Bloomington residents, if there's bamboo growing on your property, you may get a visit from a city compliance officer. That's because yellow groove bamboo is a banned plant that can cause sidewalks to buckle and is blamed for an electrical fire that spread to a garage.

For the past four years, Bloomington residents have been reporting locations of tall, dense stands of bamboo they want removed for blocking sidewalks, spreading into their yards and growing into power lines and roadways.

Whether it's been planted as a fence or has spread from a nearby location, yellow groove bamboo is invasive and city officials are working with residents to stop its spread and eradicate it. But that's not an easy or quick task.

The invasive bamboo can grow up to three feet a day and has roots strong enough to disturb sidewalks and driveways. The plant native to China can grow to 15-25 feet in height and is one of the bamboo species that has underground roots, known as rhizomes, that spread out quickly to form more shoots.

Yellow groove bamboo is on the city's list of banned plants and compliance officers are working with residents whose properties have the invasive plant to cut it down and stop it from spreading. When a report of bamboo is given to the city, the compliance officers issue a warning to the property owners. The officers work with the residents to come up with a plan within 90 days to begin cutting down and disposing of the bamboo.

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