EVASIVE SPECIES - BAMBOO

Bamboo can be found growing in many areas of the UK, but bamboo is not native to these islands.

There are over 1,400 known species of bamboo found around the world. Many of these species are native to Asia and East Asia, with a few native to South America.

Bamboo is considered good for helping landscape a garden. However it can quickly change to a rapidly-growing nuisance overtaking a garden.

There are two primary types of bamboo, running and clumping. Running bamboo types are the most potentially damaging, as their rhizome system can expand as far as 10 metres underground. As they spread the rhizomes can exploit existent failures in structures such as drain runs, paths and patios.

Even though bamboo is not native to the UK, it is not classified as an invasive species. By definition, an invasive species is "an introduced organism that becomes overpopulated and harms its new environment." Bamboo is not currently covered by the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981.

The control of bamboo can prove difficult and time consuming. It can be achieved by physical removal, but in the case of larger outbreaks may also require the use of herbicides. Due to the spreading nature of some varieties it is important that the plant is suitably managed to prevent it taking over areas where it is not wanted and encroachment onto neighbouring land.