CHAMPAIGN - Champaign City Council members have approved an ordinance that will ban running bamboo within city limits beginning on February 3, 2015.
Under the ordinance, running bamboo is banned from being planted on the parkway and on private property. However, running bamboo that is already planted is allowed, with restrictions being placed on how the plants are maintained.
Property owners that have planted running bamboo are encouraged to call the city's Neighborhood Services Department before the ordinance goes into effect in order to document the existence of the plants, and to obtain a copy of the maintenance requirements.
Officials say running bamboo can become a nuisance due to the aggressive spread of underground rhizomes, which can result with new bamboo emerging far away from the original plant. Running bamboo can also grow to heights of 30 feet or more, which can interfere with overhead utility lines. If left unchecked, running bamboo can move from yard to yard, block sidewalks, and even cause potential property maintenance concerns.