Good trees for urban gardens: Is there bamboo in your future?
Posted: September 14, 2020 408
While we are distracted by all the challenges facing us we may forget that September and October are the best times for planting. There is rain to keep the trees healthy and winter soon comes. Trees have a chance to put down roots. When spring comes trees will begin to add growth for a healthy start for new trees.
Maybe you want a hedge for a privacy planting. Bamboo is beautiful and it seems like a good choice. They grow quickly and are quite attractive.
If you do decide on bamboo, keep several things in mind. The first is that bamboo spreads. They are a type of grass and rhizomes spread from the main plant. If you are using it along a property line, consider its effect on your neighbors. The rhizomes can grow under a fence making it more difficult for neighbors to grow the shrubs and trees they desire. The dropping of leaves is constant so neighbors will have a new cleanup job.
Sometimes people decide to use clumping bamboo but eventually they spread. Planting them in large pots keeps them under control.
Gardeners report that taking out bamboo is difficult. It usually requires heavy equipment. Some fill the hole where the bamboo is removed with cement to make sure the bamboo does not return.
For those most successful with bamboo, they consider what is around the bamboo.
Some gardeners make a cement wall behind the bamboo and in front of the bamboo to contain it. Planting bamboo in front of your house makes it easier to access and control. So if you decide to plant bamboo, choose your site carefully. You will then enjoy bamboo’s beauty without burdening your neighbor.
— By Barbara Chase
Barbara Chase is a Master Gardener who serves on the City of Edmonds Citizens Tree Board.