Bamboo Removal

Bamboo is known for its appeal in having a decorative appearance and also landscaping focal point. Bamboo is an excellent screening plant and can grow quite quickly. In fact, bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet. There are roughly 1500 species of bamboo. We can divide them into two distinctive categories; clumping and running. In our experience its the running type that causes the most problems which require bamboo removal.

Clumping or running bamboo

The problems start when the bamboo has escaped the original purpose. It can become a massive nuisance to the environment and more often than not to neighbouring properties. Dealing with bamboo can be a process that can take many years, depending on the degree of bamboo overrun. It is possible to do the bamboo removal yourself by using a few garden tools if you have the patience and time.

Bamboo stalks or culms are connected in the soil by their root system called rhizomes. They grow reasonably quickly and quite close to the surface of the ground. By chopping through the rhizomes, you can separate and contain bamboo. The simplest method for cutting through rhizomes is to cut them using the tip of a heavy shovel or mattock.

Bamboo removal for an entire grove

If you want to eradicate an entire grove of bamboo, start by working on the outer section, so your bamboo problem doesn’t get any worse. This will make sure the bamboo is contained. Depending on how large an area you’re dealing with, this could take days or even weeks.

This method is also excellent if you want to maintain an area of bamboo. Slice through the rhizomes (or roots) that join sections of the bamboo so that they can not continue growing and spread. Continue with this method of killing off one part while allowing the other section to live. Periodical maintenance will be necessary to cut back the remaining bamboo section to keep it from “running” and advancing to other parts of your yard.

Now that the rhizomes (or roots) are cut, shear back the culms (or stalks) as close as possible to the ground. For the thin stalks, it is likely you can use a lawnmower or even a lopper. For the larger stalks, a chainsaw will do an easier job. Keep the area maintained and over a period of time, the bamboo won’t have the opportunity to turn into a problem. Cutting the culms in the spring when new growth is apparent is a great time to get rid of the bamboo. Bamboo eradication is easier to get rid of whilst it is using its energy stores. It is more challenging to get rid of when it is dormant. 

Running bamboo can turn into a forest
Running bamboo can potentially turn into a forest.
Clumping bamboo is much easier to control
Clumping bamboo is much easier to keep contained.

Other Options

Root barrier is an option if you have a challenge with your neighbours bamboo continually creeping into your property. It is possible to keep it contained by installing root barrier along the affected sections. Rolls of high tensile plastic root barrier are available in home and garden stores. Metal and concrete barriers are also useful but much more expensive.

Digging a trench that will act as a barrier is an option; however, you will need to be consistent with inspections.

Poisoning Bamboo

Poisoning bamboo using a glyphosate herbicide or a selective grass type herbicide applied directly on new bamboo growth will eventually do the job. Multiple applications of the herbicide will be necessary. Look out for new growth and have your herbicide ready.

You have to be very careful using herbicides making sure you follow the instructions and definitely don’t get them on your skin. Make sure you wear gloves.

Having talked about all the challenging aspects of bamboo and its removal, it can still be a beneficial plant for your garden.

Not all bamboo species “run” over the property; the clumping type actually stays contained where you plant. Make sure you consult a horticultural expert to assist you in choosing the correct species that won’t overrun your property.

Planting bamboo in a container for instance is a practical way of enjoying bamboo and at the same time, making sure it doesn’t go crazy is your yard. Many bamboo species do well in large containers that can be placed on your porch or in your yard.

Call a professional

The easiest option for your bamboo removal is to call a professional.

In conclusion, there are two parts to your bamboo removal job. Firstly, the bamboo needs to be cut to the ground and disposed of; either via a wood chipper or by dumping at the local green waste deposal. After cutting poisoning is an option to slow down regrowth. This option normally takes a few applications.

After cutting the stalks or culms what are you going to do with the land? What do you want to do with the area once the bamboo is removed?

Grass or garden are the two main options. Stump grinding is the most cost-effective method of dealing with bamboo rhizomes. A purpose build machine using tungsten carbide teeth chop and grind up the roots. We make sure we follow the rhizomes as deep as we need to go to make sure they don’t regrow. On average we stump grind down 30 cm to 40 cm underground to make sure we can get them all. The only challenge with stump grinding is where the rhizomes have grown under fences or under concrete or garden edging. This is where you will need to be vigilant with your glyphosate and monitor the situation. Make regular inspections and poison the regrowth, and you will have dealt with the bamboo challenge.

Site Inspection

You will need a site inspection for a quotation. There are many factors to consider when working out a price for your job. The first step is to calculate how many square metres of bamboo you have growing. Next, approximately how tall is your bamboo. The other factor is access, what sized machinery can we get to your site. Generally speaking, the larger the machinery, the cheaper your bamboo removal job will be.

Bamboo removal using a tree stump grinder
A purpose build machine is the easiest method for bamboo removal.
A quick 30 seconds of stump grinding for bamboo removal