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New homeowner seeks advice on unwanted and relentless plant taking over backyard: 'I was concerned about it the second we moved in'

"We'd really like to put up our own privacy fence and have a garden in our backyard."

"We’d really like to put up our own privacy fence and have a garden in our backyard."

Photo Credit: Reddit

A soon-to-be homeowner was recently introduced to a far-too-common pain point: unwanted plants spreading onto their property. 

In the subreddit r/kansascity, the Redditor explained that their neighbor had planted a row of bamboo near the fence line separating their land, and much to their dismay, it had begun to take over. 

"I was concerned about it the second we moved in at the end of last year [in] August, and today noticed we now have new bamboo shoots around our concrete patio in the backyard," they wrote. " ... Does anyone have any suggestions, know anything legally about upkeep requirements and property/species like bamboo that grow and spread rapidly?"

"We'd really like to put up our own privacy fence and have a garden in our backyard. Unfortunately, right now neither of those seem like options as we don't want their bamboo to grow under a fence we're spending a good chunk of money on," they added

The original poster, who noted they planned to purchase the house with their boyfriend, also explained that their homeowners association was known to be unhelpful, according to their boyfriend's parents who currently own the property. 

Other Redditors empathized with the OP's plight.

"I would lose my mind if someone planted bamboo near my house," one person wrote

Like with other types of invasive species, bamboo isn't bad in and of itself. In fact, as detailed by bamboo cultivation experts Guadua Bamboo, the tree-like plant can soak up as much as five times more planet-warming carbon dioxide than pine. 

It's also a more sustainable building material, and there are varieties native to different regions that support numerous types of creatures. 

However, the fast-growing plant can quickly outcompete native species when it's introduced to an ecosystem it doesn't naturally belong in, potentially harming biodiversity, spoiling efforts by homeowners to support local wildlife and pollinators, and leading to property damage.   

The OP later clarified that the bamboo didn't appear to be considered invasive in their area, meaning their legal options seemed limited, but luckily, other Redditors had some advice to help them deal with the situation. 

"If you want to avoid [chemicals] that could potentially cause issues for other plants down the road, it would take some extra work, but you could use boiling water and vinegar," one person suggested. "For bigger shoots you can cut them down & douse what remains in a 30% vinegar concentrate to damage as much of the plant as you can."

"Bring over some cookies, say hi, introduce yourselves, try not to make assumptions and build a relationship. [The neighbors] might be willing to assist you with some of this," another Redditor wrote.

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