Is Bamboo the new Japanese knotweed?

Homeowners are starting to cotton on about the invasive nature of certain varieties of bamboo, which have become extremely popular in British gardens for their screening properties and as a way of giving structure to borders.

But people often don’t realise that mature bamboo has a large underground root and rhizome system which can be highly invasive. As the name suggests, the ‘running’ type of bamboo sends out long lateral rhizomes which cause the plant to spread where it can threaten the foundations of nearby property. When it encroaches it often causes disputes between neighbours and damage is unlikely to be covered on buildings insurance policies.

Shane Burke and his wife recently bought a Victorian property in Ealing, West London, which had mature bamboo growing along both boundaries of the rear garden. They loved the feeling of seclusion it created but it wasn’t until a few weeks after they moved in that they realised new shoots were appearing beneath the paving stones, some of which were touching the rear of the house.

Realising that the foundations of the property could be at risk and if left the bamboo would certainly spread next door, Shane instructed Environet to remove the infestation. It took a couple of days, digging up the patio and removing the entire root ball and long rhizomes which had spread laterally across the garden. With a 5 year guarantee provided for the work, Shane and his wife can now look forward to planning the garden of their dreams next summer.

If your bamboo is growing out of control, don’t panic. It’s a pain to treat and you’ll probably need professional help, but it’s not as invasive or expensive to remove as Japanese knotweed. In fact, sometimes our customers want to retain some of the bamboo to provide useful shelter or privacy from neighbours. In this case we use vertical root barrier membranes to prevent the bamboo spreading into areas where you don’t want it to grow.

To find out more about the treatment of invasive bamboo please contact us today.

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