Where there was bamboo…………

ornamental bamboo

Now there is grass.

invasive bamboo

The saga of the bamboo problems has been difficult and gone on throughout  the summer.  I wrote an early blog about the birds in the bamboo, which was the beginning of the problem. https://sarasinart.net/2017/05/03/bamboo-er-bird-issues/

Then I wrote another one about further steps to solve the bamboo problem and other summer challenges this year. https://sarasinart.net/2017/08/03/groundhogs-and-bamboo-and-squash-bugs-oh-my/

Now that area has been planted in grass.  But there were 3 large areas where they couldn’t remove all the bamboo roots for various reasons: mostly too close to mature trees to be able to dig around there.

So now there’s a large area beside the new grass (and 2 other places) that has small (close to the surface) bamboo roots and I’ve been trying to kill it off.  The new grass is getting watered with the garden hose because  we have had a dry spell here, and the area beside it is not getting watered since it’s polluted with shallow bamboo roots.  All the shallow roots in those places are sending up leaves, trying to get a start on growing better next year.

invasive bamboo removal

I’ve tried spraying it with full strength Roundup.  That kills the leaves (and the grass around it) for maybe 2 weeks, and then the leaves shoot up again.  I’ve cut the leaves  off at and below the surface.  New leaves shoot up again in 2 days.  Seriously, 2 days.  This stuff is an amazing plant.  I wish my vegetables were so persistent; I’d set up a road side veggie stand, lol.

So all that I’ve been doing is not doing anything at all.  That’s because the roots are so amazing, and nothing I’ve been doing has affected the healthy roots below the surface.

Now I have begun to dig those shallow roots up. By hand, with a shovel and a garden weasel. They are only 3″ or so down, but when you expose some of them, the roots are like a spider’s web. There’s a lot to dig, and it’s hard work, but getting rid of the roots is the only way to not have a bamboo invasion again next spring.

Well, somebody suggested one other sure way to get rid of the bamboo problems, but it’s not an option. He said to sell the property and move away!

If you ever considered planting bamboo, and having a fascinating plant, and enjoying seeing it swaying in the wind and laying down under the snow…….do yourself a favor for 15 years from now……don’t.  Just don’t.

14 responses to “Where there was bamboo…………

    • No Anita, I’ve only tried full strength roundup, and gave up on that. Nothing I can use on the surface will get to the roots. Getting rid of as many roots as I can is the only way. Thanks for the thought.

      • I’m sorry. I didn’t explain what I meant very well. Don’t put the rock salt or vinegar on the surface. I meant put it on the remaining tiny roots before you close up the area after getting as many root webs as possible. With a little luck the tiny roots remaining will dehydrate and not be strong enough to return. If you are digging anyway it couldn’t hurt to test it in a small area.

        Today I had three tree stumps ground up. I’m hoping this will give me a better space for a garden next spring and get rid of the groundhog den.

  1. Oh man – you certainly have your work cut out for you! Good luck. The tenacity of some plants is truly impressive as well as maddening. :-/

    • Yea on the maddening part Jackie, thanks. It really is just like a spider web right under the ground. I hope our Indian summer holds out for a while so I can get some significant amount of it dug up and cut off. It’s hateful stuff. 👿

  2. I had a beautiful wisteria that went crazy when I transplanted it. Apparently, it loved the location. The roots have traveled everywhere including the neighbors yard. We used a killer that you paint on the exposed roots. It travels the roots and kills them. It has worked like a charm. If you are interested, here’s my email rider924@hotmail.com and we can chat about it. I’m not sure of the name, but my husband does and I think we have some leftover. I will have him do research to see if it will kill it.

    • Thanks so much Amber, how kind of you. I think I’m going to spray the full strength roundup down in the places I dig the roots up, cos the landscaping guys said it would kill roots, it just won’t do anything to the roots when I spray it on the leaves.

  3. Sounds good. I did check with my husband and it will get rid of it. This stuff follows the roots and kills the plant. If you ever want to try it, send me an email. 😊

  4. FYI – Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service said “For glyphosate to be effective, the bamboo must be mowed or chopped and allowed to regrow until the new leaves expand. Glyphosate should then be applied to the leaves. Keep in mind that one application of glyphosate will not eradicate the bamboo infestation. It can potentially take two to three years to gain complete control.”
    Good luck and Happy Gardening

    • I just keep cutting off all new leaves. Not any shoots, just leaves, with the weed whacker, obliterated…..with a vengeance! 😉 So it doesn’t have the ability to nourish the roots that still exist in several places that I can’t dig up. Thanks.

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