Type of bamboo and limiting spread

als2002July 26, 2012

My picasa web album with pictures of bamboo:

https://picasaweb.google.com/115874002550064781662/20120725

Can anyone tell me what type it is? It's probably 25 foot tall now and an inch and a half thick, but it gets to least 30-40 foot tall and two inches thick.

I live in the mid-Hudson Valley of New York. This patch is around 15 years old. Maybe 150' long and 60' wide at the widest. It seems much more vigorous recently. It may just be that we literally didn't get winter last year (global warming?) Now I think it's time to limit its spread.

It's July and I'm getting small leaves sprouting in the lawn, in lines up to 20-25 feet from the patch. I've thought about severing the roots and then mowing them. Or should I just mow them down? I've added a picture of the sprouts in the lawn.

On three sides of the patch there's lawn or field. If mowing alone keeps them in check then limiting the patches spread should be fairly easy. On the fourth side, around thirty feet from the edge of the patch is a stone wall of the old New England variety. Lots of rocks piled on top of each other. The rock walls/pile of rocks is quite wide in some parts, probably 10-15 feet wide. I've thought about just letting the patch grow to the walls. Will the wall contain it? This is out in the country with the nearest house several hundred feet away, but I want to be responsible about not allowing it to get onto neighbor's property. I've uploaded some pictures of the wall.

The land is very rocky. I was thinking of getting a tool to slice off the roots underground. What would accomplish this most easily? I was thinking of going up to $125 for such a tool, but if there are electric or gas driven tools that might do the job better, I'm curious about them too. I'm 65 years old and working with the bamboo isn't going to get any easier physically.

Here are two links for tools from Gemplers.

http://www.gemplers.com/product/D404/Groundshark-D-handle-Shovel

http://www.benmeadows.com/heavy-duty-root-cutter_s_101239/?searchterm=root%2bcutter#mainProductBottom

What do you think?

Thank you,

Alan Silverman

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stevelau1911

That is without a doubt phyllostachys aureosulcata yellow groove bamboo. It can probably get under or around the wall since this type seems to have the ability to go a pretty good distance without putting out a shoot. As far as a tool to keep it in check, a bamboo rhizome slammer tool might work. The rhizome/root mass under the grove should be rock solid to around 7 inches deep, but severing a circle around the grove should control it.

I would suggest digging a 1ft deep, 1ft wide trench around the 4th side, and back filling it with mulch so that can rhizome prune it easily. Adding a 30 inch rhizome deflector behind that trench can provide some insurance. I would suggest severing all the rhizomes around the edge of the grove because those rhizomes can get pretty deep into the lawn, and you probably would not want any complaints from the neighbors. After you dig the trench, don't worry about the rhizomes that have run into the lawn. If they are disconnected from the grove, and you keep your lawn mowed, those rhizomes should eventually die off.

I simply find it much easier to grow either clumpers or running bamboos that act like clumpers in my climate so I don't have to deal with control.

Here are some of my bamboos. Also, I don't think you live that far southeast of me, as I'm located directly below lake Ontario.

Here is a link that might be useful: My bamboos

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 8:57PM
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als2002

Steve,
Thank you for the information. I hope you don't mind a few more questions.
1. My neighbor has a small backhoe. I was thinking of hiring him to dig a trench at least around the back of the bamboo. Do you think that would work? I'd have him dump the soil into the bamboo patch, to make a raised berm.
2. Does this bamboo pose any threat to underground electric or an underground pipe going from my propane tank? These were put in professionally so I assume they have strong piping and go under the bamboo mat.
3. Once I have my bamboo island, I was thinking of dumping somewhat aged horse manure from a nearby farm into the center. Do you think this would help or hurt the bamboo? I assume the higher up you go with the island the less chance the roots will get out. Would even fresh horse manure burn the bamboo?
Thanks,
Alan

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:30AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bamboo pose no threat to underground wiring, piping, sewers, septic tanks, etc. They do not behave like tree roots. The only problem you would have with your underground services would be in the future if you had to replace them: you would have to dig through a tough mat of rhizomes to get at them.
.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:32AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bamboo pose no threat to underground wiring, piping, sewers, septic tanks, etc. They do not behave like tree roots. The only problem you would have with your underground services would be in the future if you had to replace them: you would have to dig through a tough mat of rhizomes to get at them.
.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:46AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bamboo pose no threat to underground wiring, piping, sewers, septic tanks, etc. They do not behave like tree roots. The only problem you would have with your underground services would be in the future if you had to replace them: you would have to dig through a tough mat of rhizomes to get at them.
.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:47AM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Bamboo pose no threat to underground wiring, piping, sewers, septic tanks, etc. They do not behave like tree roots. The only problem you would have with your underground services would be in the future if you had to replace them: you would have to dig through a tough mat of rhizomes to get at them.
.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:48AM
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stevelau1911

A raised birm should work as long as you keep the center nicely thinned out and give a few feet of space between the trench and the start of any culms. Keeping the grove nice and thin will allow some of the old root mass to decompose giving more room to allow more new shoots to come up.

Making the raised bed a few inches higher should raise the level in which rhizomes grow making them easier to catch.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 6:41AM
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als2002

Steve,
I've had a one foot wide by one foot deep trench dug around the whole perimeter of the grove. I have lots of wood chips. I've been thinking of throwing those into the trench, the idea being it would keep the trench from eroding and filling with dirt. But over time won't the wood chips themselves turn into dirt and allow the rhizomes to get out?
Best regards,
Alan

This post was edited by als2002 on Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 14:50

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 2:49PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Alan-
You are correct about the fact that wood chips would decompose and defeat the purpose of the trench. What people typically do is fill such a trench with sand. While the sand won't prevent rhizomes from traveling through, it is very easy to probe the sand once or twice a year and then remove any rhizomes you discover.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 3:12PM
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stevelau1911

Sand sounds like a pretty good idea. I would personally eradicate the whole thing, and grow something that requires less work if there's 150ft long, and you are dealing with just about the most aggressive bamboo you can have.

When you rhizome, prune, I would also require doing it several times a year since new aureosulcata rhizomes are capable of producing shoots once they even root out a bit on the other side of the trench because they seem to carry their starch with them as they grow.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 10:34PM
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