The hundreds of bamboo stalks tower 30 to 40 feet over Juanita Furuta's rented brick home next door in German Village, packed together so tightly it makes her neighbor's front yard as impenetrable as a jungle.
The rhizomes, or roots, also have invaded her yard, shooting under her fence from her neighbor's yard and up through her flower bed, with one at least 6 feet tall.
"That is the worst case I've ever seen. It's unbelievable," said Steve Eberly, Furuta's landscaper, who has futilely sprayed and cut the bamboo as it spreads.
Furuta said she spent $400 to cut the bamboo back from her gutter. She's afraid it will crack the foundation of her house.
"We cut it down; we cut it back," Furuta said.
She said she has taped notices to neighbor Scott Kuentz's front door asking him to cut back the bamboo but received no response.
Furuta said she has been able to talk to him in person about the problem just once in 3 1/2 years. Nothing happened.
Kuentz could not be reached by The Columbus Dispatch for comment.
Some people seem to like the look, others not so much.
Visitors such as prom-goers and wedding parties have their photos taken in front of the City Park Avenue house with the bamboo as a backdrop.
"It's an eyesore," said Jim Wiggin, who lives down the street. "It's totally out of scale to the space."
Furuta also worries that the bamboo is a fire hazard.
But the city's 311 call center has recorded just four complaints about the bamboo since 2015, including "high grass" concerns.
Nancy Kotting, the German Village Society's historic-preservation advocate, said she last registered a complaint about a year ago.
"It's driving me crazy," Kotting said. She was concerned the bamboo grew long enough to touch the gutter of Furuta's house, which could have affected drainage.
"I'm concerned it is destroying the historical fabric of the district," she said. "Anything that may harbor moisture poses a threat to the structures."
Dana Rose, Columbus' code-enforcement administrator, said the only open notices on Kuentz' property at 529 City Park Ave. involve exposed wood on the window frames, overhangs and trim. Also, an overhang needs to be repaired or replaced.
Columbus has no regulations for bamboo, so if it encroaches on a neighbor's property without growing into the city's right of way, it's a civil matter between property owners, Rose said.
Worthington is the only city in Ohio with a law regulating bamboo. In 2015, its city council passed an ordinance that requires bamboo owners to make sure the plant stays on their property, or they face a $100-a-day fine.
Worthington has had only had two cases since adopting the law in 2015. In one, a magistrate ordered the removal of the bamboo from a Howard Avenue property, said city law director Tom Lindsey said. In the other, no enforcement action was taken against the owner of a Loveman Avenue property, Lindsey said.
Similar ordinances have been passed in communities in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.