Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby Limeydog » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:53 am

Hello,

Our Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio and his heading for our house. The facts:

The Neighbour hired landscape gardeners about five years ago who planted bamboo by the fence that joins our property. Note said landscape gardener have since retired.

Where we live the properties are small and tightly packed in, with only a few meters square of garden (we are situated on the London boarders).

The bamboo quickly took hold both their side of the fence and ours. We tried to cut it back but you don't win with bamboo, anything we cut back had regrown a few days later so we decided to accept it and let it be. Note, there is literally no exposed soil our side of the garden, is all paving. The bamboo squeezed up tight to the fence from underneath the fence.

Three weeks ago we ventured into the garden for the first time since Autumn to find out paving slabs/patio, was all raised and bumpy. Lifting one of the slabs it was clear it was bamboo roots.

We told the neighbour who did quickly remove the bamboo there side. We attempted to remove the bamboo our side, but all we can do is cut it back as we have no soil to dig. We have taken independent gardening advise from landscape gardeners and tree surgeons who have concurred that they would need to a) lift our patio and dig out the roots, b) put in either a concrete or resin barrier underground and then of course c) correct our bumpy then lifted patio.

Currently the roots have lifted paving within about three feet from our house.

We don't suspect the neighbour is going to see the issue beyond offering to help dig out the bamboo, they have implied as much.

Who if anyone is responsible for the damage, i.e. can the neighbour claim on their insurance, or if unwilling can we sue to be compensated for the cost of making good our patio and protecting our house?

Many thanks for any advise in advance.

Anthony
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby gardenlaw » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:21 pm

First and foremost since the danger of damage from the roots sounds so imminent I can only think you must protect your house, even if at this stage it is at your expense. If later you have a claim against your neighbours a court will expect you to have done all you can to make your loss as small as possible.

Your neighbours are aware of the problems they have caused. You should have a written report from the expert gardener. Send a copy to your neighbours. Try to negotiate with them.
You should see if your buildings insurance covers you. There may also be cover for legal advice in your policy so check it out now.

Take photographs now.

Court is always a risk and always costly. So avoid it if you can. Arbitration is available and courts almost insist on it first.
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby madmoggy » Thu May 15, 2014 2:35 pm

Hi there

did you find a way to sort out the bamboo? I've just realised that my idiot neighbour's bamboo is running toward the foundations of our joint terraced houses...I wouldn't give a toss if it took down their entire house because they've been a complete nuisance ever since they moved in and ruined our garden, but we're the ones who will be moving soon and I don't want to have my house fall down before then!

I just feel so desperate and in a complete panic...and there's not much I can do legally because I don't want to take action that will have to be disclosed to a future buyer - who would want to buy a house that is about to be eaten alive by bamboo?

Why are some people so STUPID in the first place. Don't they bother to find out what is and isn't suitable to plant in a domestic garden?

Any suggestions from anyone about how to control, poison, or destroy bamboo?
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu May 15, 2014 3:02 pm

Hi madmoggy,

Any suggestions from anyone about how to control, poison, or destroy bamboo?

the Royal Horticultural Society have this (I just googled 'control bamboo'):

http://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=210

or were you after some homespun ideas?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby Brainsey » Thu May 15, 2014 3:40 pm

As a 'defensive' measure probably the best you can do is to be vigilant and cut down any shoot as soon as it appears in your garden. I found that a useful addition was to spray the cut surface with one of the recommended strong weed killers immediately after cutting as the plant seems to withdraw the sap and weed killer applied after that isn't so effective.

If you want a strong(er) weed killer Google Ammonium Sulphamate. You won't find it in your local garden centre but I believe it's on Amazon: I've not used it myself so you'd need to check how to use it and what protection to wear.

If the bamboo is crossing the boundary into your garden then cut the rhizomes with a sharp spade and if you can, apply the weed killer.
That may be enough to ward off the bamboo for the time being.


I planted bamboo along the end wall of my garden some years ago, giving it an 18" wide space in which to grow by planting a row of roofing slates in the ground to limit its spread. Initially that worked but eventually the bamboo started to head for the rest of my garden.

Last year I cut down all the (15ft) culms and then laboriously dug up the roots and rhizomes using a mattock sharpened to a knife edge. Hard work? No, that description doesn't come close.
Now I'm going through the process of spotting and dealing with any stragglers as they appear and I hope that in a couple more years I'll be able to replant that bit of the garden.
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu May 15, 2014 3:47 pm

Hi Brainsey,

in other words follow the RHS guide. :D

Kind regards, Mac
PS sounds like you've been having a lotta fun, phew!
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby Brainsey » Thu May 15, 2014 4:49 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Brainsey,

in other words follow the RHS guide. :D

Kind regards, Mac
PS sounds like you've been having a lotta fun, phew!

Who do you think wrote the RHS guide? :)
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby jonahinoz » Fri May 16, 2014 9:00 am

Hi,

I believe that if you introduce a non-native animal into your neighbourhood, then you are responsible for any damage it does .. you don't have to be negligent, or a victim of somebody breaking your fence, or whatever, YOU are responsible.

Does anything similar apply to plants? I assume it is illegal to introduce Japanese Knotweed, seeing as it's illegal to move it without a licence. Does that legislation include other aggressive plants? If it doesn't, then it should. Maybe the Min of Ag and Fish (or whatever they call themselves) should be given a nudge?

My mate is building up a business getting rid of Japanese Knotweed. I think he cuts the stems, and sprays a chemical into/over the open ends. I wonder if the same stuff works on bamboo?

John W
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby COGGY » Fri May 16, 2014 9:36 am

Hi

Bamboo is really best planted in a really strong pot standing on concrete. It does need a lot of watering but the roots are contained.

Regards Coggy
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby Brainsey » Fri May 16, 2014 9:50 am

Guidance on specified invasive plants is here: https://www.gov.uk/japanese-knotweed-gi ... ive-plants (Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981)

The list of plants to which section 14 of the Act applies is here: http://www.ukwildlife.com/index.php/wil ... -9-part-2/


Bamboo (Phyllostachys) is not on that list. If it starts to spread it's down to the owner inheriting or planting the wrong variety in the wrong place.
There are non invasive bamboos which are clump forming rather than invasive. I had a few and propagated them but they eventually flowered and died.

Have we gone off topic here, a bit? :)
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri May 16, 2014 9:58 am

Hi JW,

Does anything similar apply to plants?

I think there's two pieces of legislation drawn up which tackle problem plants:

The Weeds Act 1959
The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981

The Weeds Act deals with a short list of native species (so no bamboo) to stop their spread onto agricultural land (mainly).

The Wildlife & Countryside Act Schedule 14 states "if any person plants or otherwise causes to grow in the wild any plant which is included in Part 2 of Schedule 9, he shall be guilty of an offence”. Part 2 Schedule 9 contains a comprehensive list of non-native species - bamboo is not on the list (gardens are not 'wild' in any case).

All my non-expert, unqualified understanding.

Kind regards, Mac
edit: see links re Wildlife & Countryside Act on Brainsey's posting
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Re: Neighbour's bamboo roots has lifted our patio...

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri May 16, 2014 10:01 am

Hi Brainsey,

I'm sure the OP will find our postings useful given the issue he faces.

Kind regards, Mac
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