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Removing Bamboo

Posted on by Urban Eden

Ornamental bamboo comes in many different varieties and a lot of people plant it in their landscapes throughout Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver, Washington. When properly contained, bamboo can be a beautiful plant to behold. However, when it is improperly contained, it can quickly become a nuisance on your property and those surrounding it. This article will briefly discuss the process of properly removing running bamboo.

Types of Bamboo

There are two main types of bamboo; clumping bamboo and running bamboo. Both bamboos have a similar look. However, their difference lies solely within the rhizomes. Rhizomes are, essentially, the root system of any bamboo plant; rhizomes are responsible for creating more roots that grow further into the ground, they are also responsible for producing and bringing new bamboo shoots to the surface. All bamboo spreads through their rhizomes. Clumping bamboo has short rhizomes that tend to stay near the plant’s point of origin, spreading out quite slowly. Running bamboo has longer rhizomes that tend to spread horizontally away from their point of origin. Therefore, since clumping bamboo tends to spread slowly, most problems that arise from growing bamboo stem from the running type of bamboo.

Removing Bamboo

Cut it Down

The first step to removing any type of bamboo is to cut the bamboo down to the ground. You can do this in a few different ways. The most common ways to cut it down is by either mowing it, cutting it with hedge trimmers or manually cutting with sheers. For most cases, the best route is usually to use hedge trimmers. Once all of the bamboo has been cut down, rake up and remove the debris from the area. This should allow you to better observe the clumps of rhizomes left in the ground.

Dig it Up

The next step is quite a bit more labor intensive than the previous. You will have to dig up as much of the rhizomes and roots as possible. You may realize, quite quickly, that a shovel can easily become useless in digging up bamboo; the rhizomes are usually closely packed together, making it difficult for the shovel to penetrate the soil. Therefore, it is a good idea to invest in a pick-ax or mattock for this job. Begin driving the mattock into the soil and prying up the roots a little at a time. Often this is still rather difficult and a long prybar may be necessary in order to fully removed these rhizomes and roots from the ground. As you perform this task, it should become easier and easier as you remove bigger chunks of the plant.

Following Up After Removal

It will be almost impossible to ensure that you have removed every last rhizome from the ground. Therefore, the area may still require extra attention. You can continuously mow the area when you begin to notice bamboo poking up again. Be sure that, if the bamboo does begin to regrow, you immediately removed the rhizome from which it is growing. You can also lay a barrier down, that will slow the growth as well. As long as you are diligent about mowing the area and removing any parts of the plant that begins to regrow, you will successfully eradicate the plant from the area.

Removing bamboo, much like removing ivy or blackberry, can easily become a tedious process. Urban Eden Landscaping has years of professional experience in removing bamboo and would love to help! Give us a call today at (360)567-6399, contact us here, or fill out our FREE estimate request online.



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