. Good luck!