The Q&A Archives: Bamboo pest

Question: My neighbor insists on growing bamboo along our fence. The lateral roots are clogging the ground about 5 feet inside my garden, even though I kill every shoot that tries to grow there. How can I kill the roots without killing his trees -- since he would probably sue me. Yes, I have told him the roots are creating a problem and he just shrugs.

Answer: Rather than try to kill the roots with chemicals, which might travel back to your neighbor's plants, you may want to construct a barrier along your property line. You should be able to sever the roots on your side of the property line (and remove them from your yard) and then either pour a concrete barrier by digging a deep trench and filling it with concrete, or use galvanized metal sheets to create a barrier. It won't be easy to remove the roots of the bamboo, but diligence will give you back your 5' of yard and a barrier should keep the roots of his bamboo on his side of the property line. You may even want to rent a rototiller to make the digging easier. Best wishes with your project!

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