/ / How to remove bamboo permanently

How to remove bamboo permanently?

I'm purchasing a house where the backyard is covered with running bamboo. I've been researching how to kill it.

Salt seems like the best idea to me. There is nothing back there except live oak tree (good with salinity) and bamboo. I would like to cut down the stalks, get some salt pellets and spread it throughout the ground and then water.

The ground is sloped so I would dig a trench at the bottom of the slope and repeatedly water so the salt will run down to the trench- then remove that soil. Spread a thin layer of topsoil and put down zoysia grass (also does well with salinity).

Any comments on the effectiveness of this? How much salt would I need to put down? How long will it take to permanently kill it? I'd have 6-9 months to let to go before needing to plant the grass.

Comments (64)

stevelau1911

If you are dealing with a bamboo under 2 inches in diameter that you can cut to soil lvl with a lopper, or you have a reciprocating saw, then it would be pretty easy to eradicate a bamboo directly after shooting season when most of the energy is above ground unless you have thousands of culms on several acres.

Depending on the species, there may be tiny survival shoots that keep trying to come up, but they should be pretty easy to either mow over or kick over if they are still pretty big. It should be possibly to directly grow grass over and let the rhizome mass rot over time, but if you want to get the root mass out to plant other stuff such as garden plants, it will take a lot more work. I would then suggest using a broad fork as well as a reciprocating saw and lopper to remove the entire network of roots & rhizomes. The rhizome mass can take a few years to completely rot away even after it is dead.

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_rcb_

I still can't imagine that that compares to the amount of work it is, getting rid of trees!

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seagull wilson

bamboo problem,my neighbour will do nothing about it now it out of hand ruining our gardens..we unable get into his garden but all the suckers are in mine..I have tried slinging sea water over fence but so far no luck help

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kudzu9

Your only solution is to dig a trench at the fence line, install bamboo barrier, and then remove the unwanted rhizomes that are in your garden with a pickaxe. There are no simple or chemical methods. As you've seen, slinging seawater over the fence doesn't do anything, other than possibly irritating an already unpleasant neighbor.

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mersiepoo

If I had to choose between salt and roundup, I'd use salt.

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MacDaddy

Well mersiepoo then you'd have made an ignorant mistake the LD50 for salt (3 g/kg) is worse than roundup (5.6 g/kg). That is, salt is more poisonous than roundup because it takes less to kill you. Also salt will not break down in the soil whereas glyposate will. In addition salt is far less toxic to plants than glyposate so you will need lots and lots of salt to kill the bamboo. After which the soil will be sterile and nothing will grow there. On the other hand the tiny amount of glyposate needed to kill the bamboo will be destroyed on contact with soil and it can be replanted almost immediately.

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mersiepoo

Mac- I'm not ignorant, I don't like poisoning the earth via roundup. Ever read "The World According to Monsanto"? Maybe you should read that before posting about how great round up is. I can eat salt and it doesn't give me eczema. If I eat something that was grown in soil sprayed with roundup, I get eczema. I can imagine that someone wanting to get rid of bamboo would use roundup, but in that case, the cure is worse than the disease. Roundup is highly toxic and doesn't just 'disappear' like the tv ads say.

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gs1694

A few gallons of vinegar weekly will kill the bamboo. Once all the stalks are yellow and dried out I would still throw 2 gallons a week on it for 4 more weeks after cutting it all down. Then for the following year any time I saw a growth I dug it up and more vinegar. After 6 months it did not come back. Worked into soil fresh compost before I started he garden. It has been 3 years and no more bamboo.

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hockeystu2

I had about 300 bamboo in my backyard. Cut them down only to find out the the roots extend out in every direction to a length equal to the height of the tree. It has been 3 1/2 years and they still come up. They get their energy from the leaves. I've used a couple of ways to kill them. First of all, Crossbow is the strongest killer around. If you see a shoot, you can snip it off and you have about 8 seconds to use an eyedropper or small brush to coat cut. The root realizes that it has been attacked and draws it's sap back. It will draw the poison back with it. Where it was under my bricked patio, I pulled up about 500 bricks and destroyed the "viable" roots. Where there was heavy concentrations, I poured in gasoline. It's under control, but not dead. It takes about s yrs to do them in.

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mersiepoo

Hockeystu2, it sounds like you are making your yard a future Super fund site. I would have recommended if possible for you to get some goats or a cow to graze them all down, but if you do that now after you've used all those toxic chemicals, the animals will most likely get cancer or die from eating the now toxic bamboo plants.

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Rob Legsworthy
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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

I was about to write how surprised I was at the stupidity (yes, I am being blunt!) of many of these responses/suggestions when I decided that after some 30 years as a professional horticulturist and nearly as long on these forums, I am NOT surprised at all!! For some reason ignorance and stupidity when dealing with gardening problems is rampant. However, ignorance can be overcome with education - stupidity. not so much :-))

The first response by Kudzu pretty much sums up the best approach for removal. Herbicides can also be used effectively but you need to choose the right product and apply properly. Glyphosate (RoundUp) is not recommended - it was never intended for woody plants like bamboo but a brushkiller (like triclopyr) applied to cut stems will have an impact. It will take repeated applications to kill off the extensive root system but it can be done.

Vinegar will have virtually NO effect. And gasoline or salt or any other homemade potions/practices are more likely to permanently damage soil condition and soil biology than any registered herbicide, all of which breakdown into pretty harmless elements in a matter of days to a few weeks. btw, they do not make plants "toxic" and the plants can be safely consumed by goats or whatever (or even you) without concern, although IME, goats prefer live plants rather than shriveled or dead ones :-))

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dchall_san_antonio

Our neighbors had a bamboo forest that was spreading to the neighbors (us). When they hired a crew to come in and eradicate it I thought it was a lost cause. They dug it all out and not one shoot returned. I asked them how they got it all out and they explained that all they had to do to kill it was to disconnect the roots at the underground nodes. Of course in the process of digging it all out they got all the roots, rhizomes, and everything in one pass, but they were not simply cutting it back. They were cutting it out. So for the bamboo in my yard I found the nodes and sliced through the little roots. Except for some digging to find the nodes it was practically painless.


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