If you are thinking about putting up a fence around your yard or just want to create some privacy in a certain section of your yard (out of view from neighbors and passerby's), consider using bamboo. Whether used as a live, growing fence or from harvested bamboo cane poles, making a fence out of bamboo does wonders for the environment. As a living fence, bamboo absorbs more Carbon Dioxide than most other bushes. It also takes a load off of rapidly declining hardwood forests.
Since bamboo is technically a grass, it grows at a staggering rate, which can be up to one foot per day (depending on the species - there are over 1,000). It also spreads fast, which for some homeowners can be a drawback. Once bamboo takes hold, it is difficult to ever get rid of it. However, the "invasiveness" of bamboo is often exaggerated. Those cases in which bamboo has taken over result from years of neglect. Mowing down young shoots and periodic pruning will keep bamboo contained.
Bamboo mainly spreads via its roots and/or rhizomes, either by clumping or running. Clumping species of bamboo tend to grow slower than runners, whose growth varies considerably depending on soil conditions and climate.
If looking to plant bamboo in your yard, determine how much space it is you want to fill and how much overall space you have to work with. Then, choose a species accordingly. Phyllostachys vivax is a common nursery grown species that is fast growing and cold hardy. Just be sure to regularly maintain it. Live bamboo fences work better when needing to conceal one section of the yard facing a single direction. If needing to put up a fence around the entire perimeter of the yard, you might want to consider using harvested bamboo poles. Bamboo is harvested for commercial timber and is made into many different types of fences, including rolled fences of bamboo shots or more durable fences made from large bamboo canes.
Natural bamboo fence in Maui, Hawaii
Although it costs more than standard lumber fences, bamboo is more pleasing on the eye, is very durable and directly impacts the environment in a positive way. On that final note, if you are looking for bamboo hardwood flooring, please read: Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring