Yes, it grows like wild and you either hack it yourself or hire someone to do it, but I never thought I’d see the day when a township, any township, made it illegal to grow bamboo or fine you when it invades your neighbor’s yard. Apparently running bamboo, a variety that, when left unchecked, can leap from yard to yard like an STD, can damage home foundations and crack concrete, not to mention gardens. The canes can grow 40 feet tall. According to the Wall Street Journal, several communities on Long Island have passed ordinances to curb the plant, and a Connecticut state law takes effect in October that will make property owners liable for removal costs and damages if the bamboo spreads to their neighbors’ land.
Last May, Malverne, L.I. passed an ordinance banning the planting or growing of bamboo. Violators could be fined up to $350 or be subject to up to 15 days in jail.
Jail? For growing bamboo?
The Mayor of the Village of Malverne says this is a serious issue.
According to the Journal, “running bamboo differs from so-called clumping bamboo, said Logan Senack, Connecticut invasive plant coordinator at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture. The clumping variety grows in clusters, and the bamboo canes remain close to the parent plant. The roots of running bamboo spread laterally several feet from the parent plant, enabling the plant to spread farther, he said.”
Jesse Neider for The Wall Street JournalPriscilla Weadon of Westport, Conn., examines an area of her garden that has been overrun by bamboo.
“Bamboo is native to Asia. Records of when bamboo was introduced in the U.S. are spotty, but it may have occurred in the late 19th century, by plant collectors and gardeners, said John Thompson, a member of the advisory committee of the National Invasive Species Council. Americans eventually began planting bamboo for its ornamental qualities and for extra privacy it provided yards.”
I’ve got bamboo, wonder if it’s running or clumping. Sound like a question for our landscape guru, Harold Leidner!