AN ACT REGULATING THE PLANTING AND SALE OF RUNNING BAMBOO.
The Bamboo Wars continued today in Connecticut, a state that has been trying to mitigate the damage of certain plants since at least 1726 (Connecticut keeps trying to ban plants Invasive Notes (2010)) Today the Connecticut House of Representatives voted (130 yea; 3 nay; 17 absent according to a source involved in the creation and support of the legislation) to concur with a Senate bill that makes it possible for a landowner faced with unwanted incursions of a neighboring planting of certain bamboo species liable for the cost of making the aggrieved property owner whole. A property owner subjected to uncontrolled growth of running bamboo from a neighboring property will have means to recover costs incurred by the removal and mitigation of the plant. The point of the bill is to place the burden of the cost of damages to an uninfested property onto the shoulders and pocketbook of the person who chose to plant running bamboo and let it run unfettered.
The mission of the landowners who are faced with the rampant spread of running bamboo is to place the cost of control back onto the original planter rather than the receiver. Traditionally unsuspecting neighbors were condemned to pay for the control of a plant they never asked for and most certainly never planted. Historically people turned to plant bans which while perhaps reducing future establishment through intentional introductions, did little to relieve the costs for those stuck with the externalization of the cost of management by those who found reason to plant running bamboo in the first place. The result in a few cases has led to a form of terrorism by bamboo, and expensive control costs in most cases.
The specific species behind the Bamboo Wars in Connecticut is Phyllostachys aureosulcata McClure (1945) affecting primarily cities, suburbs, home gardens and their surrounding areas,The species can damage sidewalks and driveways, destroy swimming pools, invades septic systems, establish in turf and lawns, and shade out other vegetation (Rickel, 2012). Multiple townships have established ordinances restricting the planting and growth of running bamboos, and many of those specifically target Phyllostachys spp. (e.g.,Brookhaven NY, 2012; West Bradford PA, 2011). The species forms monocultures (Ward, 2011) which changes community structure in natural areas.(USDA APHIS 2012).