Can Bamboo Damage Tarmac ?

The simple answer is Yes.

Whilst bamboo will not simply pop up through tarmac that is in good condition and of suitable depth, it absolutely will compromise any defect, area of sub standard construction or edges of tarmac, for example the edges of drives. 

Bamboo has two main types, clumping and running. It is running bamboo that causes most cases of damage to tarmac, although the rhizomes emitted from mature clumping bamboo will equally cause the same tarmac damage. 

Bamboo rhizomes spread rapidly unseen underground, in mature groves they can spread meters in a year. 

It is this rhizome expansion that will compromise any defect, the rhizome as it grows will open cracks and new shoots will grow up in the new growing season, with new canes rapidly growing upwards and the foliage fuelling energy reserves. 

The simple increase in rhizome mass as it grows can also create its own cracks and weak points, as it grows the constant and increasing pressure will create bulges in the tarmac eventually leading to the tarmac damage. 


Once rhizomes have encroached under tarmac it is simply only a matter of time until damage occurs. If you know you have encroachment under the tarmac you must act without delay. 


Bamboo can be highly invasive, if you have bamboo growing near any tarmac be very aware, bamboo does damage tarmac. 

As the following two photographs show bamboo damage will start at the edges, generally being the weakest point in any hard landscaping.

The public footpath photo shows how bamboo has encroached under the fence and the rhizomes have now started to push up through the tarmac path edge where the makeup of the path is poor. This growth will continue and the rhizomes will gradually push further under and into the makeup and cause greater damage. It has to be remembered that this is a public footpath so there will be legal consequences to allow continued growth.

The scond photo shows how bamboo rhizomes have been allowed to grow under a newly laid resin path, and even with the small amount have started to lift and crack the new surface.

It is these early signs that need to be spotted and remedial works carried out before damage is significant.


Can Bamboo Damage Tarmac
Can Bamboo Damage Tarmac

Devon Arborists  -  Bamboo Removal Specialists

Bamboo Removal covering Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

To find out more and to see case studies "Click" to visist our Page and see Case Studies Bamboo Removal

Call our friendly team on 07485 411618 who will quickly be able to help with youir bamboo problem.

Bamboo Removal Devon Somerset Dorset
Bamboo Removal Devon Somerset Dorset
Bamboo Removal Devon Somerset Dorset
Bamboo Removal Devon Somerset Dorset