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Growing Bamboo General discussion - Identification, selection, propagation, care

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Old 6th February 2008, 07:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: USA - Texas, Bastrop
Posts: 1
Plant bamboo over septic drain field?

I am new here and have never planted bamboo. I live in an RV park outside of Bastrop and have a drain field behind my trailer.

I've read that bamboo likes a lot a water. The field is always wet. There is an eyesore on the other side of the field I'd like to hide. I've read that bamboo grows fast and grows tall.

Should I plant bamboo there, or is there another fast growing plant that thrives in a bog?

Thank you.
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Old 7th February 2008, 01:56 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 1,306
Bamboo does not like "wet feet" so I don't know if it would work in your situation. In other words - bamboo does not like to be constantly wet.

You might try at the edges where it is not constantly wet and see what happens and which way it grows.

Anyone else have any experience with this?

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Old 8th February 2008, 09:08 AM
Dean W.
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: USA - Central Texas
Posts: 182

I wouldn't recommend planting bamboo on your septic field your likely to incur problems. The bamboo might grow into pipes in search of water and you may have an expensive repair bill.
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Old 9th February 2008, 06:16 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 1,306
I don't think bamboo would grow INTO the pipes!
Has anyone ever had that happen?

Maybe it would if the pipes had cracks in them - then the pipes probably would need replacing!

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Old 9th February 2008, 11:18 AM
sasa fool
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA - Indiana, Nashville
Posts: 153
I'm certainly not recommending that anyone else do so but I have a 6 year old Viridis grove directly on top of my field, in fact I hit a pipe with the shovel when digging the planting holes. There are also a couple dozen more species that have ranged onto the field. No problems thus far. My thoughts were that the bamboo would not enter the pipes and would perhaps help take up & utilize the field output actually helping the field out. Now the original owners also left a huge white oak and 2 sugar maples on the field so when they clog the lines I'll surely have to tear up the bamboo when fixing that tree damage!
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Old 20th February 2008, 08:26 AM
glenn smith
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: USA - Washington, Sequim
Posts: 75
There is at least one bamboo that will tolerate standing water:

I've a good sized specimen of Phyllostachys heteroclada but it is not in wet ground. I understand this plant actually has gas tubules in its rhizomes.
Drain field pipes have half-inch holes bored in them every six inches or so...I
know I don't grow any boos over mine!
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Old 9th May 2012, 10:52 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: canada - bc, enderby
Posts: 14
I've made a point to keep all plants and trees away from my septic system. The thing should last forever and I don't want to have a problem. I've also heard bamboo roots are too shallow in the ground to harm it. I don't think there is anyway to know for sure what will happen.
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Old 14th March 2013, 11:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Uk
Posts: 1
Thank you for really wonderful post. This post really help to increase my knowledge.

septic tank pumping
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Old 16th March 2013, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA - Oregon, Grants Pass
Posts: 14
Since you do not own the drain field, I would ask the park owners about this before you do anything.

It sounds like the eyesore is not part of the drain field, but away. Correct? (If the drain field/leach field is always wet, winter and summer, it means the septic system is failing.)

You might ask about planting bamboo away from the wet spot. Now, about watering: Can you get a hose out there? Can you dig a shallow trench and let the wet spot occasionally drain towards you new planting?

We had an unusual septic system in CA when we were there in 1988 to 2006. It was a concrete above ground tank, 500 gallons or so that had a bacteria stick inside and an air pump to introduce oxygen. It worked great. So good, that I had mosquito fish and/or goldfish living inside. Little or no odor.

The leachfield was close by with maybe 50 feet of perforated 6 inch pipe and only buried a foot or so deep. It was designed that way when first owner built it in 1973. He had two willow trees and running bamboo in the leachfield to absorb moisture and transpire it away. The trees died in 1992 or so and the bamboo took over. About every 5 years or so, I would dig up the pipes and pull roots out. Not much, about 1/3 full. Also put copper crystals in the junction box every month or so to keep excess roots from clogging the pipes.

Worked great but was dependent on electricity to keep air pump going. Once, the power went off for awhile. I did not know and after 2-3 days I found all the fish floating on top. The circuit breaker did not reset, so I ditched it and that problem went away.

Our CA bamboo had roots about 18 inches.

In another area, I planted hybrid poplars in 1999 that grew 3-5 feet a year. Their roots grew down 3 feet in 3 years and cracked some 6 inch concrete irrigation lines below.
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