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Bamboo - please help

edited June 2021 in Plants
Hello, I’ve read a lot of posts about bamboo coming into peoples gardens from their neighbours. But we’ve  just moved into a house that has bamboo by the brand new back fence and now (realising that it’s a monster) we are trying desperately to dig it up rather than use weed killers.

However, we can already see that the roots have spread under the fence line and into next doors. They haven’t been especially friendly to us since we moved in, so ideally we need to try to solve the issue ourselves, but is there an way we can stop the spread or kill the thing from our side? They have an oil tank behind our fence and I’m worried that this may cause a safety issue as well. 

I knew nothing about bamboo until recently, we’re not gardeners, but I’m realising fast that it’s a complete nightmare. Please help!!! 


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,236
    This is the problem with many bamboos. Digging them out can be a very difficult process if you don't want to use chemicals. The bits that have already got through to your neighbours could well be rooting and establishing, so even if you dig out the part on your side, it may not make any difference. You may also have to ask the neighbours if you can access it from their side to get it out. 
    I'd use a brushwood stump killer if it was mine. Vitax SBK is good. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,973
    If you have just moved in and have this problem, digging out is really your first option and the useof  SBK as @Fairygirl suggests on any shoots which remain.
    I would think your neighbour could also do the same from their side - it seems rather unfair to expect you to eradicate what was presumably an ongoing nuisance  before your arrival without their assistance. If they are concerned at all, they should be helping you to resolve the issue.
  • Thanks for replying both of you. I’ll take your advice - we’ll continue with the digging and try using the root killer you’ve suggested. My concern was risk to wildlife etc. I know this is a problem that probably comes up on this forum a lot, so I really appreciate you taking the time to help! 
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,208
    Digging will always help but the bamboo has a mind of its own.
    You will need to be very watchfull and check for any new growths so that you can cut them back.
    We have had to use chemicals as the last resort but keeping an eye on the areas and controlling does help.
  • This sounds like an opportunity to generously create more friendly relations by expressing your concern for the well-being of their property and coming up with a solution...
  • Thanks stephentame but I don’t think anything will help. Since the day we moved in we’ve been blanked by them and apparently the previous owners had the same issue and the neighbours on the other side also have issues. If they see us coming they will turn their backs on us until we’ve walked past. Very odd!! I’ve given up trying to say hello or smiling now as they won’t look at us anyway. I hate confrontation or awkwardness, but this blasted bamboo - the more we’ve cut it, the more it sprouts up!! Argh!! 
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 Posts: 1,813
    I have my own bamboo and if I see new shoots I tip the hot water from my saucepan over them and they die back very quickly.

    ? How tall are the bigger ones.
    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
  • Thanks @NewBoy2-we check for new shoots every day, or other day, since we cut it back and started digging a bit. They don’t usually get past a foot before they get chopped back. I’m amazed how fast these things grow… I feel the more we try to control it the more shoots appear in one go!

    But boiling water is a good idea. We have lots of rabbits hop in and out and I’d hate to harm them with chemicals. 
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,973
    Boiling water will affect the top growth but won't kill the roots or stop them spreading if planted in the ground - if it was that simple, there wouldn't be so many "Help with Bamboo" posts on here :D

    If you use the weedkiller, it is simple enough to avoid any harm to rabbits or other wildlife- place a pot over the treated stem ( stone on top to keep it stable ) or use a plastic bad to tie over the stem.  
  • @philippasmith2 thank you that’s a really helpful idea! 
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