Town in Midst of Bamboo Battle

“Bamboo is taking over the township,” says councilwoman

Invasive bamboo may soon be banned in a Delaware County community.

Officials in Upper Darby, Pa. are set to vote on an ordinance that would ban the planting of new bamboo plants and regulate existing ones. 

The bamboo battle began last summer after a resident complained during a council meeting that bamboo shoots from the home of her neighbor, Susan Rothrock, were encroaching on her property line. Township residents say 10 complaints in all have been lodged against Rothrock.

The trees, planted by her son, have been in her backyard for 20 years. Rothrock says it's her right to grow whatever she wants on her own property.

"I love it," she said. "The birds go in there, it's like their refuge. It's just nice. I like it."

But not everyone does. Aside from Rothrock's neighbor, Councilwoman Colleen Marsini says residents have been complaining about bamboo spreading into their yards. She says, “Bamboo is taking over the township,” cracking sidewalks and causing other problems.

The ordinance would prohibit new plantings of bamboo. It would require that any bamboo already planted be maintained within 40 feet of the edge of the pavement and that metal sheathing be installed to prevent the plant from spreading. Violations would carry a fine of up to $1,000.

If the ordinance passes, Rothrock will have to remove the plants and keep them from growing from 40 feet away from her property line. The council is expected to vote on the ordinance Wednesday night during a public hearing.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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