A Bamboo Barrier is a diversion type control method with a smooth surface that acts a root stop, diverting the bamboo root (rhizome) and preventing rampant and migrating growth. The bamboo root will not penetrate the barrier; instead it will turn and continue to grow along the smooth surface of the barrier. This contains the bamboo roots and prevents spreading.
A Bamboo Rhizome Barrier is an HDPE, high-density polyethylene material or plastic sheeting made from recycled products with a thickness of 30-40 mils that can insure bamboo doesn’t become invasive. Town codes require that the barrier be installed 36” deep and contain the bamboo to prevent migration. Usually the barrier is installed to prevent roots from migrating back to your property or serviced area from the surrounding properties.
Concrete was used many years ago as a below ground barrier system and was found to crack below the frost line allowing bamboo rhizomes to emerge through to the other side. One of the many myths of bamboo is its ability to crack solid concrete. Bamboo is persistent and its root system will eventually find cracks in concrete and emerge through them. Once it emerges the bamboo will grow again on the other side of the concrete if not terminated.
A metal barrier will eventually rust and allow the bamboo to penetrate and continue to grow back. Metal is not cost effective since it has to be installed 36” deep and the length of the bamboo area.
Chemicals do not work. Just remember all the stories you have heard or read about how someone has contained or prevented bamboo migration is just that stories that are always short lived.