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mgandal's avatar

How do I kill my neighbors bamboo roots?

Asked by mgandal (27 points ) August 27th, 2008

My neighbor has tons of bamboo. Bamboo loves to spread, like into my basement. That causes lots of leakage, which is bad. What is the easiest (read: cheap) way to stop these roots from destroying my house?

I have hear about putting up a barrier which sounds expensive.

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14 Answers

blastfamy's avatar

Imagine a hurricane. Then imagine it was raining Roundup. Do that.

eambos's avatar

Get a very flammable liquid (I’d suggest gasoline, but that is very expensive) and soak their bamboo in it. Run far away and throw a torch at the bamboo. Be sure to have an alibi pre-established. Problem solved!

Bamboo is nearly impossible to kill. It should be your neighbors responsibility to keep their plants out of your yard. If they are causing damage to your house then you should tell them about it.

wrestlemaniac's avatar

Throw salt water on the roots, it works trust me on this.

syz's avatar

You can do the barrier yourself, but it will take a lot of muscle (or a dtichwitch rental). Dig a trench (I’d have to check with some horticultural sites to find the proper depth), then place a vertical layer of plastic or metal (like a buried fence) and then back fill. The roots will come up against the “fence” and not be able to continue on to your foundation.

richardhenry's avatar

Syz has some good advice. I think Eambos is right though; talk to your neighbour about this. Good luck.

gailcalled's avatar

Bamboo is one of the most invasive and rapid-growing plants in the US. Every aggie school and gov’t organization is trying to find ways of eradicating it without luck.

If the roots originated at on your neighbor’s property, they have responsibility. It is a similiar ( and equally unpleasant) problem to the tree on your neighbor’s land that crashes on your roof. Be tactful yet firm…I don’t envy you, but you should not have to live with your basement being destroyed..

wrestlemaniac's avatar

I had the same problem, and salt water worked. listen to me!

Snoopy's avatar

It may vary from state to state, but where I live anything on your property is your own responsibility. This includes overhanging limbs from a tree that is in your neighbor’s yard or plants and/or roots that oringinate from your neighbors yard.

That being said, it would be polite of your neighbor to note the invasion and discuss it w/ you…..it would also be polite and neighborly for you to discuss w/ your neighbor your concerns before you start an assault war on the bamboo.

As to the actual getting rid of it…..I agree w/ the RoundUp. With the caveat that it will kill everything. Other grass, flowers etc.

Good luck.

jvgr's avatar

Where I live, if your tree is overhanging my property and I don’t like it, I do have the right to trim it back to the property line and my neighbor has to accept it (though I would talk to the neighbor and tell them in advance in case they wanted to make sure the trimming resulted in a good appearance.

But if your invasive plants are destroying my property, I do have the right to do something including Round-Up. I don’t have to go to extraordinary lengths to do this. Again, I would talk to the neighbor about it and advise him of your plans in case he is concerned about the well being of the bamboo. If he does nothing I’d go with the Round-up, it’s a lot easier than building a physical barrier. Just don’t get it on anything you don’t want to kill.

You might want to contact your house insurer as well to see what they could advise you regarding damage from the neighbors bamboo roots.

MagsRags's avatar

Round-up will work on the emerging stalks, but won’t stop his plants from continuing to send invaders burrowing underground. I live in Oregon where blackberries spread aggressively, with thorns no less. I had several major patches in my back yard when I moved in a few years ago, some coming from under a neighbor’s fence. My best strategy turned out to be cutting it down little by little in lengths I could manage and get into my yard waste can – when I got to the point where I was cutting it off at the ground, I sprayed Round-up on the freshly cut root. That way I wasn’t randomly killing surrounding plants and my guilt over using toxic chemicals was lessened by limiting the amount. It worked pretty well, but I have to be vigilant – a couple times a year, I have to repeat the process with some volunteers to keep it from taking over again. There must be some deep roots with eternal life :-).

Anyway, I just googled bamboo depth and barriers have to be 24–30” deep to keep bamboo from burrowing underneath! And they said if you use concrete and it cracks over time, the bamboo runners will push through the crack. No way should you have to be responsible for the time and expense involved in dealing with this, IMO. Especially since it’s damaging your house.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I had several types of grass and weeds growing in my driveway that seemed Roundup resistant. The only sure fire to get rid of it was to spread rock salt on it. In a matter of a few days, it was all dead, and nothing shows any sign of coming back. Rock salt is much cheaper than Roundup.

gailcalled's avatar

And no matter what the press is, Roundup is a BAD THING. It seeps into the water table and adds more toxins to those already in our bodies. Boiling water, tho labor-intensive, works on weeds.

NYT today: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/us/23water.html?th&emc=th

majorrich's avatar

We have been successful with tyvek once you find where the runners are coming from. Dig a thin trench as deep as you can get it. At least 36 inches. Use an axe or sharp shovel to sever the roots as you go. place the barrier in the trench so that a little sticks out the top. Then concentrated brine close to your foundation. Whack the bamboo with lawn mower to keep it down. The tender shoots are good to eat. When you eat all you want. You may need to dig the roots up. If you miss any, they will grow into plants again. Constant close pruning may discourage and having whacked energy from both ends. may eventually kill the invasion.

snowberry's avatar

In Utah we’d have the same problem with quaking aspen. Although we love the look of the trees in the garden, after a few years they send runners EVERYWHERE. So we learned to dig a trench as deep as required for the root system you’re dealing with, and line it with a good root barrier, and fill it back in with dirt. Then you go to all your volunteers where you don’t want them, clip the tops, and paint with Roundup. We use a tuna can and a small paint brush. A lotta work, and then it’s done.

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