Bamboo for Urban Greening and Public Landscaping

The importance of green urban areas cannot be underestimated— especially in this day and age when city dwellers make up over half the world's population. Green areas are not only beautiful and relaxing to the eye, but also critical for the environment. Plants have an essential ecological function in purifying the air that we breathe. Plants provide a green canopy, transpire water, and absorb the atmospheric carbon that is a hazardous pollutant of modern cities. 

Thoughtful planning is necessary to maximize the ecological, esthetic, and economic impact of an urban greening strategy, and the choice of the suitable vegetation for particular purposes is crucial.

Bamboo is widely used for urban greening in Asia. In China bamboo is planted in parks and along walk-ways.  In many parts of southeast Asia bamboo is planted along the verges of highways, both to prevent erosion and to create a pleasant visual effect. 

In Western Europe, bamboos are increasingly used for public landscaping. There are several reasons for this: perhaps the most obvious one is that bamboo stays green all year round and many of the hardy varieties that were  introduced in Europe nearly 200 years ago can withstand temperatures as low as -35°C.  

Another important factor is cost: bamboos are very affordable plants, and they require little maintenance which is a definite plus point for city councils working on tight budgets. 

Bamboos are multi-purpose landscaping plants. They can be used as solitary specimen plants, as groundcover, as low or tall mounds, or as impenetrable hedges.   The extensive assortment of bamboos of different sizes and habit preferences make the plant suitable for virtually every application of public landscaping.  

Last but not least, bamboos are quite simply beautiful plants that can be combined with trees or flowering plants.  

The advantages of bamboo are summed up in the following points:

  • Evergreen plants
  • Hardy plants (frost resistant)
  • Affordable price
  • Low maintenance
  • Useful as groundcover, hedges, mounds, screens, etc.
  • Can be planted in combination with other trees and shrubs
  • Can be planted along roadsides to act as a tall visual screen.  

Selected Bamboos for Public Landscaping Applications


Ground Cover (0.4m - 0.6m) 

Low Mounds (0.6m - 1.5m) 

Medium height mounds (1.5m - 3.0m)

Tall Mounds (3m - 8m)

Tall screens and Hedges (3m - 8m)

Low to Mid height screens and hedges (1m - 3m)

Solitary Specimen Plants


Recommended Plant Spacing

Size Mound or Grove Hedge or Screen
Dwarf bamboo 0.4 m - 0.6m 0.25 m - 0.5 m
Short bamboo 0.8 m - 1.0 m 0.5 m - 0.75 m
Medium sized bamboo 1.2 m - 1.5 m 0.75 m - 1.25 m
Tall bamboo 2.0 m -3.0 m 1.0 m - 2.5 m

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