Find Out Everything You Need To Know About Bamboo In Bristol

From the Bamboo Experts West Country Knotweed & Garden Services

Bamboo in Bristol has steadily gained popularity, as well as amongst UK homeowners in the last ten years, however, many people are unaware that it is a vigorous and fast-growing plant that is extremely difficult to control.

Bamboo is known and often loved for its decorative appearance and, in some cases, for its fast growth that provides privacy to overlooked gardens. However, you should be very wary about planting it or buying a property where it is present since some bamboo species are highly invasive and difficult to control.

Weed control companies in the UK are being asked more and more to remove and control bamboo that has been planted without knowing how it will take over or if it has spread from a neighbour’s garden.

According to the UK Weed Industry, invasive bamboo is becoming a major issue for British homeowners who may not be aware of its invasiveness or speed of growth. ‘Running’ bamboo varieties can reach depths of up to 30 ft underground as well as their extensive growth above ground.

In the UK, some mortgage lenders and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) are extremely reluctant to lend on a property where Japanese knotweed is present or has been present, bamboo remains an underappreciated invasive weed that can grow out of control if not planted correctly.

It is still really easy to buy bamboo seeds online or in garden centres throughout the United Kingdom, and many homeowners are unaware of the dangers of planting them and without the knowledge of how to control and manage them. As a result, it can then grow out of control and start taking over other plants and vegetation in the area.

In recent years, many concerned homeowners have contacted West Country Knotweed Removal and Garden Services after accidentally planting bamboo and allowing it to spiral out of control. We will assess the growth and advise on the best method of controlling and removing bamboo, so you can be assured that it won’t take over your property. Contact us today to arrange a free, no-obligation site survey on 0117 321 7799.

Bamboo Questions & Answers

Does the UK consider Bamboo an illegal plant?

At the moment bamboo is not classed as an invasive plant by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which means there are no restrictions when planting it. The weed control industry is now advising that bamboo has the same potential to spread, grow rapidly and infest large areas of soil as Japanese Knotweed.

There have been a growing number of claims from homeowners who have taken legal action against neighbours and properties around them whose bamboo has spread on their property and become a severe problem for them.

Is Bamboo an invasive plant?

Yes, bamboo is extremely invasive and like Japanese Knotweed, it spreads via its root system underground. Like Japanese Knotweed if it isn’t controlled and managed by an expert like West Country Knotweed & Garden Services it will quickly get out of control. The bamboo plant is extremely hardy and it will grow in most soils and in extreme weather conditions.

Bamboo is now earning a bad reputation by homeowners not planting it responsible and without the right control methods in place. If it is planted responsibly and with good knowledge, it is a manageable plant in any type of garden.

From its fast-growing roots, bamboo propagates horizontally through the soil with lateral buds that drive upwards to form the canes. The spreading rate of running bamboo is greater than that of clump-forming bamboo, which often surprises homeowners and is why you should be extremely careful planting it.

Are there different types of Bamboo?

Bamboo in Bristol comes in many varieties, some of which are more invasive and destructive than others. It is extremely difficult to control and remove clumping and running knotweeds without the assistance of an invasive plant specialist, such as West Country Knotweed.

Running Bamboo is a type of bamboo that spreads quickly over and underground. It quickly spreads its root system (lateral rhizomes) underground without you knowing and these can reach up to 30ft from the original plant. The plant then quickly spreads with new shoots growing in new areas of soil and, or onto someone else’s property which they won’t other land or property causing disruption all around.

Due to the distance running bamboo can travel it has been said that it can be more damaging than Japanese knotweed. Like Knotweed it can grow through broken brickwork, cracked pipework and drains, walls and patios and cause more damage as it grows.

Clumping Bamboo is thought to be less invasive than the running type, however, it still has to be managed and controlled otherwise it will grow out of control and take over other plants and vegetation.

If you are thinking about planting bamboo in your garden then we would always advise that you check with a specialist like ourselves, West Country Knotweed Removal & Garden Services. We will talk to you about the type you use as well as how you can control and manage it by planting it in containers or with a strong root barrier system to ensure it doesn’t spread.

What is the difference between the 2 types of Bamboo (clump-forming and running bamboo)?

Clump-Forming Bamboo in Bristol

Clump Forming Bamboo has roots that are similar to normal ornamental grasses. They spread out from the centre and their canes never grow more than 5-10cm from the existing plant.

Clump-Forming Bamboo Types

      • Fargesia murielae ‘Simba’
      • Fargesia murielae ‘Volacno’
      • Fargesia murieliae ‘Winter Joy’
      • Fargesia murieliae ‘Rufa’
      • Fargesia nitida
Running Bamboo in Bristol

Running Bamboo spreads from its underground horizontal root which its above-ground canes then grow from. The underground root stems extend and another cane can grow anything from 60-80cm from the original plant enabling it to take over the soil, plants and vegetation around it. An effective root barrier system prevents the roots from spreading aggressively and colonizing the soil that it is not meant for.

Running Bamboo Types

      • Phyllostachys aurea
      • Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis
      • Phyllostachys Nigra
      • Pleioblastus pygmaeus Distichus
      • Pleioblastus variegatus
      • Pleioblastus viridistriatus
      • Sasa tsuboiana
      • Sasa veitchi

How fast can Bamboo in Bristol grow?

Bamboo in BristolIt really depends on the type of bamboo as well as the area, soil, air, water and general ground conditions. It has been said that bamboo in Bristol is unpredictable in the way that it grows so you should always be cautious if you are thinking about planting it and take advice from a specialist who knows how it will grow and the actions you should take to control and manage it.

Running bamboo is known to grow to its mature height very quickly and spread oppressively underground without you being aware it is happening. Running bamboo can grow up to 8 metres tall or only 1 metre tall so it is a massively unknown quantity when you are planting it. A running bamboo plant’s roots must be contained within a strong put or with a root barrier system to prevent it from spreading. New canes have been known to grow 90cm to 1.5 metres taller each year until they get to their maximum growing height which varies by plant.

Clump-forming bamboo doesn’t often grow taller than 5 metres and this is down to its small culms. They can, however, grow as wide over a period of time if they are not effectively managed. New canes of clump-forming bamboo plants can grow 30-45cm taller every year until they reach their maximum height.

A bamboos shoot is called a culm. They are mainly hollow, although some types are solid. The solid joint at the start and end of each culm section is called a node and the sections between the nodes are called internodes.

What types of terrain does Bamboo thrive in?

All the different types of bamboo are very hardy and they are not bothered by the types of soil they grow in, which means they will spread whatever the weather and the condition of the soil.

Does Bamboo grow as grass, a tree, or wood?

It is not widely known that bamboo is grass, however, many of the fast-growing, invasive bamboo types look like trees so are often referred to as bamboo trees. Their stems can grow from just a few centimetres in height to 8 metres in a matter of years, with diameters ranging from 1 mm to 30 cm.

Should you grow Bamboo in pots?

Depending on its type, bamboo can be grown in pots or containers. You’ll prevent them from spreading and cultivating your property if you grow them in a pot or container.

Does Bamboo devalue a property?

Bamboo is becoming increasingly well known in the property market and invasive weed industry as a plant that can devalue a property due to its highly invasive nature and unpredictable growth. Some mortgage companies may not lend on a property with bamboo, so always do your research before making an offer on a property and applying for a mortgage.

Is Bamboo poisonous?

Bamboo contains cyanide-producing toxins when eaten. Shoots can be edible, however, their exteriors should be cut off and boiled before consumption. Neither humans nor animals should consume bamboo.

What is the strength of bamboo compared to wood?

The Janka Hardness Test, which is used to categorize wood based on its hardness, shows that bamboo is 2-3 times harder than most hardwoods. (From Austrian-born emigrant Gabriel Janka, 1864-1932) The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wearing.

Does Bamboo remain green in winter?

As bamboo is an evergreen plant, it remains green and vibrant throughout the winter months when most other plants die, making it extremely appealing to homeowners who don’t realise its invasive nature. During the year, they shed leaves, but it isn’t a significant amount.

The Property Care Association

Dr Peter Fitzsimons of the Property Care Association, a trade body representing invasive weed control contractors and consultants has said, ‘bamboo is a “woody” grass that has commercial importance in their native home. However, in the UK the plant has characteristics similar to those of an “alien invasive species”. Some of those characteristics include being fast-spreading, dominating native vegetation and being resistant to natural predators such as insects or fungi.

He finished by saying, “We have been calling for some time for the many species of bamboo to be added to Schedule 9 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act to enable effective regulation.”

Who is the Property Care Association?

In the UK, the Property Care Association is the leading trade association representing property and building specialists.

What the PCA says about its specialists:

Professional trustworthy site surveys and investigations that deliver peace of mind through detailed investigation and correct diagnosis

Services are provided by trained, experienced, vetted and qualified surveyors and inspectors.

Contractor members are able to complete highly specialised repairs and treatments, effectively, efficiently and safely, using skilled experienced site operatives.

PCA members are required to meet and maintain robust membership criteria. This covers aspects of services including professional qualifications, technical competence, service delivery & financial stability.

Our Bamboo Removal, Management & Control Services

Bamboo does make a positive contribution to the environment and it is visually appealing in some gardens. It is a great way of creating privacy in a garden and is an evergreen so provides greenery all year round. As a weed control s[pecialist, we would not advise planting bamboo in a residential garden unless you have the right control measures in place and this is down to its invasive underground root growth, its ability to spread and thrive in any types of soil and weather. It will take over the other vegetation and plants in a garden and often this will happen before you realise it.

Planting bamboo is similar to planting Japanese Knotweed in your garden. Planting or not controlling Japanese Knotweed is illegal and you could be prosecuted for it if it spreads onto a neighbouring property or into the wild. It isn’t yet illegal to plant and not control bamboo, however, in recent years there have been cases brought to court between property owners where the bamboo has been allowed to spread and become out of control.

Japanese Knotweed is known as an invasive weed in the property industry and by homeowners, however, bamboo seeds and plants are still widely sold across the UK meaning homeowners often buy and plant them without realising their ability to take over a garden.

West Country Knotweed and Garden Services in Bristol have seen on many occasions how bamboo can take over soil and we have helped lots of customers who were not aware of its destructive and unpredictable nature when they first planted it. Our services include a free site survey where we will assess the infestation and advise you of the best and most cost-effective removal or control method.

Bamboo is used along boundaries or around an area in a garden to provide privacy. In the last few years, we have seen how this has ended in disputes with neighbours when the bamboo has become out of control.

Whilst bamboo is not yet registered as an invasive weed like Japanese Knotweed, there is more and more concern over its ability to spread and take over the soil, and greater awareness of this is needed. There are over 100 different species of bamboo, and in excess of 30 of these are commonly found in the UK.

In summary, the different bamboo types will:

Runner Types – these will spread laterally and quickly.

Clumper Types – these will continue to grow if not correctly controlled and managed but they won’t colonise as much soil and as quickly as the running type.

It is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet that colonises the soil around it extremely quickly. It will quickly take over open spaces and can cause serious damage to many solid structures if not controlled correctly.

Its root system (rhizomes) aren’t as brittle as its Japanese Knotweed equivalent and this means they are extremely challenging to remove if you don’t have the experience. Not removing them correctly will likely mean the bamboo will grow again and spread.

If a bamboo root has established itself in the soil or into damaged brickwork, pipework and structures it is like attempting to remove a piece of rope from solid concrete.

West Country Knotweed & Garden Services in Bristol offer removal and control solutions depending on the type of bamboo and where it is located. Each area of growth has its own challenges but our bamboo experts will assess and advise you of the best and most suitable removal and control methods, depending on your property and site.

In some cases, we use an excavator to remove the root systems or we may install a robust and suitable ‘root barrier’ if you want to keep your bamboo. A professionally installed root barrier system prevents the roots from spreading into the soil around it and demonstrates you are taking responsibility to manage and control it.

If you have an infestation of Bamboo in Bristol, contact us today on 0117 321 7799 to arrange a site survey. Our bamboo experts will assess and offer you different solutions dependent on your property and needs.

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