Experts at a national trade body are urging householders in Cornwall to understand the potentially disruptive impact bamboo in their garden can have on neighbouring properties.
Property Care Association’s (PCA) Invasive Weed Control Group (IWCG) is encouraging homeowners to seek specialist help with bamboo as it is a non-native species that can have similar impacts to plants such as Japanese knotweed.
The call follows a rise in media reports of bamboo litigation cases – including encroachment, and damage to garden features, costing homeowners thousands of pounds.
Daniel Docking, Technical Manager at the PCA, said: “We are keen to raise awareness and share guidance and information to property valuers and homeowners on how they can understand these risks.
“Not only have we seen a rise in encroachment claims under common law, but there is also a serious potential risk for rhizomes to penetrate subfloor levels of a home and effect the amenity enjoyment of gardens.
“Bamboo isn’t listed in Schedule 9 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act, but we know it is just as capable of causing the same type of disruption as Japanese knotweed.
“Unlike Japanese knotweed, bamboo is still widely available for sale and while its tendency to spread is usually highlighted, the need for containment measures can be over-simplified.”
Almost 100 contractors across the UK are PCA approved operators working within an established Invasive Non-Native Species industry.
These companies work to PCA Codes of Practice and have the training, experience and skill to manage non-native plants that have a tendency to spread across property boundaries.
Daniel added: “Plants are literally a lifeline to us all, and we don’t need to demonise bamboo, but we do need to raise awareness and encourage people to understand where they can go for help.
“Householders can rest assured that PCA approved contractors have the required knowledge and skill to combat invasive plants such as bamboo that can spread into neighbouring properties.”
More details about the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group can be found at https://www.property-care.org/homeowners/invasive-weed-control/