Eco-Privacy Fencing: Bamboo at its Best

From on September 03, 2009 in Fencing

bamboo forest remodelingbamboo fence remodeling benchesFirst-time homeowners Kim and Jordan fell in love with their new house, but had a concern about the lack of privacy in the backyard. “Naturally,” HGTV’s Don’t Sweat It solved their problem… with a living bamboo fence. Here’s a little about what they had to do to contain the bamboo and keep it healthy.

Keep in mind that certain bamboo species can grow as much as one foot per day; their running roots (rhizomes) allow for rapid spreading and multiplication. The bamboo can easily become bam-BOO! ...scary in how fast it can take over an entire area. These factors necessitate a barrier to contain the roots along a line where you would have installed a traditional fence. Without the barrier, more work is necessary to keep the plants in their space. Depending on the yard’s needs, consider choosing a slow-growing clumping variety instead. Also, remember that during the first week, the leaves have to be sprayed several times a day to minimize shock. Ongoing maintenance, in addition to crowd control, includes a watering schedule from two to four times a week.

bamboo fencing remodelAnd environmentalists say it’s so worth it!

Bamboo advantages go on and on:

  • The plants absorb more carbon dioxide than most others – a very good thing since CO2 emissions are known to cause ozone depletion.
  • Bamboo is recognized as the world’s fastest growing plant, meaning it can be replaced in 60 days! Without replanting! Replenishing a hardwood forest, however, takes 60 years.
  • Bamboo stalk grows in areas of intense wind and rain – it has evolved to withstand serious pressure. The plant’s strength is comparable to steel, yet is incredibly flexible, doubling the improbability of breakage.
  • Bamboo forests produce 30 percent more oxygen than an equally-sized hardwood forest, a really good thing since we all have to breathe.
  • The woody perennial evergreen prevents erosion and restores the soil. Without soil, we would have no plants at all.
  • This really tall grass is termite and rot-resistant – amazing, since who wants either?

If living bamboo plants are not a feasible fencing option, maybe due to pets or space constraints, harvested bamboo cane poles are still an ecologically sound alternative. Rolled bamboo fences and others made from large canes are durable, some lasting more than 40 years. Their natural beauty will endure as long as the fence.