Using a Root Barrier

Using a Root Barrier

Firstly determine whether a root barrier is necessary. There is really only one bamboo we grow which we would absolutely recommend a root barrier and that is the fast and furious Arrow Bamboo

The other 'Mid bamboo' will never require containment by root barrier as they have very little spread.

Our 'Tall bamboo' will only need a barrier if you are planting right up against a fence or a shed etc or next to decking or a patio If you can leave a minimum gap of 40cm you will have room to prune any unwanted spread. And pruning really is straight forward, it's generally a once a year job in early summer, check if there is unwanted spread and  if so chop it off with secateurs or a spade.

Bamboo roots will not cause problems against brickwork or concrete, so if you are planting up against a wall a root barrier won't be necessary.

It can be hard to picture what root barrier actually is, here are some images to help. 

Root barrier is made from heavy duty HDPE plastic, supplied on a roll, it is 60cm wide and 2mm thick. 

Here you can see the top of the root barrier, once installed. These images show the barrier raised quite high above ground level. In the UK just slightly above ground level is sufficient.

Root Barrier    

To install the root barrier,

  1. For full containment dig a 60cm deep trench around your planting area, the shape of the area doesn't matter as long as the trench goes around the perimeter. If you only need to contain one side of the planting area, for example the side nearest a fence then it is perfectly fine to just install the root barrier along this side and not fully contain the bamboo.
  2. Feed the root barrier in to the trench leaving a slight lip above the ground, 
  3. If fully containing the area, where the root barrier meets leave a 30cm overlap.
  4. Back-fill the trench.

Top tips:

Find someone young and energetic to dig the trench!

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