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!!!!! Anyone Plant Running Bamboo in Your Pasture?  RSS feed

 
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My husband and I live in Alabama and have 44 acres. Most of it is pasture and very picturesque, except for one thing, the neighbors’ compound. We would like to plant some running bamboo along our fence and far, distant pasture in order to have some privacy for ourselves. However, we are afraid the running bamboo may spread into the neighbors’ yard. It is a very long distance and the neighbors are uphill, so we need the most cover for the money, but at the same time don’t want to cause any issues. Running bamboo sounds like the best bet?
Clumping bamboo is too expensive and won’t cover enough.
What are some ways to costly prevent spreading or will we be ok if we plant far enough from our fence?
Anyone plant it in a pasture before?
I have attached a picture of the area we want to run the bamboo.
Also, what is a good type to buy?
Thank you very much!
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This is the neighbors’ trailer and house from our driveway. All the land in between is ours and they only have 2 acres. We would like to plant bamboo along the fence by their property.
 
steward
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Running bamboo is extremely invasive and grows really fast and will certainly invade your neighbours  property . We have some here and I am trying to get rid of it with great difficulty . It grows through walls for example . Unless your neighbour has cows which would love to eat it I can imagine they would not be impressed with your planting scheme :-)
Here I would suggest  laylandii or cherry laurel  to have a good barrier between you and you neighbours but I don't know your weather.nor what animals you plan to keep

David
 
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Heck no running bamboo like above author stated is wrong, they will take over the whole area.   Try "clumping bamboo" if sold on using bamboo.  They are different and better choices out there.

Plant a row or two of 'mammoth sunflower'.  Do you want an evergreen for 365 day hiding?  google "plant privacy fences" or something along that idea.  Good Luck!
 
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Almost everyone who wants fast privacy screening is tempted to plant running bamboo, DON'T! That is unless you want to add backbreaking maintenance multiple times a year to help control it. People will often use a barricade or the like to try and keep it contained. I have never seen any outdoor running bamboo completely contained even with concrete or steel, it will find a way to run. I find it suitable to plant only, if only, one plans to utilize the bamboo, I.e., intensively cut and use it as a resource. Even then I don't recommend planting it anywhere near a property line as it may cause tension between your neighbor. Running bamboo is indeed a mighty beast so really think it through!
 
Elizabeth Foushee
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Ok, thanks.
I am afraid of the running bamboo being too close to our fence and eventually trying to crawl into their yard. However, I do not want to spend thousands of dollars on expensive boutique evergreen 🌲 trees. As you can tell, the length of the fence is at least 500 ft, unless I could find a very reasonable supplier.
We did plant 60 eastern white pine saplings along our fence, but I’m afraid it will take forever for them to grow.
We need privacy.
Just last night the neighbors had their truck running without anyone in it and left the lights on, shining directly into our house’s windows and it woke my 8 month old baby.
They need to be blocked. Asap.
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The neighbors have 2 acres, we have 44, been since they are at the top of the hill, they are getting the nice view of our land and we are getting the view of them. Help!
 
Elizabeth Foushee
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We would like to have bamboo growing all along the property line. I wouldn’t even mind if it was all in our field here. We have 2 cows, do not a huge problem.
Anyone with advise on bamboo types?
Sunflowers? Out of the question unless they grow like 40 ft tall, and besides, I’m not exactly trying to make the eye drawn over there any more than it already is....
But thank you for all the suggestions.
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Elizabeth Foushee wrote:We would like to plant some running bamboo along our fence and far, distant pasture in order to have some privacy for ourselves. However, we are afraid the running bamboo may spread into the neighbors’ yard. It is a very long distance and the neighbors are uphill, so we need the most cover for the money, but at the same time don’t want to cause any issues. Running bamboo sounds like the best bet?



It's true that running bamboo will spread into the neighbors' yard if it was planted on the fence line.  That could certainly cause issues with the neighbors  

I wonder if a privacy hedge could be planted much closer to your home and then wouldn't have to be so tall?  Maybe at the edge of your yard or the near side of the pasture? 

Just last night the neighbors had their truck running without anyone in it and left the lights on, shining directly into our house’s windows and it woke my 8 month old baby.
They need to be blocked. Asap.



In the meantime maybe get some heavy drapes for the windows to block the lights from their truck?

If they only have two acres and no way to keep running bamboo in check there could be a serious problem in no time.

 
gardener
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Yes, I agree with the other posters. There are many other options.  Drapes in the meantime, as Judith said.  Silverberry, Pineapple guava, portugese laurel, eucaplyptus, conifer trees etc.  there are many evergreens that should work for you. . Most states have super cheap state or county nurseries where they sell plants for like $3 each.  Alabama is one of the top timber states so it should n't be too hard.  Some have made lawsuits over bamboo. It will go completely under a house to the other side.  It's that invasive. 
john S
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Arbor Day Foundation shows these as fast-growing trees
https://shop.arborday.org/category.aspx?zcid=140&page=1&size=-1&sort=0
including this one, Fast Growing Screen - Windbreak (12 trees)
https://shop.arborday.org/product.aspx?zpid=944


For room darkening curtains, I can highly recommend these.  Get the black ones for the most darkening.  Sometimes you really just need "blackout curtains" and I think having a small baby and light polluting neighbors would count...
 
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How tall is the tree in the foreground?
It seems to me a barrier set there wouldnt need to be as long,or tall.
If you have earth moving equipment, you can build a ridge between you and them.

Btw, are you in communication with them?
Without communication we can easily mistake ignorance for malice.
 
steward
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Judith Browning wrote:
In the meantime maybe get some heavy drapes for the windows to block the lights from their truck?



I also agree with getting drapes/blackout curtains. My son would wake at the slightest light, so blackout curtains were a must for getting him to nap and bed. They cam be expensive, (though not as much as a bunch of bamboo!), but you can also assemble a cardboard or aluminum foil piece that can set right into the window and block the light. Make sure not to leave it up all the time, or mold might grow...
 
David Livingston
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Had a couple of more thoughts
Willow - just stick willow twigs in the grounds usually if the ground is wet it will grow  find a willow tree for free some where
but for instant success make a berm , or dig a pond and use the earth rock you remove to " lands scape " the neighbours away :-)

David
 
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Bamboo is probably a really bad idea. Once it gets established it will run and run, and be nearly impossible to control or eradicate. You are trading a short term gain (privacy) in exchange for a future liability. One that you, or the subsequent landowners, will have to manage.

Better options for screening:
Tall hedging trees. Here in the UK poplar is very common on field boundaries. It grows tall and straight and forms excellent windbreaks and privacy screens. It pollards easily as well, so they are typically cut back down to around 10ft tall every 15 to 20 years - producing plenty of firewood.
 
William Bronson
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I must admit I have a beef with my neibor,one that made me consider just this kind of bio warfare.
They realllly deserve it, and it would actually adress the complaint they made that has imposed  thousands of dollars in fines and fees on youts truely.
But the vast majority of future land owners don't deserve it.
So Im staying my hand.
I will plant willow,sunchokes and mulberry, rose of Sharon,silverberry,elderberry, hazelnut,etc.
I will threaten to plant bamboo,as a negotiating tactic, in order to get that asshole to buy the property he turned into a millstone around my neck.
But i wont plant it.
Probably,won't.
Havent planted it yet
Almost certainly wont.
.
 
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I have running bamboo on one corner of the property, along with black bamboo.  I like my little bamboo grove, but I have to harvest it to keep it down.   I don't know who planted it first, me or my neighbor who cpmmercially grows Asian vegetables under ugly plastic wood framed greenhouses.  This corner is totally unmaintained by my neighbor.  There are a few naturalized mimosa trees that keep on falling over as well into a jumbled mess on his side.  I am going to self inflict some black bamboo along an interior fenceline that used to be a dog run.  It borders the north of a little frost free microclimate where I'm going to plant some avocados and citrus later this winter.  There is privet that turned into trees in that corner which creates the shelter, but I would eventually like to cut the privet down.  I need a little bit of wind break for avos there.  There is going to be a chicken coop on the north side so that should help too.

I think that I'll plant some feijoa on another fenceline as windbreak also.  I'll keep it trained down as a bush so as not to shade the avos.

K.
 
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Dwarf/Regular Willow grows pretty dense esp if you cut and make it multi-stem. Willows also grow 6ft per year and they are easy for you to cut and root and make new plants.
 
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I don't see where anyone has mentioned clumping bamboo here...  There are kinds of timber bamboo that fall into that category that grow really fast.  If you keep them mulched at the bottom you could also eat the shoots...

Edible landscaping of all kinds would be great...this might be a good place for himalayan blackberries...yes, they can be invasive but you can just mow or chop what starts growing in places you don't want them...

...and you get blackberries.

 
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Running bamboo is easy to contain if you have it in a pasture where the livestock (sheep, cattle, or horses) can eat any shoots that come up outside the area that you fence off as the bamboo grove.  You'll need a minimum of 50 feet between the edge of the grove and the nearest property line. I keep the sheep fenced out of the grove during the shooting season, but the rest of the year they can enter the grove for shade and shelter.  In late winter when the pasture grasses have been eaten down, I'll thin canes out and feed them to the sheep.

I you decide to go with bamboo and have enough room in your pasture, you could space the line of bamboo 50 feet back from the property line.  It would still block the undesired view and not escape off your property. Phyllostachys makinoi, P. rubromarginata, P. aurea, and P. bambusoides are all good choices.

Bamboo is easy to eradicate if you have sheep.  Just clear cut the grove and pen the sheep over the cut grove.  They will eat every  shoot that appears until the rhizomes are depleted and dead

 
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not a permanent solution but why not consider growing hops? Traditionally grown on high wire so they could provide a high hedge during the warmer months. Might be able to make a few $$ with the local hobby brewers.  Just a thought.
 
Lori Whit
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Colette at Bealtaine Cottage plants bamboo among her woodland garden.  She talked about it in a recent video on YouTube.  It works fine for her, but things to keep in mind:

1) planted closely with other things (trees, shrubs, etc.) so there's not a ton of room for it to spread

2) tended every day (literally, she walks the land every day and keeps things in balance)

3) has a purpose that it's used for (actually she mentioned at least two uses she has for it, and uses lots of it IIRC)

4) a different climate - Bealtaine Cottage is in Ireland and the climate differences could have a real effect on what can be managed.  I wouldn't like to say for sure that something which works fine there would be just as fine in your area. 

Since many people have already mentioned it's a risk (legally if nothing else), it's certainly worth being cautious.

I must admit I see a lot of bamboo around here, and I always want to plant my own grove of it!  It's so pretty!  But I can see there are definitely issues and reasons not to...
 
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There are a number of other options besides bamboo, which has substantial downsides.  Willow has been recommended - grows fast, can literally grow from a green stick poked into the ground.  There are alders that are fast growing and fix nitrogen, some very fast growing poplars. there are a number of choices other than running bamboo.

One thing - you seem t be focused on one purpose only - blocking the sight line to the neighbor's house.  What else can you get out of what you use to do that? What other goals might you have for something growing in that pasture?

Do you have a sense of how high the screen needs to be to block the sight lines?  Photos don't convey a sense of scale very well.

If you went with the running bamboo, how would you contain it? What uses might you have for it, so that the work that goes into maintaining it yields something more than just a  barrier between you and your neighbors?

Something like sea buckthorn could make a highly effective barrier - both visual and physical, while producing extremely nutritious fruit for your family. 

If it were my situation, I would be looking for something that would get me the visual barrier while producing some other, additional benefits and not adding a significant amount of unproductive work.
 
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Perhaps some evergreen trees? There are many sterile hybrids that grow very tall very quickly such as Leyland Cypress that won't rain down seedlings if you'd prefer a hedge that won't. They also are extremely forgiving of pruning and hedge to basically whatever heigh you want. We have a hedgerow of them planted that has never been topped and it is impenetrable and about 40 feet tall after 15 years. The trees are about 5 feet apart - they would fill a gap twice that wide quickly as well. Every now and again we cut off side branches and chip them for some nice mulch. They sprout right back and fill any space we create.

Or, if you're more patient, a native conifer would probably work too! If you're interested in getting food or forage for your animals off of these as well, try planting hardy kiwis, grapes, or passionfruit at the base of what you plant. They'll climb right up!
 
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I don't know much about clumping bamboo, but I've seen beautiful hedges of osage orange. It was used back in the day for wind rows around fields.  It a thorny tree that takes a few years and some work to get worked into itself to create a thick spikey hedge, but it is a tree so you can let it grow as tall as you want once the hedge is developed. Bonus... it's thorny and strong enough to keep the deer and neighbors out and the cows, goats or pigs in. It grows a fruit deer like to eat (so less munching on your garden crops) and you can eventually manicure it and produce nice rot resisitant fence poles for other areas you might not hedge. A quick internet search and you'll find instructions on how to do this. I've read 3 years to get a good hedge grown, but am skeptical. I'd like to try it myself, but opted for the other option I'll share below.

The other option is a fast growing hybrid salix willow planted within about 18 inches of each other along your natural fence line.  If you can keep the deer away from them, they grow fast and fill out more as you trim them. You could start out with a dozen cuttings (I found mine on the bay) and take cuttings each spring to root and plant to extend your fence line at no additional cost but time. Not a quick fix, but fairly economical.

Good luck to you!

 
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Michael Cox wrote:Bamboo is probably a really bad idea. Once it gets established it will run and run, and be nearly impossible to control or eradicate. You are trading a short term gain (privacy) in exchange for a future liability. One that you, or the subsequent landowners, will have to manage.

Better options for screening:
Tall hedging trees. Here in the UK poplar is very common on field boundaries. It grows tall and straight and forms excellent windbreaks and privacy screens. It pollards easily as well, so they are typically cut back down to around 10ft tall every 15 to 20 years - producing plenty of firewood.



Bamboo is a great idea for planting instead of fences. You just have to know how to limit the growth of its root system. Unlike most plants, the root system of bamboo is the horizontal position and not vertical. It is this feature and contributes to the formation of bamboo forests. To limit the growth of the root system of bamboo is a simple solution. Digging a trench 0.5-0.7 m deep, filled with sand at 20 to 30cm., shrouded geotextile the entire gutter with a sunset on the side. Planted seedlings to a depth of 0.3 m, so that soil covers the root system. On the bottom of the planting pit is to put some sea pebbles or crushed stone. If you are planning on planting several plants, the distance between them should be about 0.5 m. the Geotextile will not allow the roots exit the borders of the ditch beyond.
 
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" (quote) Bamboo is a great idea for planting instead of fences.


You just have to know how to limit the growth of its root system. Unlike most plants, the root system of bamboo is the horizontal position and not vertical. It is this feature and contributes to the formation of bamboo forests. To limit the growth of the root system of bamboo is a simple solution. Digging a trench 0.5-0.7 m deep, filled with sand at 20 to 30cm., shrouded geotextile the entire gutter with a sunset on the side. Planted seedlings to a depth of 0.3 m, so that soil covers the root system. On the bottom of the planting pit is to put some sea pebbles or crushed stone. If you are planning on planting several plants, the distance between them should be about 0.5 m. the Geotextile will not allow the roots exit the borders of the ditch beyond.

Yes, bamboo is a good option.
Simple solution (i am citing): Digging a trench 0.5-0.7 m deep.
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Elizabeth Foushee wrote:My husband and I live in Alabama and have 44 acres. Most of it is pasture and very picturesque, except for one thing, the neighbors’ compound. We would like to plant some running bamboo along our fence and far, distant pasture in order to have some privacy for ourselves.


Have you approached that neighbor about installing some sort of fence for privacy? For all you know, he may want the same thing. You could then agree on a proper fence that would not offend anybody, nor be invasive.
You call it "a compound". That's an odd word to describe a farm or other property. Is it an artillery range you are hoping to hide from view? Bamboo will not stop bullets if that is the situation, and you may be better off involving a Sheriff. At least pick his brains. What have you got to lose? He may give you some good suggestions on people to talk to either to oppose what your neighbor is doing or refer you to your County extension. They might have better suggestions, and even cheaper than such an invasive.
I'm not sure about the law in Alabama, but in Wisconsin, a fence can be erected so the 2 neighbors share the cost. Is the relationship that bad that you don't feel you can go talk to them? I have an apiary, and I've found that a small gift of honey can sweeten relationships sometimes. Don't give up.
Also, since this is an invasive, would you be putting yourself in legal jeopardy in you went through with this?
 
Michael Cox
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Yes, bamboo is a good option.
Simple solution (i am citing): Digging a trench 0.5-0.7 m deep.



My complaint about bamboo is that it requires maintenance otherwise it spreads, and the time needed to maintain it is a cost both in time and energy that cannot be used for more fruitful activities. Digging a trench such as you describe works but only if the trench is maintained. It fit fills with sediment due to rainfall, or collects a deep enough layer of mulch from blown leaves, it loses its effectiveness. Given that the bamboo - once planted - will be there for the indefinite future, can you be certain there will never be a year when such maintenance of the trench is missed? What about illness? Or a period when work takes you away from the property?

 
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I'm going to go against the grain of most comments here and say bamboo is your best choice.  
If you or your neighbor has livestock, no worries, they'll eat it.  After all, bamboo is the largest member of the Graminae (grass) family.  The protein content of bamboo runs between 20 and 30% - higher than alfalfa - which means cattle like it because its a grass and goats like it due to its high protein content.  In short, there are few plants that grow faster and provide a higher quality forage than bamboo.  No need to do a lot of work to control it - make the livestock do that for you.  Plus it's the best option for screening out neighbors.  And it makes a highly sustainable building material - http://erdakroft.com/Erdakroftfarm/quincha.html ; If your not running livestock on your 40 acres you might want to consider doing so.  You can run them along the fence line to keep the bamboo controlled so it doesn't cross into the neighbors property.   Can't recommend trenches with barriers, they'll only last a few years - the rhizomes will eventually find a way over, under or through them.  Besides they are costly and labor intensive to install and maintain. Two small bamboo leptomorph (running) bamboo plants would be sufficient to cover the view in a few years.  I recommend any of the members of the genus Phyllostachys in the 30' to 40' tall range.  They make better forage and have a higher protein content than the taller species. You could also plant pahcymorph (clumping) species but most of them aren't nearly as cold hardy as the Phyllostachys.  One of the most cold hardy pachymorph species is Bambusa multiplex, of which there are several forms.  For hardiness and stout, versatile culms, go with the standard form.  With much shorter rhizomes they'll only spread a fraction of the distance of the Phylllstachys so you'll need a lot more plants - http://bamboo.org/index.php
 
John Saltveit
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Another option is to plant alder-nitrogen fixing, or willow and run evergreen vines up it.  Blue passion vine is one to think about.  Some of the honeysuckles would probably also be evergreen in your area.  You could alternate vines-some edible, like grape and kiwi, others evergreen. Others like a type of akebia are evergreen and semi-edible
John S
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I'd like to weigh in with a number of considerations:

1. With all the weather weirding we've been having, have you considered it there's a place your property would benefit from a swale? Most swales on grade are designed to move dirt the shortest distance, but if you're bothered by sound as well as light, a berm or better yet a hugelkulture planted with trees/shrubs might be better than just trees/bamboo to deflect the noise and block the light.

2. Have you considered driving around the area and looking at what others have planted as hedges or hedgerows? This might give you an idea of what grows well in your particular ecosystem. If you aren't too shy, you could then actually ask the homeowners how much effort their hedge takes to maintain.

3. I agree with Krofter Young - not all bamboos are created equal. I planted Phyllostachys dulcis over 10 years ago and it's very easy to maintain. It's great for garden stakes, and any culms that are silly enough to come up north of the fence provide a tasty treat for Heinrich, Marguerite and Junina (our geese). Any surplus culms that come up in the patch itself, become tasty treats for me, as P. dulcis is very edible and I use it in wraps and stir-fries. If you actually learned to grow bamboo properly as a food crop, the more common variety would be P. edulis. Our ground is heavy clay and I'd have to mulch and work at things much more to actually make a crop I could sell, but I have heard of that being done for the high-end restaurant business. That said, I have a friend whose neighbor planted "Japanese building bamboo" on their relatively small lot, on the lot line, less than 10 feet from houses. That neighborhood watered their lawns, which just encouraged the bamboo to move towards the moisture. Wrong plant + wrong location = unhappy neighbors and a dead plant. Many people have had that experience with bamboo, which is why research is so important. It is important with bamboo to cut out the older culms to maintain spacing. If it gets too tight, it becomes much more difficult to get the old culms out without having to chop down everything, which is bad for the plant as a whole. Personally, that's no more work than maintaining most plants. People are starting to realize that even "natural woodlands" benefit from thinning over-crowded trees, removing dead branches, and encouraging useful plants.
 
Michael Cox
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For those proposing bamboo, my understanding is that he is planning on planting it right up against the fenceline with the neighbours. Grazing on his side will not control spread across the boundary fence.
 
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I have 10 species of running bamboo on our 5 acres. The groves are still small except for the Golden bamboo which is over 30 years old. Several folks have already mentioned the ditch method to contain the bamboo. A ditch needs maintenance twice a year in the spring and fall to cut any rhizomes that jump the ditch. I say ditch, but usually it is a trench filled with mulch or sand. You drag a pick through it and cut the rhizomes. I

Honestly, for your situation, a line of Leyland cypress or Emerald arbovitae planted 15 or 20 feet off the fenceline would work best. They can grow 3 feet a year and will block the view in 5 years.

If you must have bamboo, plant it 40 or 50 feet off the fenceline and trench around the area where you want it to stay. Phylostachus edulis or Phylostachus bambusoides will grow up to 70 feet tall and 4 or more inches in diameter.
 
Mike Turner
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Location: Upstate SC
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Another possibility is growing a clump-runner bamboo such as Semiarundinaria fastuosa (temple bamboo), it's common name derives since it is commonly found growing on temple grounds in Japan and China.  Temple bamboo is very plastic in its response to cultivation.  When left to its own devices, it forms a grove with its canes spaced 1 to 2 feet apart.   But if the wandering shoots are removed then it redirects its energy into producing shoots next to the existing canes, eventually forming a dead ringer for a clumping bamboo with its canes spaced 1 to 3 inches apart and so dense that even a cat couldn't wiggle through it.  As you keep removing any wandering shoots, you get fewer and fewer of them as the plant redorects its shooting activity into the areas where it is allowed to grow.  Compared to a Phyllostachys or Pleioblastus bamboo, it is much easier to keep contained.  Gets 35 feet high, cold hardy to -5 degrees F, fairly shade tolerant, and shoots later than Phyllostachys so avoiding late frost damage.  An ideal bamboo for growing into an impenetrable hedge, producing a total visual barrier from ground level to 30 feet high.  When coerced to grow in its clumping form, mine so far has only run about 10 feet from the clump (15 years old, 35 feet high), but will run 25 feet when allowed to grow as a runner.
 
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Bamboo is the best choice. Many plants given 30+ years would be considered invasive. Bamboo can easily be maintained with a lawn mower or weed whacked and if you catch them early enough you can simply kick the shoots out. If you continually kill all shoots within 10ft of the neighbors fence the rhizome will not be able to establish in that area. It will begin to spread in the "area of least resistance" the bamboo shoots are great food source and healthy for you! I would recommend black bamboo cuz it's fun to look at! Also yellow groove Bamboo spreads quickly and is very robust.
https://youtu.be/t8dr-ZkxZI8

Attached is Alphonse karr it's a clumper that can be quickly cloned to make a hedge
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I also like bamboo. The density, speed, and evergreen nature are a triple whammy to overcome the viewshed problem described. Also the price will be right. The OP mentioned she didn't want to spend a bunch of money on purchased ornamentals. While buying enough rhisomes to establish 500 ft of fenceline would cost $$$ too, it's entirely possible there are some stands around whose owners would let you dig rhizomes for free.

Containment is not hard with either livestock or lawnmower. Cutting the new canes as they emerge will effectively stop the bamboo's spread.

I'd also go for a Phyllostachus or two.

I'm trying to grow more bamboo than I currently have! https://cairncrestfarm.com/blog/bamboo-yield/
 
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Location: SE Central Oregon, future vision seems to be in the pines though : )
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I like these     http://www.growfastwillows.com/  ; they can even be used for fodder.
 
The moth suit and wings road is much more exciting than taxes. Or this tiny ad:
Rocket Canner Fryer and Forge - Draft Plans
https://permies.com/t/64465/Rocket-Canner-Fryer-Forge-Draft
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