Bamboo: Your experience Good/Bad

I am interested in privacy screening other than fencing. I've been told bamboo is pretty good .. fast growing, hardy and nice foliage. What's your experience with bamboo. I di know it can grow fast ... and spreads.
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Some varieties are totally invasive and cannot be removed. Check with your local government because these can be illegal to plant.
Buster Chops wrote:

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Buster Chops said:

Psuedosasa japonica. Plant it every 5 feet, and in 4 years you'll have a screen. =)
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Hard to get rid of, if you change your mind in a few years or so. Some call it an ambitious and stubborn weed. Isolate the growing area with a perimeter boundary, keep an eye on it so it don't go where its not wanted.
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"Buster Chops" < snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net> wrote in message
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What zone are you in? In warmer areas you can plant tropical clumpers or clumpers from South America. In colder areas there are a number of mountain clumpers that will only expand a few inches a year. The climate also affects how fast the different runners will grow. If you do decide on a runner you can put in a rhizome barrier on your neighbors side of the screen and rhizome prune on your side of the screen to keep it contained. Most of the runners have rhizomes less than a foot deep so it is not hard to do, but you have to remember to do it and not wait until it has grown under your yard and then try to contain it.
For more information on bamboo check out the American Bamboo Society website at www.americanbamboo.org or the website www.bambooweb.info .
Bill
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Thanks for the links and suggestions.

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Buster Chops Wrote:

between a blackberry and an apple tree and so it is with bamboo. A plant that grows fast and stops at just the size you want has yet t be invented, and so it is with bamboo. If you want something fast, yo also get a control job with it. What happens also depends on climate. Phyllostachys nigra, blac bamboo, is invasive in many areas of the US where it can be grown because of warm summers; but in Britain it mostly stays put. Bamboo come in a wide range of hardinesses, and cold winters wil greatly reduce the range that you can grow. The hardiest cope wit about -28C, and so in places like Montana, you may not be able to gro it at all. It is wise to plant bamboo with rhizome barriers to stop it spreading
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I had it and the 2 best days were the day I got it and the day I finally got rid of it. Grows fast and spreads are understatements.
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FYI
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[snip]

to live in colder climates and clumping types are sometimes called "tropical".
If you get a running bamboo it's best to put in a barrier, as some others have discussed. No barrier is needed for a clumping bamboo, which will not spread out agressively.
Popular running bamboos include Black Bamboo (Phy. nigra), Golden Goddess, and Arrow Bamboo (a U.S. native).
Clumping bamboos include Giant Timber Bamboo, Buddha Belly, and others.
I have clumps of Giant Timber and Buddha Belly on the north side of my house, where it provides a wonderful windbreak and has also become bird habitat. I thin it about once a year to get some bamboo poles for other work.
I also have areas with Black Bamboo and Arrow Bamboo -- the Black has a barrier, the Arrow doesn't, but I've kept it under control by cutting off new growth when it shows up. If you don't have a barrier around a runner and it's in your garden or near an orchard it may be a nuisance to keep under control.
If you plant a running bamboo and later change your mind it will be difficult but not impossible to remove it, and then just lop off any new culms that pop up, because the plant root is not too dense. I've moved my Black Bamboo a couple of times until I finally found the right spot for it.
If you plant a clumping bamboo and let it stay in place for a few years it will probably become a permanent fixture because the clump will create an extremely dense rootball that will be difficult to get out without heavy machinery.
Bamboo won't necessarily give you a quick screen. The saying goes, "The first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, the third year it leaps." Mine is well into the leaping stage, but it provided a very effective shield during the hurricanes of 2004-5, absorbing the wind pressure and bending but not significantly breaking.
My source has been the Kanapaha Botanical Garden in Gainesville, FL, which has a yearly bamboo sale. You can get more information at http://www.kanapaha.org Regards --
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