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 Post subject: Bamboo Removal
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 6:56 pm 
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Location: GA
I’m having a tough time getting a definitive answer on this and was hoping to get some help on here. I just bought a house and the backyard was completely overrun with bamboo. The previous owner planted it in a small section and now there is about a 50’x50’ area of bamboo in the yard. It’s also spreading into my neighbors yard.

So far what I’ve done is chop it all down and dig up all of the root balls. Every day there are 6+ new chutes (not sure if that’s the correct term) popping out of the ground. They’ll grow as fast as 8” overnight. When I see those I go in a circle around it driving a shovel in the ground breaking up everything around it, pull the chute out and pull as much of the root out as I can. My neighbor is also trying to get rid of it by chopping it as it grows and mowing.

This is a ton of effort, I just want to check to see if I’m doing it correctly and it’s not going to grow back next year or if there is a better way to get rid of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo Removal
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:14 pm
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Location: Esparto, CA
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You have to exhaust the rhizomes, cut down everything as close as you can to ground level - nothing above ground with 'green' can be left. Then let the new shoots emerge and get to the point they start making branches and then cut them down again. Alternatively if you can mow everything, just keep mowing once you've cut things down but you'll have to be able to mow everything and that may not be possible. They will run out of energy but they will produce multiple flushes of shoots before that happens.

You can decide later if you want to leave the dead rhizomes in the ground or take on the very hard task of removing those. I've killed off several groves this way, one big clear cutting followed by vigilant culling of new growth, areas I could not mow I used a machete on the new shoots.

The understanding to have is that the underground rhizomes can not live long-term if they are not connected to something above ground that is photosynthesizing, however you choose to go about that.

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Brad Salmon, zone 9 Esparto, CA


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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo Removal
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 3:59 pm 
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Location: Island off Cape Cod Massacusetts
If you want the roots and culm bases gone, I would suggest hiring or renting a machine. Don't want anyone to hurt their backs and blaming the ole bamboo again. A skid steer loader with pallet forks will do it, or a mini excavator.


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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo Removal
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 5:12 pm 
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Location: GA
dependable wrote:
If you want the roots and culm bases gone, I would suggest hiring or renting a machine. Don't want anyone to hurt their backs and blaming the ole bamboo again. A skid steer loader with pallet forks will do it, or a mini excavator.


I was under the impression as long as I am diligent about cutting it down and breaking up the roots as soon as I see it pop-up above ground the roots would eventually die off, so there wouldn't be a need to excavate the entire yard with a machine. Is that not the case?

needmore wrote:
You have to exhaust the rhizomes, cut down everything as close as you can to ground level - nothing above ground with 'green' can be left. Then let the new shoots emerge and get to the point they start making branches and then cut them down again. Alternatively if you can mow everything, just keep mowing once you've cut things down but you'll have to be able to mow everything and that may not be possible. They will run out of energy but they will produce multiple flushes of shoots before that happens.

You can decide later if you want to leave the dead rhizomes in the ground or take on the very hard task of removing those. I've killed off several groves this way, one big clear cutting followed by vigilant culling of new growth, areas I could not mow I used a machete on the new shoots.

The understanding to have is that the underground rhizomes can not live long-term if they are not connected to something above ground that is photosynthesizing, however you choose to go about that.


I've read similar advice in a couple of places saying cut it down once, let it grow to the point and where it starts making branches and chop it down again. What is the point of letting it grow that much the second time around? Is it bad to dig it out below ground level and chop the roots surrounding it as soon as I see it pop out of the ground? I'm afraid to let it grow and let it get any worse than it is. I've also covered the entire area in black plastic. I read in a couple of places that blocking the light, along with the extreme heat the plastic will cause, helps kill it off quicker.


Thanks ahead of time for any advice.


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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo Removal
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 6:42 pm 
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
One clarification on what Brad said about mowing: you have to make sure that you remove the little tufts of leaves that will come up flush with the ground. Any leaves will recharge the rhizomes to some extent.

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My blog: It's not work, it's gardening!


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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo Removal
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 12:50 am 
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Location: Island off Cape Cod Massacusetts
Cboneill0099 wrote:
dependable wrote:
If you want the roots and culm bases gone, I would suggest hiring or renting a machine. Don't want anyone to hurt their backs and blaming the ole bamboo again. A skid steer loader with pallet forks will do it, or a mini excavator.


I was under the impression as long as I am diligent about cutting it down and breaking up the roots as soon as I see it pop-up above ground the roots would eventually die off, so there wouldn't be a need to excavate the entire yard with a machine. Is that not the case?


That is true, if you are not in a hurry to plant the area with something else, the above method will work well. But if you decide to remove the root mass, a machine can help doing a good job without over exertion on your part.

Remember to check for underground utilities.


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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo Removal
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 6:47 am 
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Location: Southeast Texas, Zone 9a
Cboneill0099 wrote:
I've read similar advice in a couple of places saying cut it down once, let it grow to the point and where it starts making branches and chop it down again. What is the point of letting it grow that much the second time around?

Assuming the plant starts with no above ground growth, all new shoots are fueled by carbohydrate reserves in the rhizomes. At some point, the new growth has enough photosynthetic area that it can fuel its own growth, and eventually recharge the rhizomes. The logic is that, by allowing the new shoots to grow until just before they start to recharge the rhizomes, you maximixe the amount of carbohydrate depletion accomplished by each round of shooting.

I do not personally know exactly when the inflection point is reached, but I think what is mentioned above is a good time to cut the new shoots. I think the danger here is that you get occupied with something else, and miss the window to cut them, and the rhizomes get recharged a little, plus the culms could begin to become woody. I guess it depends on how attentive you think you will be.


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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo Removal
PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2018 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 6:44 pm
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Location: GA
Thanks for the tips. I think I'm starting to get a handle on it. After I originally cut it all down and dug it up I was still getting 6-12 shoots a day popping up. Now that I covered the entire area with black plastic I may get 1 every 2-3 days pop up outside of the area covered in plastic, and I cut it down as soon as possible. I removed the plastic for the first time after a week of it being down and there were only about 10 of them under there, still pretty small and turning yellow, which I'm assuming means they were dying. In the past they're usually green and would grow 6" plus overnight.

It also probably helps it hasn't rained for a week and has been hot/sunny. There is also no rain the current forecast.


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 Post subject: Re: Bamboo Removal
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 11:26 pm 
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Location: Esparto, CA
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Personally, I doubt that the plastic does much, yellow now may be green once expose to sun, the key is to keep cutting them.

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Brad Salmon, zone 9 Esparto, CA


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