News of the recent bamboo fire in Camp Verde showcases a fast growing problem in the Verde Valley. Our local bamboo, or giant reed, is an invasive pest that is highly flammable. Its ability to guzzle vast amounts of water allows it to grow up to six inches a day. This allows it to crowd out other plants that would create a decent shade canopy and habitat for wildlife. It grows so thickly that it can dam up streams and washes during flood events, causing property damage.
Eradication of the giant reed is difficult. Its roots grow so densely that mature patches of it cannot be removed by digging. Instead, it must be cut and immediately and carefully poisoned. Further information can be found at various sites such as www.tncweeds.ucdavis.edu/esadocs/arundona.html. Seminars on invasive plants are being planned for late March and September. Organized efforts to remove this menace along the Verde River will begin this summer.
We must all become aware of this pest plant before the giant reed grows into a giant headache.