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Hi, I have 3 bamboo plants in my front garden along the dividing fence with next door.  Some of the roots have invaded next door's garden by between 2" and 6" distance and one has lifted a small brick paver.  I have immediately taken on board what was said and felt the complaint was perfectly legitimate, wouldn't be very happy myself if it I were in her position and, within half an hour of the complaint, had contacted a gardener and within an hour he was round and I have arranged for all of them to be removed at considerable expense and with great reluctance because I love them so but, as I said, I wouldn't want it happening on my property and I totally respect my neighbour's concerns.  However, she then said that Bamboo is now going the route of Japanese Knotweed and that they would devalue our properties and people would not be able to get a mortgage on my house (if I was selling that is) and she was losing value on her house.  She became quite dramatic about it and said her mother had been on line and read up on how destructive it can be.  It worried me very much but I have respected her wishes and it will all be removed and the gardener will trace the roots and remove them but I would like to know if there is any legislation on them because she also said they were blocking out her light, although when I called the Council on that point, they said there was nothing in law that determined how high a bamboo was allowed to grow.  Can anyone tell me if this is all true please.  I am only trying to do what is right but she has frightened me.  Thank you very much for your time in reading this little novel!! Wendy


Bamboo barrier works, even for quite rampant Bamboo. It sounds like you have quite a well behaved bamboo that has sent out long rhizomes due to their maturity and the mild winter-spring. I would put in a good bamboo barrier and that is all. Case closed. 6 inches is not much btw - I have seen them grow 12ft away. Bamboo and Japanese Knotweed analogy is rubbish, even some of the most rampant bamboo, Sasa japonica, is nothing like Japanese Knotweed.

There is no right to light.


Totally agree with Blairs.

I have bamboo in my garden and it hasn't been a problem to me or neighbours and they've been planted nearly nine years.

Maybe just reduce them a bit in height as a jesture regarding light, and remove leaves so that you can see the colour of the stems.

Scott Edwards

Ian Cooke in his book 'Grasses and Bamboos - A Practical Guide' published in 2009 states "Bamboos have the unjust reputation of being invasive, impossible to eradicate and generally nuisance plants. There are a few that will take over the garden if given a chance but these are the minority. If you are concerned avoid Chimonobambusa, Phyllostachys violescens, Pleioblastus and Sasha. Choose climb forming types rather than those with runners unless you want an area colonised - even invasive plants have their value in the right place."

As well as buying clump forming types it is a good idea to plant them within a barrier.

Whilst I think its probably wise to remove them for the sake of good relations with your neighbours she is clearly over egging the custard as my grandmother would have said. The idea that they are in the same league as Japanese Knotweed is a little draft to say the least. The idea that home values drop as a result of planting one is news to me. Whilst it is the case that if you are building an extension or a conservatory, the effect it might have on light levels into your neighbours house is a issue that planners will take into consideration in deciding whether to grant the permission or not. There are also rules with regard to how high a hedge should be allowed to grow but not heard of any problems with Bamboos.    

Wendy...........I think the above posts are good have done the decent thing........don't let your neighbour scare you . If you look hard enough on the Internet, you can find  all sorts of weird info to back up any sort of myth/obsession.  Your neighbour has perhaps not got the hang of filtering the rubbish.

Right to light is a pretty contentious issue at the best of times..........provided you respect your neighbour, which you obviously do, then you can rest easy.



If it were me then I would add a bamboo barrier (and make sure the neighbour sees it going in) and keep the bamboo. Giving into bullying neighbours (they are bullying you) is opening up to host of future problems. Best stand the ground, keep the plants that you like and ignore the whinge next door with daft ideas on Bamboo and believing any tripe that you read online.


Thank you all so much for your kind responses.  You have made me feel much better and less frightened that I had devalued property prices and yes, Blairs, you are right, she is bullying me.  However having said that, I don't want any more hassle than she has given me so I wondered about replacing the bamboo with Fatsia Japonicas which I also absolutely love, say two, maybe three.  The only problem is that they would be in full sun all day and not sure they would thrive.  I have two at the bottom of my back garden, in the shade, a little bit dampish and they are magnificent specimens.  I would appreciate your thoughts on that. They would go nicely with my theme as I have shingle and half a dozen nice rocks with a grass beside each one and some Alpines growing along the front border.  Actually, my neighbour has asked me to remove one of the grasses,  a lovely, silky, floaty grass (sorry, don't know the name) as the seeds settle in her block paving and she is frightened they will uplift the pavers just like my dastardly bamboo!!  The gardener who is going to carry out the operation is going to dig it up and take it so I am glad someone else will get the pleasure of it.  Thank you all again, I so appreciate your advice.  Wendy


I think that I would do the bamboo barrier as well (either thick polythene like a good pondliner or a line of paving slabs put in vertically along the fence line to a depth of about 2 ft  ) and then remove any roots on the neighbour's side. I think she is being over dramatic. Your gardener should have pointed out the alternative to removal.


Is your neighbour real?! The grass sounds like stipa tenuissima, and when it flowers then it really is a special sight. Out of interest, and at the risk of poking more fun, what plants are in your neighbour's garden? Let's see if we can make a case against any! 


your neighbour sounds like a total drama queen control freak " devalue property"???? really ???? based upon what evidence? 

Japanese knotweed will devalue your property.  Bamboo is different.

However I would get rid of it........totally.  Clear roots, you,will see them quite easily. 

Whether bamboo is imvasive or not there is a massive difference of opinion about them.  I have tried a few varieties over the years and all were invasive.  I understood their habit before buying amd simply inspected them after the first summer or following summer.  The roots certainly did out they came.

If in doubt about bamboo then simply dont grow them.  I have seen gardens over run with them and gardens with them apparently well behaved (you don't see what's going on below ground)

About the grasses, many do seed.  Can be a nuisance and for that reason are not commonly grown.

I would not plant fatsia In sunny spot.  They look best in shade.  How about buddleas?    Hibiscus?  

Wemdy, dont  let your neighbour bully you.  It sounds like she is 


If bamboo wasn't such a thug we wouldn't still be discussing it.  The point is simple......most of them have the potential to cause huge damage to any garden. nobody is making up stories about their destructive power!

Bamboo can seemingly be well behaved for few years then suddenly cause problems

If in doubt don't grow it.  Ironically, in a pot it usually does not thrive 

No...........we'll still be discussing Bamboo much as we apparently still seem to be discussing Cats..........both can be thugs without a doubt.

You CAN have Bamboo in your garden.......and enjoy it........just be careful what doesn't have to be a thug if you plan and plant correctly...pretty much the same approach as you would use to any large tree/plant.  The key, as always, is knowing what suits your particular site and the effect you require 



gardenning granny

Phillippa is right - it all depends on variety.

I have a very pretty miniature variety growing in a large tub surrounded by annuals.  My neighbours have three very tall, delicate bamboos right at the end of their garden and they are very beautiful and give a whispering sound in the breeze.  The big, chunky thick ones seem to be the most liable to be invasive - I gues the ones grown many years ago before more friendly varieties were discovered.

I've had bamboo in the garden for over 20 years and had no major problems.  One clump forming variety who's name escapes and one area of Phyllostachys aurea and Phyllostachys nigra. Neither group has been invasive.  I've had a couple of runners try to escape from the Phyllostachys but it has been the work of a few minutes to cut off the runner and pull it out. The line the runner has taken is pretty obvious so all it needs is to cut a channel with a spade along the line and haul it back out.  There are many plants which can become a problem if they're allowed to but that doesn't mean they can't or shouldn't be grown.

I accept that would be more problematic if it was under paving but they are categorically not thugs in my long experience of them.

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