Everything You Need To Know About Bamboo in Swansea

Bamboo has been steadily growing in popularity for some UK homeowners in the last 10 years, however, unknown to many it is a vigorous and fast-growing plant that is very difficult to contain and control. If you have or think you have Bamboo in Swansea then you should seek advice from a specialist like South Wales Knotweed & Garden Services who will advise you on your best course of action to ensure it doesn’t grow out of control.

Bamboo is known and loved for its decorative appearance and often its fast growth which provides privacy in overlooked gardens in cities, towns and suburbs and many homeowners plant it without realising its fast growth and ability to spread and take over other vegetation. You should be very wary of planting it or taking on a property where it is present as it is now known that some types of bamboo are highly invasive and extremely difficult to control.

The UK Invasive Weed Control Industry is being called on more and more to remove and control bamboo where it has been planted at a property without knowing how it will likely take over, or where it has spread from a neighbouring garden.

In summary, they have said, that invasive bamboo is becoming a major problem for British homeowners who may not have realised its growth speed and its invasiveness if not effectively controlled. In some cases, the ‘running’ bamboo varieties can extend up to 30ft underground as well as its extensive above-ground growth.

Some mortgage lenders in the UK and The RICS (The Royal Insitute Of Chartered Surveyors) are extremely averse to lending on a property where Japanese Knotweed is present or has been present, and more and more, are now realising that bamboo is also a major problem but is still unrecognised by many homeowners as an invasive weed that can grow out of control if not planted correctly and managed.

Bamboo seeds can still easily be purchased online or from garden centres throughout the UK and this is adding to the problem that homeowners are still unaware of the consequences of planting and not controlling it. This often results in it growing out of control and taking over the other plants and vegetation in a garden and even spreading to other homeowners’ gardens and land.

South Wales Knotweed Removal and Garden Services have seen a huge increase in the number of enquiries being received from concerned homeowners who have planted bamboo and inadvertently allowed the plant to grow out of control. Our UK weed experts will assess the growth and advise you on our best control and removal methods giving you peace of mind that it won’t take over your garden. Contact us on 01269 591651 today and we can arrange a free, and no-obligation site survey.

Bamboo  in SwanseaFAQ’s

Is Bamboo an illegal plant in the UK?

Bamboo isn’t currently classed as an invasive plant in the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and there are no restrictions when planting it, however, the weed control industry is advising that bamboo can be as unpredictable as Japanese Knotweed with the same ability to spread, quickly grow and infest large areas of soil.

There have been more and more recent claims from homeowners who have taken legal action against neighbours and properties around them where their bamboo has been allowed to spread onto their properties and become a severe problem for them. There are different varieties of bamboo plant and some are more invasive and destructive than others.

What types of Bamboo are there?

Both the clumping and running types, all have large underground root and rhizome systems, making them extremely difficult to control and remove without using an invasive plant specialist like South Wales Japanese Knotweed.

Running Bamboo is the type that spreads quickly over and underground. It distributes long, lateral rhizomes (root system), which can sometimes reach up to 30ft from the main plant. This results in the plant quickly spreading with new shoots and growth emerging in new areas or onto other land or property causing disruption all around.

Due to the distance running bamboo can spread, it has been said that it can have the potential to be more damaging than Japanese knotweed and it has similar abilities to exploit and push through broken or cracked brickwork, drains, walls and patios causing more damage as it grows.

Clumping Bamboo is known to be less invasive than running bamboo, however, if it is left uncontrolled and unmanaged it can spread and quickly grow out of control.

If planting bamboo you should always check with a specialist about the type you use, as well as planting it in containers or with strong root barrier systems in place to contain it to the area you want it for, which will prevent the likelihood of it spreading.

What is the difference between clump-forming and running bamboo?

Clump-Forming Bamboo – This type of bamboo has a root mass similar to normal ornamental grasses, spreading from the centre and never sprouting canes more than 5-10cm from the existing plant.

Running Bamboo – A running bamboo spreads by its horizontal underground stems from which overground canes then grow. This underground stem extends and shoots up another cane 60-80cm away from the original planting site enabling it to quickly spread. This is why a bamboo’s roots should be contained by a root barrier system or in a suitable pot to prevent it from spreading aggressively and colonizing parts of the soil you don’t want them in.

Types of Clump-Forming Bamboo

    • Fargesia murielae ‘Simba’
    • Fargesia murielae ‘Volacno’
    • Fargesia murieliae ‘Winter Joy’
    • Fargesia murieliae ‘Rufa’
    • Fargesia nitide

Types of Running Bamboo

    • Phyllostachys aurea
    • Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis
    • Phyllostachys Nigra
    • Pleioblastus pygmaeus Distichus
    • Pleioblastus variegatus
    • Pleioblastus viridistriatus
    • Sasa tsuboiana
    • Sasa veitchi

How fast does Bamboo in Swansea grow?

This all depends on the type of bamboo as well as the environmental factors of the area, soil, air, water and general ground conditions. Bamboo is known to be a highly unpredictable plant which means you should take extreme care and advice from a specialist if planting it or buying a property where it is present.

In general:

Running Bamboo tends to grow to its mature height extremely quickly and spread aggressively. Some can grow up to 8 metres whilst others only reach 1 metre, making it a huge unknown when planting it, or if you already have it on your property. Their roots need to be contained to prevent them from spreading as their new canes can grow 90cm to 1.5 metres taller each year until they get to their maximum growing height.

Clump-forming bamboo tends to grow to less than 5 metres tall due to its small culms but they can grow equally as wide over time if not effectively controlled. The new canes of clump-forming bamboos can grow up to 30-45cm taller each year until it reaches their maximum height.

The bamboo culm is used to describe the bamboo shoot itself. The culms are mainly hollow, however, some species have solid culms. There is a solid joint at the beginning and end of each culm segment, called a node and the internodes are the segments between the nodes.

Is Bamboo in Swansea invasive?

Bamboo is extremely invasive and like Japanese Knotweed, it spreads via its root system and will be invasive if not controlled by an expert like South XXX Knotweed & Garden Services. Bamboo is extremely hardy meaning it will grow in most soils and in extreme weather conditions.

Bamboo has now earned its bad reputation for irresponsible planting as if planting with the correct control methods in place, it can be manageable.

Bamboo spreads from its fast-growing roots that push horizontally through the soil with its lateral buds which then drive upwards to form the canes. Running bamboo will cover ground more quickly than a clump-forming bamboo type and often takes homeowners by surprise at how quickly it spreads.

What types of soil does Bamboo do well in?

Bamboo is extremely hardy and not at all fussy when it comes to soil type. This can be a benefit if planted for the right reasons and correctly controlled.

Is Bamboo a wood, a grass plant or a tree?

Not many people are aware that bamboo is grass, however, many of the fast-growing invasive bamboo types have a very tree-like appearance so are often referred to as bamboo trees. Their stems can be anything from a few centimetres in height and up to 8 metres in just a few years, with their stem diameters ranging anything from 1 mm to 30 cm.

Can you grow Bamboo in pots?

If you want to grow Bamboo in Swansea at your home, it can be grown in pots or containers depending on which type they are. Growing them in a pot or container will prevent them from spreading and cultivating your property.

Can Bamboo devalue a property?

Bamboo in Swansea is becoming much more well known in the property, mortgage and the UK invasive weed industry as a plant that can devalue a property due to its highly invasive and unpredictable nature.

More and more mortgage companies are now asking if bamboo is present at a property and some may not lend on it so always do your research before offering on a property and applying for a mortgage.

Is Bamboo poisonous to humans?

When eaten, bamboo contains a toxin that produces cyanide in the human gut. The shoots can be edible, however, before they need their exteriors cut away and then be boiled before consuming them. We would advise that humans and animals do not eat bamboo.

Is Bamboo stronger than wood?

Bamboo is known to be 2-3 times harder than most hardwoods from the Janka Hardness Test which is used for categorising wood by its hardness. The universal Janka hardness test (from the Austrian-born emigrant Gabriel Janka, 1864-1932) measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear.

Is Bamboo green in winter?

Most types of bamboo are evergreen so they remain green and vibrant throughout the winter months when most other plants have died back and this has made them extremely appealing to homeowners who don’t realise their invasive growth. They can shed some leaves during the year but it isn’t a significant amount.

You can read more about Bamboo here.

Property Care Association Bamboo Comments

Dr Peter Fitzsimons of the Property Care Association, a trade body representing invasive weed control contractors and consultants, said bamboos are “woody” grass that has commercial importance in their native home.

However, he said that in the UK the plant has characteristics similar to those of an “alien invasive species”.

Some of those characteristics include being fast-spreading, dominating native vegetation and being resistant to natural predators such as insects or fungi.

He added: “We have been calling for some time for the many species of bamboo to be added to Schedule 9 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act to enable effective regulation.”

What is the Property Care Association?

The Property Care Association (PCA) is the UK’s leading trade association that represents specialists who can be trusted to resolve problems affecting buildings and property in general.

What the PCA say about their specialists

    • Professional trustworthy site surveys and investigations that deliver peace of mind through detailed investigation and correct diagnosis for homeowners and businesses
    • Services are provided by trained, experienced, vetted and qualified surveyors and inspectors
    • Contractor members are able to complete highly specialised repairs and treatments, effectively, efficiently and safely, using skilled experienced site operatives
    • PCA members are required to meet and maintain robust membership criteria. This covers aspects of services including professional qualifications, technical competence, service delivery & financial stability

About Our Bamboo Management & Control Services

Bamboo in SwanseaBamboo makes a positive contribution to the environment as well as it being aesthetically pleasing and is a great plant to use if you are looking for privacy in an area. However, we advise extreme caution and we would not advise planting Bamboo in Swansea in a conventional residential garden due to its invasive root growth. It will spread underground and grow quickly above ground, taking over the other plants and vegetation in a garden.

Planting Bamboo is similar to planting Japanese Knotweed in your garden, however, it isn’t yet illegal to do so. Japanese Knotweed is well known by homeowners as being an invasive weed but Bamboo seeds and plants are still widely sold across the UK but have the same invasive characteristics as Knotweed and will quickly take over an area if not managed correctly.

South Wales Knotweed and Garden Services have seen how invasive Bamboo in Swansea is and we have helped many customers who were initially unaware of its destructive and unpredictable nature when they first planted it, or when they first brought their home to remove and control their bamboo infestation.

Bamboo in Swansea is often planted along boundaries in or around a structure to provide privacy to a property. Over the last few years, we have seen how this has resulted in many awkward and avoidable disputes with neighbours when the bamboo has spread out of control onto their land.

Our belief is that whilst bamboo is not yet registered as an invasive weed as Japanese Knotweed is, greater awareness and concern for this plant is required. There are over 100 species of bamboo, with in excess of 30 or so varying species commonly found in the UK.

The general guide to the different bamboo rhizome (roots) is:

Runners – these will ‘run’, meaning, spread laterally and quickly

Clumpers – these will continue to grow if not correctly controlled and managed, however, they won’t colonise as much soil as the running species do

Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet and will quickly colonise new soil, and in doing so, will quickly consume open spaces and can cause serious damage to many solid structures.

The rhizomes aren’t as brittle as their Japanese Knotweed equivalent, making them a challenge to remove if you are not an expert. Once a bamboo rhizome has established itself within the soil or amongst a solid structure, removing it is the same as attempting to remove a rope from a solid slab of concrete.


South Wales Knotweed & Garden Services offer different removal and control solutions when it comes to bamboo. Each infestation will have its own challenges and our experts will work out the best removal and control methods depending on your property and site.

In most scenarios, we use an excavator to remove the majority of the bamboo’s rhizome. We can also install a suitable ‘root barrier’ which prevents the rhizome from continuing to spread within your own and neighbouring properties. If you would like some of the bamboo to remain then our experts will offer you a control and management solution so it can remain without spreading into areas you don’t want it to.

If you have an infestation of bamboo or are concerned you have Bamboo in Swansea contact us today on 01269 591651 to arrange your free and no-obligation site survey. Our bamboo experts will assess and offer you different solutions dependent on your property and needs.

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