Bamboo as Sound Barrier

In this blog, I will be explaining all the relevant details regarding bamboo as a sound barrier. If you are into the idea of growing bamboo as a sound barrier because of your annoying neighbourhood, here we are to guide you all you need to know. So, let’s get started!

Bamboo as Sound Barrier

Bamboo — this grass-like plant is native to Asia and belongs to the grass family. The plant grows quickly and has hollow stems. Bamboo can grow 3 feet in 24 hours, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing plants. Just be careful not to put them in places where you don’t want them. Running bamboo is not considered invasive, but clumping bamboo is.

Many of the same plants that make excellent privacy screens and hedges also make excellent noise buffers. Plants have a softer texture that absorbs and diffuses sound better than the hard components of a fence, hence they are typically preferable to a fence for this reason. Evergreen plants, such as fir shrubs, are ideal for this because their foliage lasts all year. Bamboo, among many other plants and tiny trees, works well for this purpose.

Bamboos that clump vs. bamboos that run

However, when purchasing plants for your bamboo privacy hedge, make sure they are labelled as “clumping” bamboos rather than “running” bamboos. Due to their penchant for spreading out of control, the latter give bamboo a poor name. In many sections of the country, running bamboo is considered an invasive plant.

Bamboo Clumping for Sound Barriers

Fargesia rufa, one of several species included under the common name of hardy bamboo, is a cold-hardy clumping bamboo that works well as a privacy screen and noise buffer. This plant grows quickly and tolerates more sun than most other cold-hardy clumping kinds. It is hardy to USDA zone 5 and is a fast grower (although some afternoon shade is still advised during the heat of the summer). To make the hedge, space the plants about 5 feet apart. They’ll grow to be 8 to 10 feet tall in no time. Mulch the root zone in the winter in cooler areas.

Asian Wonder is another tough clumping bamboo (Fargesia scabrida). The plant features narrow leaves with orange culm sheaths and steel-blue stems that develop to olive green. It grows well in USDA hardiness zones 5 to 8.

Fargesia robusta (also known as ‘Pingwu’) is an upright bamboo with a clumping habit that thrives in the hot, humid temperatures of the Southeast United States. USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9 are ideal for it.

If you live on a busy street or have noisy neighbours, you may be seeking ways to reduce the noise. Plants can be used as a sound barrier to keep things a little quieter.

So, which plants work well as a sound barrier? 

An excellent sound barrier reduces noise in all seasons by using evergreen trees and shrubs (such as holly and juniper). As part of a sound barrier, plants with broad leaves and dense branches function well. Noise cancellation can also be aided by a ground cover (such as ivy).

Tools Required
Yarding Tools

What Kinds of Plants Make Effective Sound Barriers?

Plants absorb and deflect sound waves emitted by passing cars or noisy neighbours, acting as sound barriers.

Sound attenuation is greatly aided by hedges made of evergreen plants and trees.

The best sound barriers are plants with the following characteristics:

How to Make Your Garden Less Noisy Due to Traffic?

  • Dense, thick foliage (this means either big leaves that are packed close together or closely spaced needles)
  • A large number of branches (ideally found both high and low on the plant)
  • Rough bark (coarse surfaces are better at absorbing sound)
  • You’re tall (these will block more noise as they grow)
  • Extensive (so you can block more noise with fewer plants)
  • Evergreen (since they don’t shed their leaves in the winter, these will block noise in all seasons)
  • Rapidly expanding (so that your privacy hedge will grow to full size much sooner)

Because it’s difficult to find plants with all of these characteristics, you’ll have to prioritise.

To create your sound barrier, you can use any combination of noise-cancelling plants. I’d concentrate on the following three essential elements:

  • Landscaping (plants that stay short and crawl along the ground)
  • Trees and shrubs (plants that have thick foliage and grow to a medium height)
  • Plants and trees (the tallest plants in your sound barrier, which block sound that goes over shrubs)

Each plant has a distinct height at which it may block sounds. If you have the space, you can add two layers of plants (one behind the other) for increased noise protection.

At various heights, a variety of plants will filter out various sorts of noise. Using numerous plants, according to Oregon State University Extension, decreases the risk of disease spreading through your sound barrier.

Now that we have a rough understanding of how to construct a sound barrier, what exact types of plants should we use?

What Can I Plant to Reduce Noise?

Plants can be used to produce a sound barrier in a variety of ways. You can choose a combination of trees, shrubs, and creeping plants that complements your existing landscaping depending on the aesthetic you want in your yard.

Adding additional layers of plants (one on top of the other) will assist to suppress noise even further. Using multiple layers of vegetation (placed close to the source of the noise) will create a better sound barrier, according to the Cooperative Extension.

Let’s start with the plants that grow on the ground.

Plants for Ground Cover (Low Height) As A Sound Barrier

These plants aren’t going to get very tall. They will, however, spread out along the ground, creeping and crawling to cover a huge area.

Ivy will climb, but keep it at ground level to offer ground cover and create a sound barrier.

That’s exactly what you want because it will help to muffle sounds that would otherwise travel beneath plants or trees’ branches.

To help with noise reduction, here are some nice ground cover plants to consider:

  • Creeping Fig 
  • Creeping Juniper
  • Hosta
  • Ivy
  • Siberian Cypress

Creeping Fig: Ficus pumila, often known as fig ivy or climbing fig, is a member of the mulberry family with blooms. You have the option of allowing it to climb trees and walls or limiting it to crawling along the ground. You can also keep a creeping fig as a houseplant as a bonus.

Creeping Juniper: This cone-bearing plant grows only 4 to 12 inches tall and is native to North America. It can, however, expand out to a width of 15 feet or more! That implies you don’t need a lot of them to give adequate noise-cancelling coverage.

Hosta: These plants, often known as plantain lilies, are tolerant to shade. As a result, they are excellent partners for shrubs or trees in your sound barrier that would impede their sunlight. Hostas are easy to propagate (multiply) by splitting and replanting, so you may quickly cover the ground with them.

Ivy: The scientific name for this well-known vining plant is Hedera. They are evergreen and only reach a height of 2 to 8 inches. Ivy, on the other hand, can reach amazing heights by climbing up buildings, fences, and trees. Bees will be attracted to their flowers, which will benefit your vegetable garden or fruit trees if you have them. Ivy can help you quickly cover your sound barrier with ground cover. Keep the ivy trimmed if you don’t want it to get out of hand.

Siberian Cypress: This cone-bearing plant is only 8 to 20 inches tall, yet it may spread to a width of 16 feet! It can withstand both drought and cold, making it an excellent ground cover for northern climates.

At a medium height, their higher height means they will block some of the sounds. You can create a landscape that provides both noise reduction and visual appeal by combining shrubs with ground cover and trees.

Here are some excellent shrubs for noise reduction:

  • Camellia
  • Holly
  • Laurel
  • Photinia
  • Viburnum

Camellia: With hundreds of species and thousands of hybrids, this blooming shrub is endemic to Asia. The plant grows swiftly, reaching a height of one foot every year. It has white, pink, or red blooms. It thrives on acidic soil and requires plenty of water.

Holly: This blooming, slow-growing shrub is most recognised for its bright red berries, which resemble Christmas ornaments. Depending on the cultivar, holly can be either evergreen or deciduous (loses its leaves). Evergreen is the ideal choice for a sound barrier since it provides noise cancelling all year.

Laurel: The English laurel, often known as cherry laurel, is an evergreen cherry that can grow fairly tall over time. The dark green leaves have a leathery texture and a lustrous appearance. They may thrive in dry or shaded environments and can be pruned into any form you like. As a result, they’re an excellent complement to a sound barrier.

Photinia: This plant is linked to apples and belongs to the rose family. The majority of species have glossy leaves that are evergreen. Fruit is produced, which may attract birds.

Viburnum: Flowers and fruit are produced by this plant. There are deciduous plants that thrive in cold regions and evergreen plants that thrive in hot temperatures.

Here are some trees that can help reduce noise:

Arborvitae: Sometimes known as Thuja, Arborvitae is a species of cedar. Because these coniferous trees are evergreen, they make an excellent year-round sound barrier. The leaves are slender and flat, resembling needles in appearance (but not as thin as pine needles). These are commonly used as privacy hedges in landscaping, but they can also provide noise reduction.

Fir: is an evergreen coniferous tree closely related to cedar. (It’s worth noting that Douglas’s firs aren’t real firs.) Firs can reach heights of more than 250 feet, with trunks ranging from 1 to 13 feet broad. Caterpillars that feed on the leaves of white firs and other firsts may cause issues.

Pine Trees are conifers with thin, green needles for leaves. This tree’s wood is commonly used for timber, but it can also be utilised to create a sound barrier. Pine trees, like firs, can grow to be 250 feet tall and live for many years.

Spruce – a needled evergreen coniferous tree that grows in temperate and taiga climates. At maturity, they can reach a height of 200 feet.

Conclusion

Now you know what kinds of plants to use and how to combine them to make a sound barrier. You also know where to look for plants that will survive and thrive in your yard’s climate.

I hope you found this post to be informative. If so, please forward it to someone who might benefit from it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is bamboo a good sound barrier?

According to research, living bamboo plants can be used as a noise barrier along highways to reduce traffic noise. The advantage is that a bamboo screen looks far nicer than a “hard” screen. In other words, as bamboo grows closer together, the noise reduction benefits improve.

Does bamboo screening reduce noise?

It won’t grow as quickly as a leylandii, but it will still produce a dense, soundproof hedge. Bamboo not only absorbs sound, but its rustling also serves as a form of white noise.

What trees are good sound barriers?

Plant a combination of evergreens such as arborvitaes, spruces, pines, and hollies for year-round noise abatement. These trees must have foliage that reaches the ground to be good sound barriers. Deciduous plants can also help with noise reduction, but only if they have a leaf.

What is the best hedge for noise reduction?

Because they provide year-round noise reduction, evergreen shrubs are the finest plants for noise reduction. Narrow-leaf plants and conifers are less effective than broadleaf evergreens. Choose trees and bushes with dense, all-the-way-to-the-ground branches.

Is bamboo a good privacy hedge?

Bamboo is an excellent choice for visual privacy screens or evergreen hedges since it has a tiny environmental footprint, is tall, alive, and grows quickly, provides oxygen and sequesters carbon, and is also attractive.

Does bamboo make noise?

Bamboos are normally planted in rows, and the clumps are very dense, so the wind is partially obstructed in the clump and generates a sound when it caresses the stems, branches, and leaves, resulting in bamboo music.

Sources

https://www.thespruce.com/bamboo-privacy-hedges-as-noise-barriers-2132868
https://dgmr.nl/wp-content/uploads/files/InterNoise%202016%20000608%20Bamboo%20plants%20as%20a%20noise%20barrier%20to%20reduce%20road%20traffic%20noise.pdf
https://www.quora.com/I-want-to-plant-bamboo-as-a-road-noise-block-along-the-inside-of-a-chain-link-fence-for-about-50-feet-of-coverage-What-bamboo-should-I-choose-and-how-do-I-prevent-the-bamboo-from-spreading-to-other-areas
https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2003310/best-fastest-cheapest-sound-barrier

http://www.bambooweb.info/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1334

https://forum.gardenersworld.com/discussion/1045483/sound-cancelling-plants
https://www.fastcompany.com/3052375/this-living-bamboo-highway-barrier-blocks-traffic-noise-while-it-sucks-up-pollution
https://www.hometalk.com/diy/outdoor/garden/q-is-bamboo-a-good-visual-sound-barrier-in-the-garden-34985602

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?