How to finish killing running bamboo

jcurts(8)September 12, 2009

The area I am working on is approximately 10 by 30 feet.

I have dug out all the clumps of the hateful stuff and tilled about a foot deep until the ground is very soft and aerated. Will rake more until the larger root clusters are pretty well found and removed.

I am no environmental puritan but have found the chemical approach is a losing battle. OTOH the only chemical that shows any immediate progress in stopping and killing this stuff is gasoline and to a lesser degree diesel. Not a serious option of course and I only tried it on a little area so chose the digging and tilling option.

What am I needing to do to feel assured I have removed whatever propagates new growth of this stuff?

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

What propagates new growth is chunks of viable rhizome, not tiny pieces. Maybe you got all the viable stuff, maybe you didn't. If you see some whipshoots coming up next year, dig down and remove the piece of rhizome chunk you missed; no big deal. Chemicals are only good for poisoning your soil and the groundwater, not killing bamboo. Too bad the bamboo was allowed to get out of's a great plant if you maintain it properly.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 12:25PM
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Thanks for the reply. I am not sure how big of a piece of the rhizome it takes to produce more growth. Had considers running the soil through a screen of one inch or smaller mesh. That is pretty well where I am at. I will probably remove all the loose soil and install barriers then refill the area with top soil.

Again Thanks


    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 2:22PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

No insult intended, but you're causing yourself a lot of work by being a little too scared by the bamboo. There are a lot of urban myths about bamboo, and you've got an out-of-control grove, so it's easy to believe them. However, bamboo are not like other invasive plants: tiny pieces in the ground will not regenerate. In addition, bamboo roots take a while to get established, so, even if you left foot-long chunks of it in the ground, there is a good chance most or all them will die. If there are viable chunks, you'll know next spring, but the shoots will be tiny and the roots easily removed. It would take several years of neglect by you for any viable pieces left in the ground to even start re-building their root structure.

Save yourself some time and energy. You do not need to install barrier if you've removed most of the bamboo, and you do not have to screen the soil for small pieces. I grow lots of bamboo without barriers, and occasionally I relocate small groves. I've never had anything major come up afterwards. I have had a couple of spindly whip shoots appear the next year, and that identified for me where remaining chunks of rhizome were. Once I took those modest chunks out, the area was bamboo-free.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 5:40PM
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Again, thank you for your advice and support. I did a final tilling of the area today and found only a few small chunks.

With your help I feel the job is complete and will move on to other projects.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 7:52PM
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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

I think you got it licked. If there is any regrowth, it will be trivial and easy to completely remove.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 9:08PM
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