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How best to remove a 20 yr old plot of running bamboo?

FireFire LondonPosts: 14,051
A neighbour has recently bought an Edwardian terraced house with running bamboo in the front garden - an enclosed plot of about 3mx3m. The bamboo might have been there for 20 years, erupting through the next door's garden concrete and through the street pavement in front. Previous efforts by the previous owner at containing and chemical control failed.

How would you deal with the removal? It's everywhere through the plot, even though other plants are having a go at co-living. I suggested the owner may be dig a pit to get a sense of how deep the roots might go, but that might be hard with a mat of solid root through clay. If little pieces are left, is there a chance it will regrow?

I imagine that if there is a way to kill JKW with Round Up, skills and time, it should be possible to kill bamboo that way, if you know what you're doing...? The front garden is too small to get much in the way of mechanical material in. My thought is to try and remove all whole plot to some depth and start the garden again, though there will have to be efforts to deal with the boundary where it's going next door.

It would be interesting to hear from people who have done a whole scale removal of running bamboo at depth. Also to hear what the recover has been like.
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  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,214
    When we moved here we found a massive growth of this stuff and eventually decided to get rid of it. It was a hell of a job, Fire, and needed real physical strength, but it can be done. We didn't try chemicals.
    My husband dug down outside the root-run to expose the site. It wasn't actually very deep. Then, with spade, fork and pick-axe he just worked his way in, taking it out chunk by chunk. It fought back all the way.
    We had one or two points of regrowth but they were easy to deal with. I really think you need a very strong, fit person for this job because the mat of roots was very dense and tough.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,051
    The kerb is fairly close to the garden wall and I wondered hiring a bloke with a digger and a long crane arm might be the way - to take out part at least. Interesting to read that the roots didn't go so deep for you. @Posy
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,214
    A digger sounds like a really good idea, you could tidy up any missed bits much more easily.
    I thought the roots would go deep but they were more interested in going outwards to take over the planet. 
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 6,424
    edited 27 March
    As Posy says, the roots aren't deep.  No more than about 6" if the experience I had in removing bamboo is anything to go by.  I did an area about 10' x 3' manually, but I was able to get all round the clump to undercut it and chop it into sections to remove.  For a long established area a digger would make life much easier.
    If an attempt is made to remove it manually, cut it back to 3 or 4 feet high, not down to ground level.  That way there is something to pull on.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,532
    If it were mine, I'd spray it with a commercial strength glyphosate.
    It'll kill all of it.
    Use on a calm day and set the spray to small droplets, not a fine mist that will blow it onto plants you may not want to kill.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 415
    I think the issue with chemically killing it is that you still have it in the ground and it's better off dug up and disposed of. They are shallow rooted as mentioned but can be tricky as they root under hard surfaces. I'd dig as much out as posible and then see what can be done with the areas you can't get to.
    I think they only send up canes ones a year and I've seen people just keep removing these new canes when they pop up in places you don't want. Doing this will kill it eventually.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 14,051

    Pete.8 said:
    If it were mine, I'd spray it with a commercial strength glyphosate.
    It'll kill all of it.

    They tried. It didn't.

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,532
    Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide that is absorbed only via the leaves of a plant. It travels throughout the entire plant and kills the whole thing.
    Once dead the whole plant rots away quite quickly and the glyphosate is broken down on contact with the soil.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,532
    Fire said:

    Pete.8 said:
    If it were mine, I'd spray it with a commercial strength glyphosate.
    It'll kill all of it.

    They tried. It didn't.

    I tried and it did :)
    But, commercial strength is best for a tough job
    I had a clump of bamboo in a corner and it spread into my neighbour's garden so it had to go.
    I used Rosate36
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,173
    As you know yesterday there was a thread on Bamboo . I managed to dig up my Black Bamboo today . It was planted five years ago and there were signs it was about to escape.
    It was not as difficult as I expected, I found it had a natural barrier, an old tree root fairly near the surface.
    The culms are now inside in a large pot they look amazing so all is not lost . I have cleared the area and plan to leave the old tree root. Had a bag of soil based compost and that has been mixed into the soil which was dry and spent. I have ordered Fargesia Jiuzhaigou 1. Hopefully I am ready to go. Thank you to everyone who has helped me, I had no idea that Black Bamboo was Leptomorphic.    
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