Getting Rid of Bamboo

BossaNovaz7MD(z7b MD)January 30, 2004

I have recently moved into a new home and am struggling to eradicate a stand of bamboo. I understand that this is a very difficult plant to control but am interested in knowing if anyone has had success in gaining the upper hand. Any and all suggestions are very appreciated.

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My husband wants to plant some bamboo as a screen but I have heard it is hard to get rid of, also. There was a patch of it in the yard of a house we rented and the landlord was always trying to get rid of it. I just mowed over top of it and of course it would come back. I dont have any answers but will ask around. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2004 at 2:37PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Check with the 'bamboo' forum for help in determining just which kind of bamboo you have. While some (maybe most) do spread and can be difficult to get rid of, there are also 'clumping' and slow-growing varieties which do not pose as much of a problem in most areas.

The only sure (?) way of eradication seems to be pulling it up by the roots (easier to do when the ground is saturated) and, considering that some varieties have rhizomes/roots a couple feet deep, even that may not work. In smaller areas, you can smother them (eventually) with a barrier (plastic, steel, or similar nonpermeable material) topped with about 15" of soil or mulch - but they sometimes will creep underground until they get past the smothering area and *then* send up shoots.

Lookingglassgarden,if your DH is determined to plant bamboo, Please have him thoroughly check out the how-to's. VA & MD are sufficiently sub-tropical that weather alone does not deter or limit spread of most varieties. If he wants a spreading type, please surround the growing bed with an impermeable steel or concrete barrier at least 30" deep to prevent unwanted shoots - and I've heard of some varieties going through concrete. I love bamboo, but I don't grow it because of the high potential for problems. 10 years ago my neighbor planted a clumping slow-grower "contained" by a deep concrete pipe about 4' wide (one of those road drainage pipes). She is presently trying to get rid of the bamboo which has spread (in deep shade) across her back yard and is working it's way uphill to her house.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2004 at 3:38PM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Paul James recently did a segment about that on his HGTV show, "Gardening by the Yard". He talks about how to get rid of "running bamboo" as well as the more desirable, "clumping bamboo" that looks the same but won't take over. No doubt, it's much more expensive but well worth it in the long run.

I was able to find it and have linked it below.

The running bamboo, is nearly impossible to get rid of after many, many yrs. I have a neighbor that has near a quarter acre "thicket" of the stuff in the backyard of her 200 yr old home. It's so thick that you can't see the ground and you can't walk through it. Much of it is a good 3" thick at the base. It's also growing on a hillside and it's now encroaching on a wonderful old barn. It kind of reminds me of kudzu in a strange sort of way.

On the up side, I can have all the bamboo I want, if I wanna cut it.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to get rid of bamboo

    Bookmark   January 30, 2004 at 5:32PM
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bellie(7-B ..Va. Beach)

I would love to get bamboo roots , I can pay for postage. I hope to hear from you, Thank you, Bellie

    Bookmark   February 28, 2004 at 8:04AM
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Hi BossaNova. We are dealing with the same thing at our new home. WE cleared the land behind the garage and it was strewn with bamboo. I spent days out there clearing the land, pulling up roots of weeds and the bamboo. To look at it, one would never know. The bamboo has taken over the yard once again, and covered teh new fire pit we buiilt with bricks. It has shot up through the wood pile that is about three feel high. WE are wondering if we lay plastic, throw over a bunch os stone, and tehn top it with top soil if this will hinder it from regrowing in out yeard, or will i just infiltrate the new soil? This is very discouraging!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2004 at 5:33PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

I moved into my current house almost four years ago and have been waging a battle of varying intensity against a stand of bamboo for the last three years. I have stepped up the assault this year in hope of ridding myself of this problem plant.

The link below is a picture of my back yard taken about a month ago. There was an area probably 200 square feet inside the fence that was covered with bamboo as well. My wife and I cleared that area with LOTS of work digging out the bamboo roots in our hard Virginia clay soil.

- Brent

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 24, 2004 at 9:27AM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

I have decided to attack the area behind the fence this year. There was no way that I was going to dig up all those roots, so I have decided to try a different approach. I am cutting down the bamboo and applying an herbicide. So far the results are promising. In a spot that I cleared a week ago, I have not seen any new shoots. It is hard to say exactly how much time and how much work is still remaining until the bamboo is completely dead.

The link below is a picture of my backyard after my clearing session on Saturday. I probably spent 12 hours clearing this area over the last few weekends. I now have a bunch of bamboo shoots to get rid of.

BTW, I cannot advise anybody to plant a running form of bamboo. I admit the stuff looks cool (at least the shoots that have not fallen over because of wind or rain), but it is the most invasive plant that I have ever seen.

- Brent

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 24, 2004 at 9:41AM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

After a period of two or three weeks with no shoots, the bamboo started making its comeback. A week ago I got out there and cut down the new shoots. I did not get out over the weekend, but there are once again a lot of shoots. Looks like a weekly chore for the foreseeable future. :-(

Also, I tired renting a commercial chipper/shredder to get rid of all the bamboo shoots. They were too stringy and a couple shoots would clog up the machine. I ended up renting a trailer and hauling the shoots out to the Loudoun County Landfill where they can turn the stuff into mulch. BTW, I planned on returning with loads of the free mulch, but the huge piles that are usually there were all gone. :-(

This bamboo is fighting me to the end.

- Brent

    Bookmark   June 28, 2004 at 5:51PM
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I buy the Rhondo concentrate and make it extra strong. Even though I have to do it every year, all I have to do is spray a few times a yr. While it comes back it is minimal wk to maintain it. Need all the help you can get for that one.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2004 at 2:24PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

By "Rhondo concentrate" do you mean Round Up? A number of web sites said to use full strength Round Up. I had some stuff labeled "Total Vegetation Killer" (not sure what brand). It seemed to do a decent job killing back the foliage so I went ahead with that. About 2/3 of the way through I ran out and purchased some a small bottle of Super Concentrate Round Up and used that full strength.

The area that was treated with Round Up has significantly less new shoots and the new shoots do not look very healthy. My guess is that the Round Up did a better job or killing the root system. The full strength Round Up is pretty pricey, but I think I will purchases some more and give that a try.

- Brent

    Bookmark   July 27, 2004 at 10:58PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Systemic poisons are effective, eventually and with repeated applications. The question is: how long does the poison remain poisonous, and what and who else are you poisoning meanwhile?

Brent- this site might give you some info re strength of solution and best time to use it.

I strongly urge you to read the info on the link below. It summarizes the concerns many of us have regarding the use of RoundUp and similar herbicides.

Here is a link that might be useful: Report on Residual effects of Glysophate

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 7:42AM
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Sorry, Yes I mean Roundup concentrate

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 2:57PM
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mark_nova(6/7 Snst32 AHS7)

From what I have read, steel or concrete are not recommended materials for a barrier, since they can rust/crack over the years. Plastic or fiberglass is recommended and this 'rhizome barrier' can be ordered on-line from most Bamboo specialists. See the American Bamboo Society at for info and lists of sellers.

Here is a link that might be useful: American Bamboo Society

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 10:10PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

BTW, Meldy...I did read your message about Round Up and I do share some of the same concerns. I do admit to using more chemicals in my yard than I should, but I try to be responsible and I have been adopting more of an organic approach. I know that a lot of farmers use Round Up extensively, so I sure hope that it is safe.

- Brent

    Bookmark   August 19, 2004 at 10:08AM
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Chris_in_Central_PA(z6a PA)

If you can't fight 'em, join them.

I've done some digging of bamboo and have a few barriered patches. I think if I were dealing with out of control bamboo I'd decide where to contain it. Rent a mini-excavator (more fun than an amusement park), install barrier to keep it contained and wage war against any bamboo outside of the barrier. Mini-excavator is probably useful for digging up some of that as well.

Stay vigilant. If the plant has no way to gain energy (leaves, green stalks) eventually it runs out and dies. If you really want it dead, cut off all it's energy and keep it deprived. Don't ever let it have a leaf and it's years are numbered. Combine that with some digging and some chemical warfare......

Another strategy that works is post in your local swap sheet - Bamboo for free you dig. Post on the garden web bamboo forum and many people will come decent distances to get some. Bamboo is expensive if you buy mature plants. The garden web bamboo forum can also help you figure out what species you have (via pictures and descriptions) so your free bamboo add can be even more descriptive/attractive.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2004 at 2:17PM
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You can't get rid of bamboo.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2004 at 12:01PM
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Dieter2NC(z7b NC)

If you find something that will eliminate bamboo, it will probably eliminate cockroaches and the human race! Perhaps someone in China might know, they seem to have had good luck eliminating the bamboo stands which the pandas feed on.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2005 at 9:48PM
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steph_va(7 VA)

They really should outlaw the sale of running bamboo here...what an invasive pest!
The girl I bought my house from had foolishly (sorry, bamboo fans) planted a plant out back the summer before I got the house and it was already spreading the next year. I killed it with a combination of Round-up application, and as the member above suggested, cutting it to the ground every time it showed any sign of leafing out (the deny-it-food approach). Eventually, it died...although I count myself lucky because I did not have a large stand of it to deal with! I roto-tilled the area where the roots were to make sure.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2005 at 9:15PM
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mhagood(8a Virginia)

I fought back bamboo in my yard by digging up the roots by hand in the winter. In the warm weather I covered the remaining stand with morning glory vines, which didn't kill it, but did seem to inhibit its growth by blocking out the sun. Looked pretty, too.

It occurs to me that you could pit kudzu against bamboo and make a horror movie of the Godzilla vs. Megatron variety.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 11:50PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

Every time this thread pops back up to the top, it reminds me that I have to get back out an battle mine. I have not done anything since last fall. There is not a lot of new growth but I know there are a couple leafs out there. I am optimistic that I will be able to kill off the bamboo and start planting at some point in 2005.

- Brent

    Bookmark   March 3, 2005 at 11:38AM
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Mandyvilla(7a No.VA)

I am almost tempted to try bamboo. Every plant someone tells me is invasive - ivy, lily of the valley, mint, and so on is either easy to control or a dud! Yet, I have success with the plants that are tempermental. Go figure. Suz

    Bookmark   March 9, 2005 at 9:48PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Suz - I think invasiveness is basically dependent on having the proper environment to assist a self-propagating plant in enthusiastically and uncontrollably re-producing itself. So often we use the term 'invasiveness' in specific instances, such as when those monarda we babied for three years suddenly takes off and crawls under the edging and into the veg garden; or when we notice the ivy climbing our favorite shade tree, or even when that pretty rudbeckia spreads its seeds into all the other beds - and how many of us planted the sweetly scented violet, only to discover a couple years later, that same violet had self-seeded into the other gardens, under the hedge, popping up through heavy mulches, and indeed appeared to be attempting to paint your lawn purple in the spring... but bamboo? I'd strongly suggest you read *everything* posted about bamboo before planting! There are varieties that DON'T try to take over your property, but you'd better learn which those are *before* it's too late and you're too soon sorry.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 7:25AM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

Yea, I planted some lily of the valley under a tree in my front yard and it is barely still alive. I can deal with "invasive" plants like rudbeckia. Sure it sends seeds all over the place but the seedling are pretty easy to pull up and you have a large window until the new seedling will start producing their own seeds. I am hoping that the Artemisia limelight that I planted is not as vigorous as I have read.

Bamboo is really an amazing beast. I would have loved to do some time elapsed photography. New shoot would emerge and be 4' tall in a few days. The problem with the stuff that I had was that the roots were almost as vigorous, it is extremely hard work to dig up, and it is very tough to kill.

- Brent

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 1:42PM
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SALT! Big bags of water softener salt will kill bamboo better than Roundup.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 4:10AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

rasputen - salt also kills everything in the soil AND is water soluble, thus migrating to areas you never meant to be life-free. So while the first part might be acceptable in extreme circumstances, the second part means few, if any, want to risk the destruction caused by salt-laden water in the other areas of their garden.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 9:28AM
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steph_va(7 VA)

Yes, I understand clumping varieties will not travel although make sure you are really getting the clumping kind as opposed to the running kind--sometimes plants can be mis-identified and labeled ;-)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2005 at 7:43PM
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For any of you with large stands of bamboo - have you ever cut & eaten the shoots? I understand that most of the large running varieties have edible shoots, & harvesting them for Asian cooking (as well as just mowing them down with a lawnmower or tractor/bushhog) is supposed to help keep them in line.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 10:23AM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

I thought about trying it. I read somewhere that bamboo shoots are very bitter and that there was a fairly long process involved with getting them to be edible. Maybe it was just boiling or soaking. Anyway, I never tried it.

Also, I thought that I would have a lot of bamboo stakes to use. I have found that all the stakes from my bamboo become very brittle within a year if exposed to weather. I don't know if most bamboo stakes come from another type of bamboo or if I needed to treat them somehow.

Mowing? An interesting thing about bamboo is that a large stand of bamboo may just be one plant. Even if you mow or cut down one area the large root mass underground is still being nourished by the standing bamboo and it will continue to send out runners and throw up shoots.

- Brent

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 12:56PM
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I'm at my wits' end. I can't keep up with the approaching army of bamboo in my backyard. The stalks are tall and extremely thick- i can't budge them. I asked the DC National Zoo if they wanted to remove any for the pandas, and they declined, saying they had acres in Maryland. I contacted my HOA, since my backyard borders a common area (where it's coming from). They said it wasn't their problem and to call the county. I did, and the county said it was my and my HOA's problem. I can't afford to professially dig. Any miracle cures aside from what has been posted so far in this forum? Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2005 at 11:52PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

I feel for you. Running bamboo spreads like crazy. About the only options that I can think of are to install a barrier to keep it from spreading onto your property, or kill/remove all the bamboo.

Actually a lot of the bamboo that I have been working to remove is on common area. There was no way I was going to dig a two foot trench in an area that is hard clay with a bunch of tree roots. From what I understand, a small patch was planted in one of my neighbors' yard and it spread to take over a big chunk of my backyard and another neighbor's backyard. I figure I am doing myself and the HOA a favor by removing it.

- Brent

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 10:45AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Brent - I've been using the bamboo for stakes whenever my DF gets enough energy to chop. I do leave them on their side to cure the first year, and store upright after that. I usually get about five years use before they start to splinter. These range from 2" to 5" in diameter, if that matters? Oh, wanted to mention that DF has been pouring a teapot of boiling water on the sprouts as soon as he sees them. It seems to be working as a control which stops the encroachment.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 3:38PM
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krasota(z7 VA)

I highly recommend you offer it on your local freecycle list. There should be one for your area. Chances are there are folks who would be happy to come cut at least some of it down for you. I'm currently debating going up to some property to cut some to use for tomato poles. Offer suggestions (homemade trellis, morninglory or pole bean teepee for children, etc) and you'll likely get plenty of offers.

I realize that merely cutting it down doesn't remove the problem, but it would help control it a little bit.

Folks offer plants on our local freecycle all the time. You set the terms, after all--it's your property.


Here is a link that might be useful: Freecycle

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 5:15PM
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thanks so much! i hadn't heard of freecycle before, but i just joined a bunch in my area.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 7:23PM
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I didn't read all of this thread since it was long, so perhaps someone else has suggested this remedy: when shoots start coming up where you don't want them, just stomp on them! It's kind of fun and very effective. I used to have a backyard that was surrounded on three sides by bamboo. Every spring I'd go out and stomp on shoots all around the perimeter. It worked just fine, but you have to do it every day or two. Otherwise the shoots are too big to stomp. You can use some kids to do it for you; it helps them get rid of extra energy.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 5:09PM
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newtie(z8+ MS)

The reason herbacide fails with bamboo is that a grove is one plant with interconnected root system. The herbacide will kill the roots locally but the plant will survive elsewhere and regenerate. Try this. Cut off all bamboo stalks 4 to six inches from the ground. Fill a large oil can with round-up (12 TBS of 51 % concentrate/gal). Split each stalk once with a machette, to expose more cambium surface area, and apply one squirt of round-up to each split stump. Repeat this twice a year for 2 to 3 years. The grove will die, but you must not leave any shoots that are part of the colony untreated. The city dumped an entire load of ready-mix concrete (Don't ask why.)down a hillside near my garden. The hillside was covered with bamboo. Mulching it with 6 inches of concrete did not phase it!, but the treatment above has nearly eliminated the bamboo. The last bit is headed for bamboo heaven as I write this. Now, how do I get rid of the concrete?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2005 at 4:38PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

Since this thread has popped back up I figured that I would post a quick update on my battle. The Round Up has gone a long ways towards getting the bamboo in check. The advice given above saying "repeat this twice a year for 2 to 3 years" is on track and you might want to go further and spray new growth once a month.

I really want to plant a few evergreens this fall, so my wife and I have started attacking the bamboo by digging. It seemed like we would just have to dig up the few spots where there was above ground growth. Unfortunately once we started digging we turned up a lot of underground roots with green color. The bamboo roots and stumps are so thick and intertwined that digging is an extremely tough job.

- Brent

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 11:43AM
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ah fond memories of yesterday: 8 am, 7 months pregnant, removing 1000sf of bamboo twice my height. I couldnt stop thinking of "Mommy Dearest" and the rose garden scene. So I chopped uprooted hacked exposed tilled and hosed the area down with creeping plant killer. It is my plan to hit it with total vegetation killer if I see a return of growth after my latest effort. I dont care if everything in this area of my over grown yard dies. I have terrible chilhood memories of trying to weed out bamboo as a chore, and if I have to sacrifice a few evergreen shrubs and other vegetation to be rid or this pest, so be it.

after thought: it has been my experience that simply pruning back some varieties to excercise control is not effective, the plants love it and only grow back stronger and heartier.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 11:50AM
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I live in a row of terraced cottages in London, facing due south, with handkerchief size gardens, most are paved over leaving a border of earth. My neighbour, who admits he is no "gardener", had "easy-care" shrubs planted by professionals 3 years ago. Our dividing garden walls are only 3 feet high. I liked the bamboo at first and regularly passed my hose over his garden as I watered my own. This summer I haven't done that as it has grown to over 14 feet high, it loses leaves which fall over my garden. Worse still, I found shoots coming up in my own garden. When the wind blows (prevailing southwesterly) I get "slapped"in the face by bamboo. It is tatty and uncared for. He has never watered nor pruned it and it is now a menace. How damaging are the roots? Anyone got any ideas? I feel like going out in the dead of night with Round-Up. Any advice welcome, and no, I can't talk to him. I could pop a print-out through the door though. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 12:59PM
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I live in Hendon, VA. I want to plant some bamboo as a screen from a notorious eye sore next door. I am ready to pay the price of the head aches of running shoots etc. I know so many people want to get rid of it. If anyone out there to get rid of it, let me know, I will come and pick it up. my email is



    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 10:53PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

roychettan - if you must plant bamboo, at least get the clumping type, not the runner type. The clumpers look as nice [nicer, usually] as the runners, but no one will think miserable thoughts about you five years from now. A world of difference!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 6:43AM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

About giving away bamboo...I have seen suggestions about offering "come dig bamboo for free" offers but to me that seemed like telling people that you had a really nasty flu that knocked you out for a week but if they wanted to come over you would sneeze on them. Running bamboo is a disease that is best not spread.

Actually I cannot imagine anybody coming over, seeing how aggressively my bamboo has spread and seeing how difficult it is to dig up just a small portion walking away wanting to plant the stuff in their yard.

This past fall I felt that my bamboo was beat back enough to allow me to plant 3 Thuja 'Green Giant' trees. That seems like a much better idea than planting running bamboo.

- Brent

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 12:46PM
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pjdsr(z7 VA)

Not to put too fine a point on the subject, but bamboo is E-V-I-L!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2006 at 5:50PM
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i would love to dig your overgrown bamboo. if anyone has some they would like removed or thinned back. i sure would like to help. i'm not afraid of runners. i know how to root prune to keep bamboo in check. i'm in hampton roads.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 7:29PM
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The easiest way of erradicating bamboo is to use sodium clorate.
It's the only (and i mean only) chemical that kills it effectively.
Just spread the chemical (looks like sugar or salt) evenly around the growing area, so that it can be absorbed by the roots.
Like fertilizer.
Depending on the size of the area covered, between 100-300 gram is neccessary for one
"bamboo bunch".
Another way which uses less off the chemical, is to clearcut the bamboo first.
Then when it re-sprouts (and has a few leaves), mix sodium clorate at the rate of 100 gram per liter and spray all the green parts, including the leaf and stem of the new shots.
It might be neccessary to repeat this treatment once if it re-sprouts, but I have never had to have done this more than two times.
I have experience with these things as i'm an oil palm plantation owner in southern thailand.
In here, bamboo is mostly considered an unwanted plant.
Bye bye bamboo

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 11:14PM
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I bought a house in June without having a full appreciation of the bamboo issue. The back of the backyard had an area that had not been controlled for probably 15 years or more. This area was completely overgrown and had bamboo growing in an area about 80 ft wide by 20 ft deep. I have now completely cut it down! Yeah! Thanks to Montgomery County, MD for taking all the HUGE piles of bamboo away to the composting area for me! Step One is Done!

Step Two. I know that the truly hard part starts now. I plan on digging up as much of the root system as I can. Then doing the bamboo walk (2 times a week cutting down all the shoots) until the entire plant is KILLED! I realize this is a big project, but I will persevere like I have never done before. My neighbors are all on board and say they will help to kill it, but I am pretty sure that I will be the one doing all the work. Wish me luck.

To everyone out there interested in how to treat bamboo so it doesn't crack here is a great website:
Look under the section talking about how to cure bamboo. Basically you take a propane torch and burn the oils and water out. I did make a bunch of bamboo sake cups and pitchers to give to friends and family that have been very well received.

Even though I like the use of bamboo for cups, floors and cutting boards doesn't mean I want ANY of it in my yard.

Eric In DC

ps. I'm actually in MD.
pps. I have gotten rid of all the English Ivy in the yard.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bamboo Flute

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 1:16PM
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I grew up with bamboos on my back yard when I was a kid in East China. I want to have bamboos on my bard yard now in Montgomery, PA. Because it is so pretty and it can bring so many memories for me. I found this site when I am finding information on the Internet and calling nurseries about bamboo. If you wants to get rid of your bamboo, I would like to dig some from your yard. My email is Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 2:26PM
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My name is andy and i work in stage production. I am looking for someone in the hampton roads area that would be willing to let a small group of people remove bamboo from their property for we have an upcoming production that calls for a lot of it.

andy pratt

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 2:01PM
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I bought a house a year ago that had a small area of bamboo that had been growing for over 5 years. The prievous owners were nice enough to plant it next to the house. When I asked my local lawn and garden centers how to get rid of it after they stopped laughing and pointing at me. They offered various methods of killing the bamboo first and formost was cutting it down first.
Well to my surprise the root network went 30 feet in one direction and 30+ in the other. first I pulled the shoots out, did not work for every one I pulled 5 poped up. So I starteded diging working from the outside in, marking the outer most area with orange paint. After two shovels, about 20 hours with a pick axe digging up the roots and a large amount of veg-killer I had cleared the area of new stalks old stalks grass numerouse rocks(see shovels). Next I rented a bob-cat and dug down one foot and removed all the dirt that had been in that area and any roots left over. I waited a month and a half before I ordered new top soil and filled in the area. As of today I have no bamboo(keeping my fingers crossed) I had to repair the foundation where the bamboo roots worked their way into the craw space. Total damage to 5 bushes and numerous plants the bamboo roots were totally mixed in( looked like iron rebar used in concrete). 22+ yards of top soil to fill in the area. It has taken months to get the grading where I like it.
My methods were a little extreme but I did not want to do it over again. If anyone would like more details feel free to email me

    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 8:26PM
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Drastic but less labor intensive: Roundup (Monsanto) and Brush Be Gone (Ortho)will kill Bamboo. The plant needs to be up at a foot or more for it to be absorbed. You may have to make a couple of applications to get the deepest rizomes.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 10:53PM
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Where do you buy sodium chlorate in the U.S.? We bought a home with a huge stand of bamboo. So large and so tall were the stalks that we had to hire someone to cut it down and haul it away. Then we tried digging up the root system last summer with a bobcat. Little bamboo sprouts are coming up all over at this time. I'm going to attempt using RoundUp. However, I saw a post on here about using sodium chlorate to kill the bamboo. Where do you buy sodium chlorate in the U.S.?

Another question. If I use the RoundUp and it kills the grass as well as the bamboo, how thick do I need to put new topsoil in order to establish a regular lawn? Thanks for any help on this matter.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 2:36PM
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Congratulations to Randy for getting rid of his bamboo!

I last posted on March 8th. Since then I have dug up about 1/3 of the roots using a mattock. This is hard work, but I have made good progress with the time I have had to work with. I am also continuing to cut down any shoots that come up to make sure that no leaves are supplying the roots with sugar. I hope to be done with this project by fall so I can replace the soil and plant a real garden!

Here is a link to the Greenman Show and website. He has a great publication on Bamboo - See the publication called "Don't Get Bamboozled" The Greenman Show

Also check out his blog and post a comment there as well on bamboo.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 2:00PM
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Okay, I have read all the strings here and have a problem that I have not seen addresses. My mom has a set of evergreens in her backyard but her LOVELY neighbor planted running bamboo along his back fence and it is now sprouting up in my moms yard. I want to get rid of the bamboo for her but do not want to hurt her evergreens and they are pretty mixed right now. Mind you this is the nieghbor who also put in flood lights when my mom's house was built and has them shining right into the bedroom and leaves them on every night! Unfortunately the bamboo does not cover that area.
So, asking him to fix the problem (which I think by city codes he should) really would not happen!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 1:30AM
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My neighbor and I rented a walk behind "bobcat" machine and dug up almost all the bamboo in our yards. We couldn't get the bamboo in the corner where the tree roots were, but that is a very small percentage of them. This is a major victory in the War against Bamboo! I cut them all down over last winter and dug by hand for days. Then in 1 day we dug up over 95% of the remaining roots. All that remains is the dig up the ones in the corner of the yard and keep cutting them until they are all dead! Still some fighting to do, but I will have grass in most of the backyard in a few weeks. Yahoooooo! If anyone wants to see the HUGE pile of bamboo roots in my frontyard I will post pictures for everyone to see at a later date. It must be at least 2 tons of roots and dirt. We are going to get rid of it next weekend.

Mr. Mills: I think you will only be able to control the bamboo. Just keep cutting down any bamboo that grows in your yard. Don't let it get big and cut early and cut often. You will continue to have this problem until all parties involved want to get rid of it, and it doesn't sound like he wants to get rid of it. I don't know if there are county ordinances against growing it and if you have a case. I do know that even here in Montgomery County, MD, which is supposedly an environmentally friendly county, that the county uses running bamboo for erosion control. I don't get why anybody would ever plant this stuff. Another option is to sell the house. Most people don't realize that bamboo is bad until they have had to deal with it firsthand.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 5:19PM
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I am going to revive this thread once again because my daughter is determined to plant bamboo here. I told her if she did she can plan to move away in 5 years, it will take over all three acres. Other than adopting some pandas the only real way to get rid of bamboo is to move. Sell in winter before it starts growing in the spring.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 8:41AM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

Grannysbloomers, before we bought the house we now live in we looked at a sweet little cottage with a stand of bamboo that was encroaching on a small stream on the property. The bamboo was blocking the view of the stream. I loved the stream as well as the cottage but we were hesitant to buy it because of the bamboo. Well, that and the master bedroom was too small.

I drive by that house on ocassion and see that the current owners have attempted to remove the bamboo by continously cutting it to the ground.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2006 at 11:23AM
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A few posts ago someone asked where to get sodium clorate in the US, any feedback?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 10:15PM
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Brent_In_NoVA(z7/6 VA)

I am not sure about sodium clorate. I don't know anything about it but a web search seemed to turn up a lot of links to bomb making sites. I would be tempted to stick with using full strength Round Up (I think there are some directions on the label).

- Brent

    Bookmark   May 2, 2007 at 12:03PM
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I just discovered bamboo in the back yard of my new home. It's interesting that it wasn't there last fall when I bought the house. Now it's all over!

How far will shoots grow underground until they can find a place to pop out of the soil again? The reason I ask is I wonder if I could cover the area with old carpets -- after digging up roots and applying salt or something. I was thinking of making this part of the yard a rock garden because it is so shaded. So, I could put down the carpet, then landscaping vinyl, then the rocks. But, I wouldn't want the bamboo to creep to the edge and end up shooting up in the middle of my yard.

Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 5:09PM
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I don't think the carpets will do the trick.
We have bamboo coming in all over from the neighbor's yard.

He has shoots coming up at THE OTHER END of his pool. They go under for a good 30 feet!!! Also, hard to do anything with chemicals becasue we have 2 beautiful japanese cherry trees in the area and do not want to harm them.

As for sodium Chlorate: is is Sodium Chloride? The stuff that is used to melt snow?

If so it is easy to find but again, this kills all plant life in the area. AAAARGGHH waht to do?

I am going to try this - wonder if it will work?

Take round up and mix. (Or the Sodium Chl. mix)
Dig up bamboo root strands.
Fill empty soda bottles with the Round up solution.
stick the root end in there and tie them to the fence.

Does it sound like the herbicide will go back to "THE SOURCE" roots?

It should be illegal to plant these pestes, since now we are forced to consider harsh chemical use. The chemicals will eventually pollute the environment. One way or the other.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 5:07PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

From what I understand about bamboo, you should be able to kill it in one growing season by persistently cutting off any new culms that try to shoot up. The clump will gradually lose energy and die without any topgrowth to support it.

I have a border of bamboo that is about 30 feet long and 3 feet wide. I try to go around the border every year and cut off the runners but I missed a year and it went racing away up to 8 feet from the main bed! :( I'm thinking of killing it because it casts afternoon shade on an area that is now my vegetable garden which could use extra sun. But it is also such a nice's hard to have it all sometimes...

- Steve

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 3:58PM
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We had a problem w/ this about 7 years back. Did some research and found the best way to kill it is to mow it low and mow it again, then mow it again. It worked and we haven't had any back since.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 10:04PM
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FYI, Sodium Chloride is the scientific name for table salt.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 11:49AM
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We live in Pennsylvania. To my dismay, we moved into our house in April 2007 only to see a stand of bamboo grow up in the back. I hae been cutting it back, and - based on what I've read here - squirting the weedy variation of roundup down the tubes within seconds of cutting, one by one. Some of the runners have turned brown as a result but I think I have only stunned it. It's a patch about 30' by 10' rectangle, with a couple runners over into the neighbor's yard. There are scores of stumps.

I can't get a bobcat in here without busting an opening in a hundred year old stone garden wall. The bamboo is growing along the wall (of course). Surely there's something that will posion this monster ... will I get there eventually with years of round-up or is there a faster way?

Jeezzz, what a nightmare.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 5:23PM
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FREE Bamboo to anyone who would like to dig it up. After reading most of the posting; I now know IÂm not alone. I purchased my home two years ago and my new yard had bamboo. In the beginning it wasnÂt an issue; since I knew nothing about my monster. However my neighbors who are not happy informed me of the many issues they have had with the bamboo and the old owner. And now two years later the yard is a mess and I need to get rid of the bamboo. So I would like to offer the bamboo for free since within the next few weeks I plan on getting someone to try to kill it.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2008 at 12:00PM
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Just want to add to this interesting discussion a warning about low growing, ground cover bamboo (Sasa pygmae I think). It is just as invasive as the larger varieties! Of course the stalks and rhizomes are smaller but don't let its cuteness fool you. Of course we planted it in a raised bed on a slope which we had amended with loads of super rich amended soil, so it went nuts.

We also have large running bamboos and we're fighting with one of them to finish encircling and (hopefully) controlling it. Other places we've planted running bamboo it's growing down into the wild forest and ravine so it's not a big threat to our landscaping efforts and water gardens.

I'm crazy and admit to loving bamboo so am hoping that a peaceful coexistence can be achieved. It does have great screening properties and the beauty is undeniable.

The one clumping bamboo (Bambusa multiplex 'Alphonse Kerr') we have is lovely but only hardy to z8, so it gets a lot of leaf burn below 12 degrees (which we probably get one or two winter nights of here). It looks ratty until mid-summer, then it shoots and sends out new leaves and is great looking with yellow and green striped culms.

Despite my own irrational preferences, I really wouldn't recommend running bamboo to anyone unless they have a huge property and the time and equipment to contain it adequately.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 9:42PM
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The "salt" does work. My son did this for me last year and the areas in which he poured the salt hasn't come back. However, the folks at Wal-Mart thought we were crazy with all of the salt we bought last summer. We poured it straight on. I also had tried straight bleach. I know it's terrible for the ground, but it was in my children's play area which is all stone. I wouldn't let them play there for two weeks and I also haven't seen it return in that area.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 7:50PM
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I have a lot of bamboo like plants infesting the back yard. I want to kill them with any means to make it fast but not having to dig up the roots. I belive it is running bamboo that grows in clumps. Here are exact pictures of them i also added pics of a root i dug up to show you the root structure
of course you'll have to copy and paste the link. Weed killers will work as well i don't mind if nothing grows there i just dont want the bamboo. BTW this bamboo dies in the winter then grows back in the summer/spring. It seems to expand every year, this year it expanded drastically. the stems are really weak you can just snap them off by hand if you wanted. Thanks for any help provided.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 10:50AM
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The good news Justin Landry is that you do not have bamboo. The bad news is you have japanese knotweed.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 11:49AM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)

A particularly evil plant and as difficult as bamboo to eradicate.

Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese knotweed

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 11:16PM
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Maybe if you offered the bamboo to your gardening friends, then they could help you to cut it down. The stuff is great for making tomato, and pole bean supports. That is of course only a begining step. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 11:40AM
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I bought my house in the spring of 07. there was a cute little bamboo tree in the garden. this year it sprouted. it shot up a 7' sprout in about a week! i was telling a friend about this, because i thought it was cool. she said "GET RID OF ALL THE BAMBOO! my mother had bamboo and it took over her garden". I hate to kill plants so i used my cultivator to see what was up. the more i dug the more i could see what a menace this was going to be if i didnt take care of it now. it was planted in an area of about 7 sq ft contained with a 4" plastic barrier. so made the decision after reading this forum to take out this plant. i tried to save as many of the other plants, lilies, roses, etc. and was pretty successful.

had i not done this now it would have become a bigger and bigger job! i dug down about 1.5 feet and removed the rhizome. i followed any roots that escaped the barrier. there werent too many and took them out as much as i could without digging my yard up. i got the main web of the plant out and raked out as many of the rhizomes as i could.

so now i'll just keep a look out for shoots and take care of them as i see them.

thankfully my bamboo problem was taken care of sooner than later! i could totally see how this plant could take over the whole garden then i'd have to dig it all up which would be time consuming and expensive.

where once i thought it was a cool plant, now i think of it as toxic waste.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 11:35AM
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I just found this site, and have been reading up...

I love bamboo, but then I have 7 acres surrounded by woods, and horses that eat ALL my plantings, so that they would keep the bamboo to a dull roar...especially if I pay for it!!

I was wondering if anybody would consider sending me roots?? I will pay, at least for shipping... (: I guess you just dig a clump of the little stuff, wrap it in a bunch of wet newspaper, and ship.

My email addy is

Thanks so much.

Beth (:

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 2:57PM
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I have just cut 30 sq.ft of Bamboo to the ground and now plan to eradicate the roots.

Is it realistic to expect that if I douse the main area with the Round Up (or put bags of salt upon the roots) it will reach out to all the runners?

Shoud I attempt to cut as many of the roots as I can to allow for better absortion or is it adequate to just pour the Round Up over the roots?

Lastly, the roots are now running alongside my neighbor's basement, is it possible that bamboo could be so invasive that it may crack the concrete foundation?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 11:12AM
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aka_peggy(Central Md 6b)


I can't answer your questions with certainty but much has been written on the subject. However, I would not use salt becauce it can permanently damage your soil.

Also, I believe the roots of bamboo can damage your neighbors foundation. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Eradicating bamboo

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 8:35AM
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You can rip out the running roots, but they will only come back, in double. When they do, and you notice them when they are about 6 inches tall, cut to ground level and spray (or pour) with Rubbing Alcohol. I did this one summer and the next, almost nothing. Easy to control this way. I live in VA and it's EVERYWHERE.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:56PM
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esofva(7b VA)

Let me have some!!! Would love to plant around old drainage ditches!!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 12:27PM
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Over the past four years or so I have filled 11 20 yard dumpsters, filled 500+ garbage cans and put out countless bundles of the Devils Grass. My neighbor planted it on my property when the lot was undeveloped. It had 12 years to establish itself in sunny FL. My neighbor built his house too close to the property line to plant it on his own property. So the bulk was planted on my property.

The rhyzone will die eventually if the clums are isolated. There is still existing bamboo on the neighbors property in that area it keeps coming up. I cut it close to below ground level.It's been a long battle but I got it under control, finally.

My neighbor tried the light in my window but I put a stop to that one. More later. Charlie

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 11:03PM
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I have read all the posting going back a number of years. I have a contained area 4 feet by 30 feet of bamboo. I've cut it all down and I plan on covering this entire area with heavy weed barrier and then thick plastic sheating. Having nothing growing in this area for a season or 2 is no problem. My thought is to starve the bamboo. Does anyone out there have any thoughts on my idea??? Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2008 at 5:03PM
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A friend cut 50 to 100 1" to 2" bamboo poles. We took it to the local Gift/Thrift and sold the poles at 3 for $2. The friend had dried them for several years. Still looking for a new source of poles. --One man's junk is another's treasure!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 5:24PM
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JohnnieB(Washington, DC 7a/b)

Anybody in the Washington, DC area who wants to get rid of bamboo should check out this article in yesterday's Washington Post. The zoo is running out of bamboo and is looking for fresh sources for their pandas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Zoo Asks for Help Feeding Its Pandas

    Bookmark   January 17, 2009 at 8:17AM
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Ah, the tales we tell! Here's my sad bamboo tragicomedy.

I'm currently in the process of destroying a 20 year+ stand of running bamboo. It was so bad; it was coming toward the house (foundation) very quickly, so something had to be done. I hired someone to cut down the bamboo to ground level and then to grind the stumps down to a depth of 1.5 feet. A big production!

Well, that'd be great except the previous owner had created a lovely oriental garden, complete with a "stream" of river rock that the bamboo was meant to nestle against. Ha! "Nestle" doesn't begin to describe the relationship between rock and bamboo! I was digging out bamboo stocks with stones and brick wrapped in their roots -- they were like primitive clubs. I could bang the cement patio with one of these clubs (howling like a ninja because the whole thing is so insane!) and nothing would budge.

I'm currently mid-process of removing the stones, one at a time, while at the same time poisoning the stalks with Cross Bow (very toxic stuff). I'm liking what I'm reading about just breaking off the stalks to eventually starve out the whole plant.

But that leaves the hubs. Someone earlier in the thread had said that dead bamboo is harder to remove than living (plus I got all those rocks clinging on for dear life). So I was thinking -- what'd the ancient Chinese do? Surely they didn't have Cross Bow (or Knock Out). So I'm thinking FIRE!

My plan now on the upcoming Memorial Day is to put barbecue briquets (that white hot "gray dust" stage) on the bamboo (dead) hubs to see if that will burn them and soften them enough to decompose.* Those hubs are horrible -- you can't plant anything around them because they're as hard as rock and deep.

What a mess! Ah, for the sweet serenity of a flat lawn with a perennial border!!

*The interesting thing about burning bamboo for anyone who's tried this -- it "pops" due to the air in the chambers between the nodes. I have this vision of Mem Day with a great popping yard, bursts of soils thrown to the heavens.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 1:10AM
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I ran across this article:

Chemical herbicides canÂt kill the massive underground root systems of bamboo or thistle, but all-natural high-strength vinegars can! Cut down all the above ground growth and soak the area with a high strength vinegar (see below) when the soil is bone dry and no rain is predicted.

(Be carefulÂyou must wear protective gear, especially safety glasses.) The high acidity of the vinegar will lower the soil pH down to around 3, and that region will become a dead zone.

Leave it like that for at least a monthÂlonger if you can. Maybe even soak the ground again a week or two later for good luck. When youÂre sure itÂs really most sincerely dead, raise the pH back up with wood ashes or lime, and soil life will return and the ground will be fertile againÂbut those roots should stay daid.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 11:55PM
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Oh I should add this:

"Greensense 20% acidity vinegar" is white vinegar that's four times more potent than the household variety.

That's the vinegar they are referring to.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 12:09AM
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if any of you have any bamboo left over and want to get rid of it, I am looking for some.

My email is

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 1:15PM
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I have faithfull cut down all new growth that comes into my yard from my neighbour. H efinally cut it down last year, but he has let the new growth come back with vengence. I am so tired of this bamboo, it is trying to grow into the walls of our garage! I have spent a lot of money on Roundup and now i am wondering about buying a torch and burning the new and old growth, has anyone tried this?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 12:41PM
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I started this year as soon as the leaves truned green on the bamboo.I sprayed round up bush killer and spectrium bush killer,I used both.At least once a week I would go out and spray ALL the leaves and all the new growth,Now about 3 months later Im Winning.I had this here for years,But now im getting the best of it.But im spraying the leaves at least once a week. At least I don't see the tall ones anymore. At first last year I removed many of the large stumps or roots that look like a large ball.
I just hope that I will win over the bamboo.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 8:10PM
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I bought my home 4 years ago which was very well landscaped and nicely appointed with different plants. The corner of the yard included a fish pond surrounded by bamboo. Within months of moving - we realized what a headache we had on our hands. Bamboo is CRAZY!!
I'm open to suggestions for eradicating the stuff! I hired a poor, unsuspecting tree service to chop it down. Now I need to know how to control the roots. Let me know.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 9:58PM
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Here's an excellent article on getting rid of bamboo. Using multiple herbicides at the same time is not recommended since the one of choice, glyphosate, works by being tranferred by the leaves to the roots. If you use a second herbicide that kills the leaves, the glyphosate can't do it's job. Repeated applications of the herbicide are usually needed to kill out an established patch.

Good luck. It's not an easy task.


Here is a link that might be useful: Getting rid of bamboo

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 8:40PM
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can u give advice how 2 get rid the bambo n control it thx

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 10:21AM
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We've got a big patch that's been there for about 20 years that we're cutting down and treating with round up. This is in a rural area where there isn't anyone to haul the bamboo away and turn it into compost. Can we leave it piled up until it dries out and then have a big bonfire? How long does it take to dry sufficiently? Bonfires are legal in this area. I've heard that the bamboo kind of explodes as the air heats in the segments. Is this a big explosion that would send canes flying, or is it just a popping sound? If we did this on the area where the patch has been growing, would the heat help to kill the roots? Any other advice you can offer?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 1:57PM
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Our bamboo is best kept under control by "constant" trimming, very low to the ground...IF you have NOT already used chemicals on your bamboo....then great!! up your local zoo....we take our "cut" bamboo stalks to the zoo on a regular basis....oh so yummy for the gorillas, etc...and saves the zoo a bundle of money....remember, it has to be "chemical free"...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 11:54PM
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Bamboo is the bane of my life. I have a large clump courtesy of a well meaning neighbour.
Last year I read somewhere that when you cut - with extreme difficulty- a piece down, within 15 seconds(?) pour some white vinegar down the stump. As the bamboo shrinks back it will take the vinegar down which will kill it internally. Not a speedy solution.
It seems to work a bit however I have a major job which I propose to commence this morning.
The roots which spread across the ground are so hard.
Is there anyway to soften them so I don't have to throw my 115lbs behind a hatchet which when colliding with the root sends shock waves through my body?
I live in E Tennessee and if anyone wants to to come and dig the wretched stuff up for themselves they are welcome.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 8:28AM
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would anyone care to buy bamboo trees have plenty you would be helping an older lady thanks

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 9:56AM
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I have two large stands of tall bamboo, but my biggest problem is with a shorter variety that has come in from who knows where and taken over my yard. The only thing that seems to keep it in one place is mowing almost to the ground, but around trees, it has filled in and actually killed ivy. I am going to try's not near a food source and I am confident in it's safety, if not in whether it can do the job. I was a little freaked to see that someone chipped up their bamboo and sent it to the mulch pile at the Loudon landfill. I am paranoid about this stuff sprouting from cuttings, and won't even use stakes from the tall stuff in the garden until it has sat cut for a few months in a warm dry place. A friend of mine got rid of a clump of the tall stuff in a desperate
manner that I would hesitate to recommend, but it worked.
He cut it low, then sprayed it with gasoline and fired it off. It was close to a building and in the middle of town, so it was perhaps not the wisest choice, but it worked.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 1:43PM
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I contacted the local Zoo to donate the bamboo in my yard, although it always grows back at least I feel I am doing a service for the animals and I don't do the work. Only problem is that they don't cut it all the way down and they leave a small shoot in the ground that can be a tripping hazard if you use the area in which it is growing.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:44PM
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Would anybody know more about the method of applying liberal doses of nitogen fertiliser then covering and sealing off the are with Black Plastic sheeting? We have heard that it works but we are not sure of the time period involved. Would be keen to hear from anyone who has had success with this. Chris

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 5:18AM
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I had tried black plastic and smothering,round up,24damine, and digging. Some kept in check,or so I thought. There was a Hmong family who would come cut shoots. I offered it for free but people wanted me to cut it or dig it for them. I had justified not being upset with the black ants, thehits in the face when i mowed just because it was a have for multitudes of small birds. Then the crows moved in. It started to smell - bad really bad. It was also like having my own personal version of "The Birds". I cut the 1/4 acre down to about a foot off the ground. The city crew hauled off the cuttings for free. I didn't even have to cut it to 4 foot lengths. I then hired a man to take dig it out. He thought it would require his small tractor but eventually he brought out the big track loader. Did it get rid of it? Mostly. I had to go through the yard and pick up every rhizome I could find. My neighbor's young boys would help. I took a tiller and went over some of the yard. I pulled up runners over half of my 3/4 acres. Still have some that come up in different areas. I get out the mattic and shovel after a rain.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 9:55AM
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vaplantman(8a - Newport News)

Forget it. Impossible.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 8:58PM
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4 years ago we moved into a house that had all kinds of plants in the yard. Everything from a weeping cherry tree to rose-of-Sharon bushes and, yes, bamboo. And not the clumping kind! We've been waging a war ever since. We've got most of the yard (and it's a small yard) under control now. We only have to deal with the two most evasive plants I've ever delt with, the rose-of-Sharon bushes and the bamboo.
Some of the bamboo got behind our garage and is threatening the foundation! So we hacked it all down, put heavy plastic bariors over it and then weighted it down with cender blocks (over every inch!) and they STILL CAME BACK! So the next year we hacked it all down again and started digging then did the same thign as the year before, and the STILL CAME BACK! SO, because nothing is ever going to go back there, we decided to just hack it all down and poor salt back there at the start of the season. It worked! They didn't come back at all that year. We thought we'd poisoned the soil, which was fine by us. We'd rather have bare ground then that stupid bamboo.
Guess what, it FREAKING CAME BACK AGAIN! at least I had one year without the stupid stuff. But it seems like you have to poison the soil every year to get rid of it just for that year.
If I ever find the person who planted the stuff in our yard...I don't know what I'll do..but I'll at least have a few choice words for them.
DO NOT PLANT THIS STUFF!! Unless you are in a bamboo sanctuary or you own a panda, this stuff should never be planted...EVER!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Bamboo has destroyed our backyard, robbed my daughter of her place to hang out with friends, and my 1 year-old dog her place to run around. As we live on a lake, it has provided a shelter for snakes. It harbors Poison Ivy that you cannot easily see when walking through. It also creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The bamboo has destroyed many once beautiful plants, presently working on the once gorgeous camellia that no longer flowers, and multiple azaleas. Breaks my heart, as I'd enjoyed these hardy mature plants with boundless and colorful flowers.

It has merged through pavement cracks in our basketball court, hung over the side court, eclipsed the backboard, towered multiple feet over the top. It has blocked our once serene lake view, the nasty insidious stalks.

Our once tranquil backyard is an embarrassing eyesore. It is not only reminiscent of the jungles of Vietnam, but it is virtually unsafe & usable.

The bamboo was a controlled grove planted by the former owners when we moved in ten years ago. Although it wasn't a plant I cared for, for the first several years it wasn't unsightly for it had remained confined to a patch hugging the high wooden fence. But in the last three years it has spread. Stalks have shot off at random and multiplied like rabbits. It has infiltrated our neighbor's yard, and our sizable yard now sports sprouts on nearly half. I do enjoy gardening and do not mind a laborious task, however this plant seems to be a ruthless beast.

Whenever I look out into the backyard, Guns 'n Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" runs through my head. I miss the backyard we used to have when we moved here. My dog will never be able to enjoy her own fenced backyard as she would love to do unless this monumental problem is eradicated. It's so sad.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 4:24AM
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The man next door planted bambo about four years ago on his side of poorly fenced property line. I started noticing it shooting up about a year ago, and realized he had not planted with proper or deep enough barrier on my side.

I have read all the emails since 2004 and have an idea what I can do to get control it, as I am sure I cannot get rid of it, since he maintains it on his side. I think the most environmentally friendly way would be the Round-Up, but I get the impression a more effective method would be the salt or vinegar.

For the most part, that area is bare and unused and the only thing (other than the bamboo) that grows are weeds. The problem is that I have a real nice California Pepper tree about three feet from the line, that I don't want to hurt.

Will the Round-Up, salt or vinegar hurt my tree? It is about 20 feet tall, and a great shade tree, as well as blocking the unsightly house next door.

Thanks for all the great info!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 8:02PM
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Ynnrozs, Roundup is a systemic herbicide which means it kills by being absorbed into the plant through the leaves and into the roots. It will not damage any plant unless it touches the leaves so your Pepper tree will be fine as long as you are careful to avoid 'drift' when you spray the Roundup - don't spray when it is windy.

We have moved back into a house we have been renting out for 12 years & one of our tenants planted bamboo in the woods. It now grows in the lawn, & throughout the woods where it is really tough to kill without destroying the understory. We have over 8 acres so it is proving to be a nightmare.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 12:19AM
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Another mechanical method is to cut the entire grove of bamboo to the ground. Each time the
regrowth reaches 24 inches in height it must be cut again. To be successful with this method,
action to remove the regrowth must be prompt so as not to allow the plant time to manufacture
food reserves for the root system. This operation will need to be done many times over a period
of a year or even two. Consistency will ultimately starve out the bamboo.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 1:41PM
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I feel all of your pain!!!
My neighbors bamboo is spreading over to my lawn. I have
dug it up, chopped it up, mowed it over, used round-up, and
herbicides!!!! It is a giant to kill!!! It has completely
ruined the side of the lawn that it is growing under.
The problem is that it is my neighbors bamboo and it is planted
next to a building that protects their lawn from it but shoots
strait into mine... I want to blow it up!!! The leaves don't even
fall onto their property but over takes mine... I am sick of it..
Round-up does not work...
So I went to the lawn and land scape supply store and let them
advise me...
What I am doing is chopping the roots and spraying a mixture of
a VERY strong herbicide and dish liquid.. The dish soap makes the
herbicide stick to it.. It is suppose to go systemic... They said it might take a year or so to completely kill it off and that is with
constant persistence of fighting it back... I have to do something!!!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 8:40PM
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If you cannot work towards killing off the main stand of bamboo because it is your neighbor's, there are two main methods you can try for best containment.

Open trench
Dig a trench 12 - 18 inches deep the length of the property line involved. Bamboo root are close to the surface, usually found in the first 12 inches. Inspect the trench about four times a year and prune off any rhizone roots that begin to protrude. No more spread.

But having an open trench in your yard can be dangerous so make sure that is properly marked or isolated.

Or use method #2 - Install a bamboo barrier membrance.

Dig a 28 inch deep trench the length of the property line. Install a 30 inch 60 ml plastic membrane (see almost any bamboo nursery web site for details). Cover over leaving about 2-3 inches of the membrane sticking up, which will look like any garden bed border. Check each late spring to remove any rhizomes that reach the surface so they don't jump the membrane.

This is an expensive installation best done with a trencher, but done right, you'll never have to do it again.

And you can have a nice lawn in the future without a fight.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 9:19AM
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mark_fleming(Marine WA)

I planted what was said to be clumping bamboo 10 years ago in an area that is surrounded by an alley and a 15 foot wide patio on three sides. For the remaining 4 foot area not surrounded by concrete, I put in a 24 inch deep 1/4" thick plastic barrier. It has managed to get out several times with each time being more difficult to stop.

The first time my neighbor across the 20 foot concrete alley had several shoots come up in his yard. He dug up the root and was careful not to damage it. He put the root in a gallon of vinegar. After several months the root turned brown and after a year, one of the original plants on my property died. Okay by me as my original spot was now thick with bamboo.

Then, I had a sprout come up on the other side of my 15 foot concrete patio in my own yard. I used the same vinegar treatment and it went away. But . . . . It has gotten away around the plastic barrier and is invading another neighbor's yard and my yard again.

I've decided to try the "fish and chips" method of erradication (salt and vinegar). I wish I would have bought a couple bags of rock salt this winter. I'm also going to look for the 20% acid for to use instead of regular vinegar. I hope I haven't waited too long.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 5:19PM
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mark_nova(6/7 Snst32 AHS7)

Bamboo is not difficult to control and possible to eradicate if you know how and have some patience.
With this simplified basic info about bamboo you can understand how control and eradication methods work:
Bamboo spreads by rhizomes located in the top part of the soil. Rhizomes are not roots (roots grow off them). Rhizomes store the energy that is used for bamboo to grow back once it has been cut down.
Bamboo culms (the 'trunk'-like part) do not leaf out until the culm is mostly full-grown. Like all plants, bamboo needs these leaves to create 'energy' (that gets stored in rhizomes).
Both bamboo rhizomes and culms are relatively soft when new.

Control method: 'rhizome pruning'. Since bamboo spreads by rhizomes located near the surface, you 'prune' the rhizomes. This can be done with a strong spade. (I use a solid-steel spade from A.M.Leonard; King of Spades is good; Mid-Atlantic Bamboo sells specialized versions.) You just sink the spade into the ground, cutting through the rhizomes, and repeatedly do that in a line. If a rhizome is too difficult for the spade, use loppers. The easiest time to do this is when the rhizome is new and thus soft. I've seen recommendations for doing this in July and September, although I just do it once a year. If you miss a year (as I have) you can still rhizome prune, it's just a little more difficult as the rhizome is harder. You can leave the extra rhizome in the ground; separated from the mother plant, it might send up tiny shoots, but you just cut them off with hand pruners when they appear.

Eradication method: Cut down all the culms with loppers or a cordless reciprocating saw. If little shoots grow back, cut them down--you don't want them to have leaves for photosynthesis. In the Spring when the culms shoot, resist the temptation to cut them down right away. Let them grow to their full size, and then cut them down before they leaf out. Why? The bamboo doesn't have a magical energy source--it only has the energy stored in the rhizomes. Our goal is to use up as much of that energy as possible, without letting it recharge through photosynthesis. So make the bamboo use up a lot of energy growing those culms to full size. Some people even water and fertilize it, to encourage it to spend as much energy on growth as possible. The culms will still be relatively soft at this time and easier to cut down. Repeat the process until it dies. Inspect periodically to see if little shoots with leaves have appeared.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 10:57PM
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How can you cut it when is dry and 20' high, what kind of equipment work the best

    Bookmark   April 7, 2014 at 12:16AM
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