Need Some Privacy, Don’t Get Bamboozled

Published on December 26, 2018

bamboo types
Here is the simplest method of identifying the two groups of bamboo: Run your hand around the cylindrical shape of the bamboo shaft.

So you have come home exhausted, poured your choice of evening beverage and sit down to enjoy your backyard. From across the way, you can see Mrs. Kravitz with drapes to one side, peering over to see what you are doing. You sigh and say to yourself, “I have do something about our privacy. What can we do to create a screen?”

The quickest solution that many jump to is bamboo! It grows quickly and thickens in a short time. Within a season, you’ll have your nosy neighbor shopping for a drone to continue their reconnaissance efforts. But, beware. This solution can often create worse problems. In the United States, we can break down our bamboo into two basic groups: clumping and running. The names are self-describing. The clumping bamboo grows in clumps. While the clumps will increase in diameter, they will remain in the main proximity of their planted area. Running bamboo, on the other hand, is the wild child that will cause havoc. It will grow quickly and create the screen in no time. However, running bamboos have leptomorph rhizomes that run horizontally under the ground. New buds and roots emerge from the nodes of these rhizomes. And before you know it, the neighbors are enjoying the bamboo growing in their yard. It is popping up in your flower bed, your lawn and “Oh, no! Not in my tomatoes!” If you have a pond with a liner, the rhizomes are pointed and hard enough to pierce the EPDM.

 If you ever want prescribe a solution of bamboo, here is the simplest method of identifying the two groups. Run your hand around the cylindrical shape of the bamboo shaft. If it has a flat area rather than a near-perfect circle, you have the evil wild child of running bamboo. If the shaft is circular with no flat spots, you have a species of clumping bamboo. Even though clumps can begin to get larger than you want, it will not suddenly appear, growing through your living room carpet.

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