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grooming a grove

Posted by hdesousa z6PA (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 30, 07 at 22:36

I have a 5 year old grove of an all green variety of Phyllostachys. (I'm going to try and identifying it next spring from clum sheaths). Last year it just about doubled in area to about 35ft X 25 ft. Largest culms are about 3/4" thick and 15+ ft tall. Almost no sunlight penetrates to the ground. I would like to easily walk through the grove yet try to grow the biggest culms possible - is there any harm in cutting out most the lesser culms that are probably 2-3 years old and 6-10 feet high? Also, is there a downside to cutting out rhizomes which within the grove, arch out of the ground just enough to trip you? Thanks.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: grooming a grove

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Dec 1, 07 at 15:42

Trim away! You won't hurt anything and you can do this any time of the year with any culms you want to get rid of. There is no downside.

RE: grooming a grove

Be aware that when you cut any rhizome within your grove, you are dividing one plant into two. This may leave a small specimen within the larger. I'm not saying it's a problem... I'm just saying...

RE: grooming a grove

Thanks. That's what I was wondering. Assuming the portions of the plant on both sides of the cut rhizome are well established, will removing the segment of exposed rhizome lead to smaller culms, from either the larger or smaller part of the plants?
What do most growers do? Just leave the exposed rhizomes alone?

RE: grooming a grove

  • Posted by kudzu9 Zone 8b, WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Dec 4, 07 at 20:26

I simply get rid of anything I don't want...culms and exposed rhizomes. If the rhizomes are putting up culms, they're generally well-established. Cutting off above-ground rhizomes won't hurt any adjacent culms on either side except, perhaps, ones "downstream" of the cut that are really young and have just come up.

When I'm pruning my groves, I often cut above ground rhizomes that are going directions I don't want them to, and I pull out the part of the rhizome just beyond the cut point to make sure I don't get unwanted culms. As tcstoehr points out above, you're dividing the plant in the ground when you simply cut the rhizome.

Don't over-intellectualize this. Prune out what you don't want and don't worry about it. Good luck.

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