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janbb's avatar

How do you effectively get rid of bamboo that is growing and spreading where you don't want it?

Asked by janbb (62681points) May 25th, 2012

A friend has noticed bamboo growing and we know it spreads virulently and is hard to get rid of. Anyone have any experiences with effective means to get rid of it? Thanks for any help!

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13 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

Since bamboo is extremely invasive, the only thing to do (that I know of) is pull it out, roots and all. It propagates under the ground and can go under fences. It’s easier to get out before it becomes woody bamboo.

gailcalled's avatar

Strap on your knee braces, sharpen your loppers and shovel and be prepared to sweat. Will the person who fixes bikes and drains be willing to help, in exchange for nekkid pictures or a nice lunch?

LuckyGuy's avatar

Bamboo is insidious and, as such, requires extraordinary measures. I would hit it with Roundup on a calm day with still air and no chance of rain for the 8 hours after application. Then wait 3–4 full days to let it get drawn down into the roots. The bamboo will come out of the ground much easier and you will not have to be so diligent about leaving small bits behind.
I am well past childbearing age and have no kids or pets playing in my yard.
Your mileage may vary. ;-)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@LuckyGuy I don’t think Roundup is the answer, just by itself. Here is the the Scott website. They recommend removing as much of the bamboo mechanically; remove roots, cut back stocks, pull it out.

Scott makes and sells Roundup.

CWOTUS's avatar

For a non-poisonous and reportedly effective herbicide, white vinegar (as the article states, more concentrated than household vinegar, and applied in dry weather) might give you some good, safe results.

Charles's avatar

If you don’t want to keep working at it by pulling it out, then use a killer like roundup and do it several times over several weeks. Also, use a pre-emergent herbicide like Preen or Amaze (or maybe something better for bamboo).

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You could also salt the crap out of the area. It’ll kill everything and take time to work out but it would kill the bamboo.

janbb's avatar

Thanks all – I will pass the information on.

wundayatta's avatar

Here is the advice from You Bet Your Garden. It includes many of the suggestions you all have provided, but also provides a step by step detailed description of how to do it. Getting rid of bamboo is very tough, and it takes years. Wish your friend luck. But this is clear instructions on how to do it, so it should not be a problem if they are willing to do the work. Just don’t expect instant results.

Also, this is organic gardening advice. Not poisonous pesticides like roundup. You can have kids and pets running around using these methods.

rooeytoo's avatar

I love bamboo, I just keep it under control by harvesting frequently. Bamboo shoots are delicious and you can make so many things out of bamboo. The major drawback in my mind is that is dirty, sheds leaves, but hey so do all deciduous trees.

cazzie's avatar

I was told in New Zealand that it will take over your garden and if you really want a stand of bamboo, you plant it inside a bucket to contain the root system. I don’t like round up and those types of chemical. I was going to mention salting the area too as @Adirondackwannabe mentioned.

There was a type of Morning Glory climbing vine flower that was a noxious weed there too and that bugger was hard to get out of your garden. It was so seriously destructive in some areas that if you found some, you had to report it so authorities could come and deal with it. Those vines would climb all over native forests and destroy them.

some_mascot's avatar

One low effort weed control thing that we do on the micro-farm from year to year is use black plastic to “scorch the earth”. It effectively kills every seed, plant, weed, or rat in the ground up to 4 inches. After cutting down the bamboo to ground level, I would put plastic on a section much larger than the actual infestation to kill the creeper roots. It takes about 8 hot & sunny weeks to know for sure something is cooked. You would be surprised at how cooking ground like that can reduce unwanted weeds from year to year…. and it is easy.

rooeytoo's avatar

@some_mascot – that’s a good suggestion, I bet it would work.

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