Get This: Outlawing Bamboo In New York and Connecticut, Go to Jail if You Grow It

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Bamboo-forest,-natural-light-1Yes, 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!


Candy Evans

A real estate muckraker, Candy Evans is one of the nation’s leading real estate reporters. She is also the North Texas real estate editor for, CultureMap Dallas, Modern Luxury Dallas, & the Katy Trail Weekly. Candy has written for Joel Kotkin’s The New Geography, Inman Real Estate News, plus a host of national sites. Constantly breaking celebrity real estate news, she scooped former president George W. Bush's Dallas home in 2008. She is the founder and publisher of her signature, and, devoted to the vacation home market. Her verticals have won many awards, including Best Blog by the venerable National Association of Real Estate Editors, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious journalism associations. Candy holds an active Texas real estate license but does not sell. She is on the Board of Directors of Braemar Hotels & Resorts (BHR).

Reader Interactions


  1. David Engelen says

    I have no problem with the local government making a decision where a clueless person doesn’t make a prudent one! You can plant rynning bamboo where ever you wsnt, just make sure it’s contained. Just like having laws for dogs to have shots and to pick up after they shit; people don’t do it, so there has to be a law to make them do what common sense or social responsibility would normally do.

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