One desperate homeowner took to Reddit when they found themselves losing the fight against a steadily growing thicket of bamboo.
“How much will this bamboo removal cost me?” they asked in a post on r/landscaping. “Has anyone had bamboo removal done or could a landscaper give me an estimate on how much bamboo removal would be for this amount?”
They shared several photos of the plants, which are thriving outside of the intended bed. They’ve eaten up the space behind a shed and under a tree, growing so tall and thick that it’s hard to tell where the bamboo ends and the tree begins.
As this unfortunate homeowner discovered, bamboo is an invasive species in the U.S. — a plant or animal that does a little too well outside its native environment. In its new ecosystem, it has everything it needs to thrive and none of its natural competitors or predators, so it starts to take over, reproducing and eating up space and resources until it pushes out the existing local species.
Invasive species are annoying when they appear in a garden, as they can take over the property and even spread to neighboring yards. But they’re devastating when they happen in the wild, and they can cause native species to become endangered or go extinct.
In the case of bamboo, the invasion is hard to fight because the root-like rhizomes can break off and grow new shoots unless they’re completely removed. “It will cost you your sanity,” said one commenter.
“I removed bamboo myself at my property purchased about four years ago,” another user recounted. “I used a tractor to dig most of it up. It was not an easy job. Took several days of hard labor and several months of fighting new shoots off missed roots. I don’t know what someone would charge, but probably not cheap.”
Thankfully, removal is possible, and there have been bamboo-removal success stories. One ambitious gardener even got permission from a neighbor to dig up their invasive bamboo while working on their native plant garden.
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