Bamboo Hedging – Clumping Species
Clumping/Hedging bamboo species are the most common controllable species. Within the clumping bamboo species there are basically two types, Tight typically used for hedging or windbreaks (screen out the neighbor) or Open which are mainly used as a feature plant or for the production of edible shoots, bamboo poles & erosion control.
Hedging bamboo species will vary in form, height and density where there is an option of having leaf down to ground level or the culms prominently displayed in front of a fence and the leaf canopy above fence height. Most of these species are planted at a 1.5 metre spacing.
There are also other “in between” bamboo species that can be tailored into the landscape or farm to serve multiple purposes including the utilization of the leaves as a fodder crop
Most species will grow in well drained soil, however very few will grow in saturated swamps or on flood plains, if growing in low lying saturated soil then hill up rows of soil to keep the roots above the water table. Airborne salt will kill most bamboo species, so if enjoying magical ocean views where salt crusts the house windows then forget bamboo.
Most of the clumping and hedging bamboos can tolerate moderate frost, however before selecting a species, converse with a bamboo specialist who will have the knowledge of how a particular species will adapt to the local environment. The equatorial species in Gigantochloa, Dendrocalamus and some of the Bambusa genus may not tolerate the colder climates.
For those concerned about root invasion the root system affecting underground pipes etc. the roots generally grow near the surface at a depth of around 300 – 400mm. If a clump is not maintained however, the root mass will grow upwards in the residual mulch. New shoots produced by the larger clumping species can probably uplift thin concrete slabs/paths. To overcome this problem, simply cut off the problem new shoot, cook and eat.