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Bamboozled: Tips for Managing Bamboo

Whether you love or hate the look of bamboo, one fact remains: it is a highly aggressive, quickly spreading invasive. Here are some tips from Sustainable Princeton for managing bamboo:
 
Bamboo avoidance: Ecologically speaking, not planting invasive bamboo in the first place is the best option. To create a verdant privacy screen, plant a native evergreen alternative, like American holly or inkberry holly, instead of choosing unruly bamboo. White pine could also work if you're looking for less coverage.
 
Bamboo abatement: If you already have bamboo taking over your yard, you can try to control it with frequent mowing and careful use of an herbicide. Alternately, you can hire a company that offers a bamboo removal service: a multi-year process in which they chop down the bamboo and excavate the root system the first year, then return with picks and shovels to remove the persistent rhizomes and new shoots the following year or two.
 
Bamboo management: You can attempt to curb bamboo's spread by installing a root barrier in the ground. Root barriers are made of either concrete, metal, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), or pressure-treated wood and are installed about 18 inches deep. However, these barriers need vigilant monitoring because the unassailable root system will most likely break through them over time. 
 

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