Bamboozled: Bucks County town tryin’ to be like us


We’re just famous. That’s all there is to it. Or else, the is obsessed with us like the New York Times is obsessed with Philadelphia. This time, Bucks County folks are planting the seeds of thought for a bamboo ordinance. The article mentions we Townies are pioneers, as we already have one in place.

(BTW – did you know bamboo is an “invasive grass?” Makes us think of dorm potheads whose activities kept us from studying. <- That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.)

Here’s the article:

HILLTOWN – Hilltown Township has a plant problem.

One thing it doesn’t have yet: a solution.

The township is working to draft an ordinance to regulate the growth of bamboo. But the quick-growing grass, township officials have discovered, is more complex than they once thought.

When left uncontrolled, certain types of bamboo, most notably “running bamboo,” can spread quickly, jumping property lines and invading yards, growing as tall as 30 to 50 feet. After residents complained last year, township officials began pursuing a possible ordinance, said Rick Schnaedter, township manager.

An ordinance was introduced during the township’s December meeting, and supervisors are to revisit the issue this month.

Township officials now are working through many issues, Schnaedter said. Bamboo regulations could be difficult to enforce, and he said officials must determine who is responsible for clearing it – the individuals whose yards have been invaded, the residents who own the property from which the bamboo originated, or even municipal workers.

And some residents don’t want any regulations at all.

“It’s a very difficult situation to deal with,” Schnaedter said.

Hilltown joins other municipalities throughout the region that have considered bamboo ordinances. Delaware County’s Haverford Township and Bucks County’s Tinicum Township, among others, have regulations in place.

– Caitlin McCabe

H-Town’s ordinance is a 4-page document that has a lot of (not too obscure) legalese in it. Summed up: No bamboo.

Here at Havertownies HQ the former neighbor planted it, years ago, in the tiny strip between our driveways for a privacy screen (he was quite anti-social) and so far it has killed at least 2 trees in its path.

There is also a big grove of bamboo on the Pennsy trail, if anyone is looking to harvest some instead of paying $5 for it at Lowe’s. It does stay green all year and makes a nice backdrop for 1st day of school photos, but that’s basically all the good we can say about it.

picture of a toddler and 8 year old in front of a screen of bamboo

Photo Credits:

Italian Bamboo: Moyan Brenn on Flickr

Townie HQ kids 2008. Christine Cavalier


Google Search “NYT obsessed with Philly” <-but for real, tho

Bucks County Bamboo article on

Haverford Township Ordinance (pdf)