Bamboo fences can be a great addition to a complete privacy fence or a means of enclosing a small garden or play area. You can purchase pre-made bamboo rolls or panels and simply install over extant fencing or over supports. You can also do it all yourself: make your own bamboo panels and install over supports for a completely custom look.
Using Bamboo Fence Rolls/Panels
Find a source for bamboo fencing. You can check your local landscape supply centers and nurseries, or go online and do some price comparing. Look for sources that indicate the diameter of the poles or canes used in the fence construction.
Determine how much you need. Measure the perimeter of the area to be enclosed by the bamboo fencing; you’ll need to order an adequate amount of panels or rolls to cover that measurement. Be sure to order a bit extra just in case.
Install supports. If you already have an existing chain-link fence, you can install bamboo fencing over it quite easily and it will serve as supports. Simply use galvanized wire to attach the bamboo fencing to the chain-link fence at intervals of 10 to 14 inches. If you do not already have a fence over which you will install your bamboo fencing, you will need to install supports, both vertical and horizontal. For the vertical supports, it’s usually best to use 4-by-4 inch posts that have been treated so they will not rot when exposed to the elements.
For the horizontal posts, 2-by-4 inch planks or sturdy bamboo poles are sufficient. You’ll want to install your vertical supports at evenly spaced points, either according to the length of the panels or about every 6 feet if you are using a roll. Make sure the vertical supports are securely installed digging a deep hole and embedding the ends of the poles in concrete. Attach 3 horizontal supports, evenly spaced, to the horizontal supports. Some bamboo fence panels will come with horizontal supports attached.
Install the fencing. If you are using fence panels with attached supports, simply nail (if they are planks) to the vertical supports or wire (if they are bamboo poles) to the vertical supports. If you are using a bamboo fence roll, use galvanized wire to attach the bamboo to your horizontal supports at intervals of 10 to 14 inches.
Making It All Yourself
Find a source for sturdy bamboo. You want straight poles that are at least 3/4 inch in diameter for a good, sturdy, privacy fence around the yard. If you’re simply wanting a bamboo fence around a smaller, more protected area, you could use canes that are around 1/2 inch in diameter, or you could even use split and flattened bamboo. Determine which type of bamboo you will need and find a source.
Determine how much bamboo you need. You’ll need the perimeter of the area you intend to put the fence around, and then you will need to calculate 2 things: 1) how many fence sections are needed for that area, and 2) how many bamboo canes are needed for each fence section. You can decide how long to make your sections; it’s probably easiest to set the length per section to correspond evenly with the total length of the fence. For example, if you need to cover 20 feet with your fence, then your sections could be 4 feet long, which would mean that you need 5 complete sections. If you tried to fit 6 foot long sections in a 20-foot long fence, you’d have to split a section which just creates additional work. Determine the approximate number of canes you need per section by dividing the length of each section by the diameter of the cane; this should give you a fairly accurate number. Be sure to purchase some extras to have on hand.
Construct the fence sections. The typical bamboo fence is made of canes that are tightly laced together with durable but pliable wire. Lay the canes out on a flat surface, then attach the wire to the end piece and lace it through the rest of the canes. You’ll want to have wire laced through at least 2 points, one upper and one lower, on the canes. If you are using very tall canes or want an extra sturdy fence, go ahead and lace the wire through at 3 points: upper, middle and lower. Pull the wire tight and attach firmly to the end cane on the opposite end of the section.
Follow the directions outlined above for installing supports. Once you have your supports in place, you will follow the instructions above for installing the fencing on the supports.
- Bamboo canes or bamboo panels/rolls
- Galvanized wire
- 4-by-4 inch support poles
- 2-by-4 inch planks or larger bamboo poles
- Special Thanks to Ricardo Marquez for the lovely photo!