What to do when canes overhang a neighbor's yard

A customer who planted a hedge of Graceful Clumping Bamboo along his property line several years ago recently wrote with the following question:  

Our clumping bamboo is growing really well, but starting to hang into our neighbors yard,  should I cut the offending canes in the middle or at the ground level to prevent this in the future?

My response:
You can cut the overhanging canes anywhere but I usually like to cut them off at the base for aesthetic reasons.  However, trimming existing canes won't stop new shoots which come up around the base to grow tall and eventually do the same thing - overhanging the neighbor's yard.  The only way to prevent that is to knock over the new shoots coming up on your neighbor's side so they won't grow tall.  When bamboo gets to the stage your has, it needs maintenance once a year.  Remember that the growing season continues through November so new canes will keep coming up.  We suggest doing a pruning once in the late winter before the growing season begins and then knocking over unwanted new shoots as they appear during the spring-summer-fall.


  1. We have a Graceful that does the same thing. I always like to get outside for a look-see after one of our summer rain storms. The weight of the water really helps to see exactly how far those culms are leaning over the fence.I prune during spring cleanup and usually need to go back and thin out a bit about this time of year. Kicking them over works great, if you remember to do it.-lol Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great tips on how to keep your neighbors happy when you have bamboo in your yard :)

  3. With bamboo you have good relationship with your neighbors. lol.
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