While bamboo can be an asset in the garden, if it gets out of control there can be trouble.
For those who wish they’d never planted the rapid running variety, there is hope. If there is an expert on runaway bamboo, it has to be Dorothy Geyer, a natural resource specialist with the Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia’s Yorktown and Jamestown.
Geyer spends a great deal of her work time evaluating and managing invasive species, including golden bamboo, a runner grass known scientifically as Phyllostachys aurea, that has claimed 23 acres of land in those two park areas.
“All of it probably came from someone planting it in their backyard,” Geyer says.
To deter more growth, the park service works to eliminate the bamboo, having cut and chemically treated 8 acres so far. Geyer says she has read of no biological controls for bamboo.
For her method to tame an out-of-control patch of bamboo, see Saturday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Homestyle section.