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Getting rid of bamboo

Updated on April 4, 2012

Bamboo is nearly impossible to get rid of. However, here are a few tips that may help if you are desperate to rid these nuisance plants. First, examine the bamboo and determine the type of bamboo you have. There are well over 300 species of bamboo in the U.S. but I am speaking of the type of roots they have. The bamboo is either spreading bamboo or invasive. This simply means that it spreads rapidly or it spreads slowly.

Now, the way for you to determine this is by looking at the roots. If the root has a clumpy appearance then it is slow growing or invasive. If its a long root then it is running bamboo or spreading. Both types of bamboo can be very difficult to get rid of. Let's look at your first alternative and that is cutting it down. If you try this method alone; IT WON'T WORK. Bamboo has rhizomes and if all the rhizomes are not removed then the bamboo won't be destroyed.

If you have clumpy or invasive bamboo it will be easier to get rid of than the running bamboo. If you have clumpy bamboo then just dig it up to remove it. It won't spread because it is all together in one clump. However, with running bamboo it's much harder. Let's say you don't want to dig it up, then you can certainly try herbicide. Herbicide has not been found to be 100% effective way to kill the bamboo, but you can use it to assist you while attempting other methods to kill bamboo.

You will want to get to the root of bamboo, so should you use herbicide then you need to cut the bamboo down then pour the herbicide down the bamboo shoot immediately. Don't wait longer than 15 seconds because the sap won't distribute it to the root. I have bamboo in my backyard and after much research I have found that the best solution will be to dig it all up. After digging it up (using a backhoe) pour nitrogen (lawn) fertilizer down. Then taking a tarp or plastic sheeting over the the bamboo area.

The edges should be secured with blocks, bricks or boards. Then let it set in the sun and bake. This will cook the bamboo. As it cooks, it will basically fry the roots. This is what you want in order to completely rid your yard from bamboo. Next, watch the bamboo areas closely to spot new shoots of bamboo. If you see any, immediately cut them down and spray herbicide down those fresh shoots. Continue doing this until you do not see the shoots grow anymore. If you can get to a place where you won't allow the new shoots to grow above a few inches, then you should be able to kill these nuisance plants.

Good luck to all and to me!


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