Hello all. I've been in talks with the local government (whom I work
for) about the legal necessities and ramifications of this job.
I've located the septic tank well within the bamboo. So looks like
I'll be using a chainsaw around there.
I got an email from a local government forester who referred me to the
Home Horticulture & Master Gardener Coordinator at University of MD,
Carroll County Extension. He gave me two links, one of which I've seen
already posted. The first one is by Frank Gouin (retired MD
Agronomist, who was the Bamboo guru).
I am leaning towards some means of chopping it down to ground level
(brush hog/saws), disposing the bamboo however (chipper?), and then
applying Roundup in the Fall, as described in the first link.
Also for the friends of nature here, even if we clear cut the whole
bamboo, there's still three acres of old growth deciduous trees behind
it to harbor plenty of animals and what not. One of the main reasons
for wanting to clear the bamboo is to prevent it from taking over the
giant trees back there. I think killing off an invasive forest for the
benefit of an old one, is a good trade off. But that's not the point
of this post.
Thank you all for all the tips thus far. I think this post will find
its way into Google searches and benefit many more people than just
Bamboo is a grass. You can chop it down, but it will sprout back
out. You either have to dig up the roots, also, or kill the plant
with a herbicide. Check with the nearest forest service, as they have
a potent enough tree killer that will do the job and only they are
allowed to use that herbicide. I doubt you can do that big of job,
There is a highly potent tree killer, pretty expensive, for
consumers. I don't know the name, right off, but I can find out by
tomorrow, probably. You spray it about 18" above the ground and it
kills the plant. You might have trouble spraying the bamboo in the
interior of that big of patch, if it's so dense you can't navigate
Once a herbcide is used and the plants die, you will still have the
task of removing the dead bamboo.
The roots are as deep as 1'. You'll have lots of digging to remove
all those roots, if you try to remove everything manually, while it's
still alive. If a herbicide is used to kill the above ground plant,
the roots can remain. They'll eventually decay. Tilling the dead
roots will speed their decaying.
Yes, bamboo is a giant grass. However, you do not want to use a
There are herbicides that specifically target grass, killing both the
visible growth and also the roots but generally not damaging non-grass
plants. I use Grass Getter, but there are others. These are best used
when the grass is actively growing.
I suggest you have the area cleared. Any piece of bamboo remaining --
if it includes an internode (joint) -- can root and sprout. Thus, what
is cut must be hauled away
In the spring, fertilize the area well and make sure the soil remains
moist. When new bamboo shoots are about 1-2 ft high, spray with a
grass-killing herbicide mixed with some liquid soap. The soap ensures
that the spray really wets the bamboo. You might have to repeat this
treatment a few times. Be sure to treat any new shoots that grow beyond
the current patch; running bamboo can send its underground runners many
feet away from existing shoots.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
Thank you David, and everyone else for the responses thus far. The
county would not be opposed to this, but would ask for grading permits
if we were to do any serious excavation. Just cutting it all down
wouldn't require any notice of the gov't. One of the neighbors
informed us that the old homeowner used to sell/give the bamboo to the
National Zoo for its Panda. No joke!
100,000 lbs is a lot of bamboo! I don't think that's far off though.
It is very dense, hard to walk through even, and the heights range
from 10 to 30 feet in spots. I'll get some pictures, its quite a sight
Theres a new problem of some possible underground utilities and maybe
a septic field amidst the bamboo. This could explain the rapid growth.
We'll have to use caution with mowers and tractors until we know where
Thanks again for all the responses thus far.
I cane "beat" my wife & her grandmother with a chunk of it. You should see
granny try to wheel away from me when I get the big stick out. She gets it
twice as hard when she tries to make a break for it.
check this out
Depending on the species,
your bamboo forest could yield 50,000 to 100,000 pounds of dry timber
From second link.......
Bamboo can be eradicated by several methods:
1. Graze it with cattle during the summer. If the plants are so large
that cattle cannot bend them over to graze the leaves, they should be
cut and the cattle allowed to graze the new plants as they emerge.
2. Cut the old plants in winter or early spring and the new shoots as
they emerge in the spring and summer. This will require cutting
3. Spray the area with a herbicide. Of the several tested at Auburn,
Sodium TCA (sodium salt of trichloroaecetic acid) gave best success.
This should be sprayed on the soil over the areas in which the bamboo
is growing at a rate of 50 pounds active ingredient in at least 100
gallons of water per acre. It is preferable to apply it in late winter
or early spring before new growth starts. Rain will carry the chemical
down to the root system and it will be absorbed. This will sterilize
the soil for about 90 days, so nothing should be planted on the area
until about June.
You can also kill bamboo by flooding the area and keeping it flooded
for a couple weeks.
I killed a very small area of bamboo (~2' x 2') by flooding.
Sounds like you have a fair amount of work ahead. :(
On Mon, 6 Feb 2012 08:54:09 -0800 (PST), Elliott P
Burning won't do much except make the bamboo grow back faster and
stronger. With six acres to tend you really need a decent sized
tractor anyway, something at least 40 HP. I already have the tractor
and a 5' tiller, also a 7' brush hog that depending on the bamboo
might knock it down. With the right equipment 1 1/2 acres is a
relatively small area for clearing. Were it me I might rent a flail
shredder. Then till, and rent a rake... with the tractor till deep
and then rake out the roots. You can hire an excavating company or
DIY. You don't indicate the type of bamboo; how thick/tall... photos
would help... it may need a crew with chain saws or a flail shredder
could do the job: http://www.woodsonline.com/flailShredders.aspx
This time of year a nearby farmer might do the job at a reasonable
price, I'd guestimate $2,000. But with bamboo there's no guarantee it
won't grow back... then I'd think you'd have to resort to a defolient,
probably several applications.
I received an addendum to the herbicide treatment. Garlon 4 (and
RoundUp) can be mixed with water, also. Adding a little detergent to
the mix would allow for the herbicide to better adhere to the slick
I wouldn't recommend using a bushhog or shredder to cut the bamboo.
Any knot or joint, left behind, would likely sprout. Running bamboo/
yaupon is a prolifically invasive grass specie.
You will have one heck of a job removing all the above ground bamboo
debris, no matter what you do to cut it. Do a little at a time.
It'll eventually get done, unless you can afford to do or have the
whole job done, at one time.
Prepare for a multi-season struggle:
There's a vast network of underground rhizomes that can sprout the second
you knock down the tops, and will keep on doing so as long as there is
stored starch in them. It will take a very long time to exhaust them
by purely physical control methods, so this is one of those cases where
physical and chemical controls may be required.
Always a good practice with trying to control something this firmly
established:get an expert id on the weed first. If, for example, you've
Japanese knotweed, sometimes called Japanese, American or Mexican bamboo,
there's a good possibility that the control measures could be different.
Elliott P wrote:
i'd be calling around, there are likely
some people who'd want it, it does have
flooring, fencing, roofing, matting, blinds,
walls, construction, musical instruments, food, ...
cheaper to get it locally than to import
I had a half acre lot down in Ga my parents bought for me as a gift.
Some gift! I could mow it down and there were be 6 inch sprouts the
The lot was in town but my neighbor had goats on a little hobby farm
out in the country. We fenced in my lot and put the goats on it. It
took all summer and fall but the goats finally won out. A new job took
me out of state so I let my neighbor grow a garden on the lot until I
could sell it. Think it would take too many goats for yours.
"Elliott P" wrote in message
Greetings all. A new property of my family's is covered by a massive
stand of running bamboo. The lot is six acres rectangular, where about
*one and a half* acres of the total acreage is covered by a very dense
stand of running bamboo. It is 350 feet long deep at its longest
dimension The plants have been there for decades, as the property was
allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. It is our intention to
restore the property, inside and out.
Options for removal I've seen generally target small areas. However
this is a much bigger problem! My first thought is to hire someone
with a bulldozer to come push it all down, and then put it all in a
commercial wood chipper. This could get expensive though. What else
can we do? What problems does my scenario present? Hiring a panda bear
would probably not go over well with the neighborhood.
The property is in Towson, Maryland.
Thank you in advance.
If you're in MD, your 'bamboo' is most likely Japanese Knotweed.
It's REAL tough to get rid of!
Both Wikipedia and Sunset's "Western Garden Book" indicate that Japanese
knotweed is Persicaria capitata. This is a ground cover that, in my
garden, forms a mat about 6 inches thick. Through most (sometimes all)
of the year, it has small clusters of pink flowers that resemble the
flowers of white clover. For that reason, P. capitata is also called
pink clover although it is definitely not a clover at all.
However, Wikipedia also indicates that Japanese knotweed is also
Fallopia japonica (aka, Polygonum cuspidatum or Reynoutria japonica).
This indeed grows like a bamboo to 10 or more feet high. If this is
really what Elliott P has, a grass-specific herbicide will not work
because Fallopia japonica is not at all a grass.
All this illustrates the fact that many different, unlike plants often
share the same common name. This is why I try to use botanical names
when possible. This also illustrates why the plant should be positively
identified before any attempt to eradicate it. If a neighbor was
correct in reporting that this was cut for feeding pandas at a nearby
zoo, however, this must be a bamboo and not F. japonica.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
David and others,
I uploaded several pictures I happen to have of the questionable
plants to my Dropbox account. You can see the gallery here:
I took these before posting this, therefore I don't have any close ups
of the leaves really. The first shows a fox I found running in there.
The next four are various angles, where you can see how massive these
are. There are also some in the snow, and then one showing how a large
tree has fallen among the bamboo causing some damage.
I'll take more when time and daylight allows.
ahh you admit a fox in the area. thus you have a wildlife preserve.
and will require federal state local government approval. must catch
and relocate all the wildlife. and meet EPA and other requirements.
plus post bonds and get inspections to prove the standards were met
why not just leave this island of whatever alone?
what ae you planning on doing with it? planting grass?
thats just more grass to cut:(
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