Bamboo Invades Suburbia

Plant evades pesticides, machetes, metal sheets in US yards
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Mar 24, 2008 10:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Suburbanites are fighting to keep bamboo at bay in backyards all over America, but the tropical grass is winning. The Asian import grows fast and has become a popular, environmentally friendly way to screen out the neighbors. But with roots like steel cables, the relentless spreader resists pesticides, pickaxes, and metal barriers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Bamboo is so tough it was reputed to be the first plant to return after the bombing of Hiroshima. US homeowners have been planting it since the '70s, and it got an boost in the 2000 hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The result is ruined lawns, frustrated gardeners, and lawsuits from furious neighbors whose pools are being destroyed. Thick polyethylene sheets may be bamboo's Achilles' heel, but the best solution is to swear off it altogether.