Bamboo - Knowledgebase Question

College Park, Ge
Avatar for aunt1era1n
Question by aunt1era1n
October 15, 2009
How do you get rid of Bamboo. Had a
neighbor plant this dreadful plant so she
could have a shield behind her house. Well she moved and now the bamboo is growing like crazy in my yard now. I used Roundup extra strength and even tried to use the weed eater to cut down the top and any part of the plant. This is a nightmare! Please help!

Answer from NGA
October 15, 2009
Bamboo is basically a giant grass, so you can visualize how it spreads through roots and rhizomes. Not all bamboos are invasive, but the running types of bamboo have root masses that travel 3'-4' deep, and spread 15'-20'. You can starve the roots by keeping the tops continually cut down. If you're persistent the plants will eventually run out of energy to produce new canes because there's no above-ground photosynthesis taking place. Digging the roots is the only sure-fire way of eradicating bamboo. You might be able to speed the process by covering the soil with black plastic after cutting down the tops of the plants. If the area gets a lot of direct sunshine, the ground will heat up, basically killing the roots. Leave the plastic on for 4 to 6 weeks in the midst of summer heat and sun. Chemical herbicides are least effective; they may kill the tops of the plants but the roots are hardy and will send out new shoots. A root barrier along your property line might be an option, but since bamboo roots go so deep, this can be problematic and expensive. It's a difficult situation to say the least. You might talk to your neighbor about removing the bamboo together, or check with your local zoning officials to see if there are any other approaches you can try. Good luck!

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