Learn About Bamboo
While we at Bamboo Sourcery are bamboo lovers, we recognize that occasionally there arises the need or desire to reduce or remove entirely a clump or a stand of bamboo. Unfortunately, this often occurs due to inadequate or inaccurate information available to consumers regarding the types of bamboo and effective containment methods. To learn more about the types of bamboo and containment methods for bamboo, please see the sections titled Clumping vs Running Bamboos and Containment & Control.)
Removal Methods: Many people ask about using Round-Up, salt, or other herbicides to kill bamboo. We do not recommend it. Not only will Round-Up poison your soil (and possibly yourself, your pets and wildlife), but the root mass left in the ground will make other uses or replanting of the same area difficult, if not impossible, and very often the plants will still re-shoot! If you are, nevertheless, determined to use Round-Up, remember that the poison is taken in through the leaves only, and it must be applied in an undiluted form, which is sometimes difficult to find.
The most effective method for removal of bamboo is to dig out the entire root and rhizome mass as thoroughly as possible, including fragments. To make the job easier, water the area deeply a few days before digging. Start on the outside of the clump or grove and work your way inward. The roots generally do not grow deeper than 6-18 inches and you usually can chop them into chunks and pull them out piece by piece. (If you want to remove super large chunks at one time, you can dig deeply around the circumference of a chunk, tie a strong rope or chain around it, and pull it out with a truck or tractor!)
It is likely that you will miss a few root fragments here and there, and over the next few seasons you may see an occasional shoot coming up. If you wish, you can force any root fragments to shoot by watering the area for awhile. Then, simply snap them off at soil level by hand while they are small and tender. The tiny root fragments will thus be deprived of nourishment from above and will die off. (This does not kill larger pieces of root).
Tools for Removing Bamboo: A shovel, hatchet, ax, pick, strong maddox, and a long, strong pry bar are the most common tools used for removing bamboo. When we dig a large area of a giant timber species, we also use a carbide-tipped chain saw and a special heavy duty chopping bar. If you have access to such tools, they will save you time and effort.
Removal Services: We are sometimes able to offer bamboo removal services. If you live within a 2-hour drive of Sebastopol, CA and have a significant amount of a species we can use, we may be able to come during the appropriate digging seasons for your particular plant and remove your bamboo. If you have bamboo that you would like us to remove, give us a phone call to initiate the conversation. Click here to read more about our services.
In order to determine whether the plant may be useful to us and the feasibility of digging, we will need a few photographs and/or cane samples sent to us: i.e. a length of cane with 1-2 nodes, branches, and leaves in a zip-loc bag and then in a brown envelope. We will also need some information about the height of your plant, size of the area it covers, soil type, surrounding structures, and any other relevant details, including your address and phone number. Scheduling is sometimes unpredictable, so flexibility in scheduling on your part is very helpful.
Call us to find out more about removal, or schedule an in-home consultation!