Removing 1.5 Acres of Bamboo in Towson, MD

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replying to Elliott P , Bill N wrote: Well I can see its been a long time since this thread was started, but you may still be trying to get rid of that Bamboo.
What worked for me finally was to use SALT, yep salt. It soaks into the soil and kills everything for several years (I think the Bible says 7 years). The salt continues to wash down into the soil with time though, which is ideal for killing the Bamboo roots (which can be as much as 1 or 2 feet down), but lets ordinary grass grow on the surface in as little as a year. Do not use road salt, since this usually contains an anti-herbicide agent that neutralizes the harsh effect that salt usually has on plants. Pure rock salt or sea salt can be purchased in 50 lb bags from farm supply stores at about $4.50 per bag, which was economical enough for me to treat about 1/2 acre of Bamboo. Must have used about 6000 lbs of the stuff to finally kill it all off, which comes to about $540 for the treated 1/2 acre. If you are doing 1.5 acres, it might be more economical to have someone deliver a big truckload to you directly.
The use of salt has far less of an environmental impact than herbicides, since salt is naturally found in the soil anyway, and eventually the salt will find itself back in the sea where it originally came from. Our landscaper tried all kinds of herbicides that only a licensed professional could even get, and the Bamboo just laughed at them (may have done some surface kill, but then it just grew back from the deep roots). Not the salt, which was found to be deadly (not a single stalk has grown back after a year now).
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On 12/24/2014 12:44 PM, Bill N wrote:

...

Not even close...what salt concentrations are naturally occurring to the point that plants other than those which are specifically adapted to seashore or other brackish environments is quite low--to the point that there's a serious problem in areas that irrigate with hard water that with time the salt buildup ruins the ground for cultivation (or at least has serious ramifications on productivity).
And, besides the comments of clare which are spot-on, once you've introduced it, it's there for as long as it takes for it to finally disperse whereas virtually all herbicides will breakdown chemically into inert ingredients within a relatively short time (typically 90 day or even less).
Just not a good idea for widespread treatment; can be effective and cost-efficient on individual specimens, granted--I use it on isolated prickly pear and yucca in the native grass pastures for the purpose.
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On Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:44:01 +0000, Bill N

Nothing else will grow there either, and the salt can (and will) get into the groundwater when applied at such a high rate. It will cost you dearly if a neighbour's well turns brackish because of your weed treatment.
As for the road salt having an additive to make it less dangerous to plants - that my dear, is HOGWASH. Road salt is plain rock salt.
There may be other anti-icing agents in use where you are - but road salt is straight rock salt.
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replying to clare , BillN wrote: You have no idea what you are talking about, all three of you. If you actually researched this, you would find out from the suppliers themselves that their road salts have ingredients in them to counteract the usual plant killing effect. This is certainly true for anything you would get at the big box stores, and most states now also use such road salts for the same reason. It may even be an EPA requirement by now. So please don't tell me a fact is not a fact until you actually know that it's not.
As for killing Bamboo, good luck trying to use herbicides. For those of us that have actually done this, we simply know better. Yes, salt will take years to dissipate, but a one time dose will certainly do so with time. Did you not notice the part where I said that grasses are growing on the surface after only one year?
The chances of ground water contamination are virtually nonexistent in most areas, as most groundwater comes from well below where the salt is present. Even if there was some mixing, it would happen at such a slow rate that it would take a test lab to even measure the miniscule increase. Since this is just salt, the amount the someone eats daily would be dramatically greater than what they could get from even the worst such contamination. Frankly, I would much rather have a neighbor using salt than extremely powerful herbicides, as some of these will not break down so fast once they get underground.
I've just recently joined this forum thinking it would be helpful for those of us actually trying to solve real problems, but it seems there are a lot of trolls here who want to argue more than solving them. Guess I'll drop this tool as broken.
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On Wed, 24 Dec 2014 14:54:01 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That was what it was in Maryland when I lived there. It wasn't the pretty stuff you get for water softeners tho. It had real rocks, sand and other crap in it. I helped out one of the drivers and he gave me a 30 gallon trash can full. It lasted me for years.
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On Monday, February 6, 2012 11:54:09 AM UTC-5, Elliott Plack wrote:

I use rock salth tokill tree roots in my sewer line. it works great and is supper cheap
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On Wed, 24 Dec 2014 18:44:01 +0000, Bill N

Speaking of Towson, I knew someone about 5 miles north of Towson. I think he was head of the MD CLU about 25 years ago, and once a year had a party at his house. He had started with a little bit of bamboo at the edge of his property and it was spreading. If unchecked it would kep his his neighbor from entering via the back yard, but that wasn't really a need. I don't know what he eventually did.

If I remembered his name, I'd mail this to him, but the house may be totally covered by bamboo now, and I hope they got out the front door.
BTW, I notice you capitalize Bamboo. Do you, perchance, think it has a will of its own?
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On Wed, 24 Dec 2014 23:44:01 +0000, BillN

I know for a fact that what windsor salt supplies as road salt is pure rock salt. From Windsor Salt's web page:
Salt has been used in de-icing since the 1940s, providing safety and mobility for motorists, as well as for commercial and emergency vehicles. Without it, winter would be hazardous and chaotic. In Canada, the primary type used is rock salt, which is mined directly from the earth and requires no additional processing. In excess of 4.5 million tons of salt is used yearly to keep roads safe in Canada alone. It works by a simple principle. The brine solution created when salt is applied to ice and snow has a lower freezing temperature than the surrounding ice, making travel safe. In fact, it's the safest, most economical and efficient de-icer known, and has the added advantage of being in plentiful supply. Look for our memorable Safety Salt bag at a retailer near you.
Some consumer "ice melter" products are Urea based, some are Calcium Chloride,
Only their Sate-T-Plus EcoSafe Ice melter has additives to make it safer for plants. This is a consumer product .
Products like Polar Ice have blue die crystals so you can see where it has been applied, but it is still just calcium chloride and sodium chloride mix.

Youi should heed your own advice. From the Green Venture website:
In August 2000 Environment Canada completed a five-year study of the effects of road salt on the environment. They concluded that road salts (sodium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and ferrocyanide salts) are toxic to the environment, particularly in large concentrations. In the United States, deicing salt is considered a possible pollutant under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
The heavy use of road salts can lead to damage to vegetation, to organisms in soil, to birds, and to other wildlife. Almost all chloride ions from road salts eventually find their way into waterways, whether by direct run-off into surface water or by moving through the soil and groundwater. In surface water, road salts can harm freshwater plants, fish, and other organisms that are not adapted to living in saline waters.
But it doesn't stop there — road salts also threaten drinking water security. For example, the region of Waterloo has found chloride levels in its municipal water wells as high as 233mg/L, close to the unsafe level of 250mg/L set by the Ministry of the Environment.
Because most ice melters contain salt, they can also injure pets and children. Doctors and veterinarians routinely treat cases of poisoning and painful skin and jaw lesions that are caused by these salt deicers. Animals can be poisoned when they lick ice-melting products off their feet, so be sure to use a damp towel to wipe your pet's paws and underside after being outside.
I happen to live in the region of Waterloo - in the middle of the central antario "rust belt"

To kill running bamboos - from the Royal Hortacultural; Society web page:
•With very tall bamboos, which can be difficult to spray, cut down canes to soil level in late winter and then apply a glyphosate-based weedkiller (e.g. Scotts Roundup Ultra 3000, Scotts Tumbleweed, Bayer Tough Rootkill, Bayer Garden Super Strength Weedkiller or Doff Maxi Strength Glyphosate Weedkiller) to the young growth in late spring and early summer. Several treatments may be needed •Alternatively, cut canes to ground and treat with a stump and root killer containing glyphosate (e.g. Scotts Roundup Tree Stump & Rootkiller, Bayer Tree Stump Killer, Doff Tree Stump & Tough Weedkiller and William Sinclair Deep Root Ultra Tree Stump & Weedkiller) or triclopyr (Vitax SBK Brushwood Killer). Treat foliage of any regrowth
When a new shoot is "aborted" - by cutting it off, kicking it off, or by whatever other means it will not resprout. Diligent attention during the early growing season is the easiest and most effective method of controlling the growth and spread of even the most invasive and hardy bamboos. Cutting off and removing ryzomes within the area you want to contain the bamboo growth is advised. You can throw the sprouts you "abort" into your stir-fry.
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replying to clare , BillN wrote: What you are using are arguments based on mass scale road salting, which do not apply to HOMEOWNERS salting individual bands of bamboo. For us, the usual supply of road salt in the USA are the bags of “ice melt” found in hardware stores, which TYPICALLY contain additives to inhibit plant damage, or use “alternative salts” (other than sodium chloride) with inherently lower plant impact. This is not for environmental reasons, but simply to reduce plant damage for homeowners wanting to salt their driveways and sidewalks. Examples are the mass market ice melts found in Lowes and Home Depot, Grainger’s ice melts, Ace Hardware’s, etc.. All I was doing in my original post was to helpfully inform folks to watch out for these, buying instead the pure rock salt products that are also available.
Yes it has been known for years that nationwide road salting has increased the salt content in ground water to undesirable levels in places. This is why some authorities have switched to alternatives. We could have a protracted debate as to how widespread this practice has become, but it would be pointless for the problem at hand. Most of us will get our salt from the hardware stores. If a homeowner does deem it more cost effective to buy a truckload of road salt from the same supplier that the authorities use (if they would even sell it individually), he would be a fool not to at least check that they are still using just rock salt.
Stands of bamboo are rare enough that if ALL the bamboo were salted nationwide AT ONCE, the amount of salt that would end up in the water table would be MINISCULE compared to even one year of nationwide road salting. And this would happen only ONCE, whereas road salting happens year after year. So it is not even worth discussing the overall environmental impact of homeowners salting their bamboo. Again, the amount of salt getting into a neighbors well by salting an isolated 1 or 2 acres of bamboo, would be so miniscule (under almost any circumstance) as to be virtually undetectable.
As far as herbicides, our landscaper has a masters in horticulture and 30 years experience, including treating bamboo several times using the same methods as the research you quoted. That’s just what he did for our bamboo, for TWO YEARS. Well, IT DID NOT WORK!!! Why? Because there are THOUSANDS of different bamboo species (there are even 10 different genus), and so what worked on the few species that the research covers did not work for what we had. So, WE SPENT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR NOTHING!!! He finally then used SALT as the last alternative. Salt is a lot cheaper than professional herbicides that require hiring a licensed professional to even purchase and apply. But he did not want to kill off a 1/2 acre sized area in our grassy meadow for years, which is why he tried the herbicide first. Dang it, I wish he had asked us first, since we’ve got no problem with only grasses growing in those spots for a while, and after all we are talking about a “grassy meadow”. So anyone who thinks they are going to kill off deeply rooted bamboo themselves with only the stuff they can get at hardware stores, are simply delusional.
All the theory in the world is no substitute for practical experience. So I’ve spent hours of my time fighting off folks with no practical experience in this problem, so the poor folks who have to actually deal with it don’t get buried in a mountain of BS. For all the trolls here who seem honor bound to kibitz, when someone pipes in who has actually solved a problem, LISTEN, don’t talk. I'm done with this except to answer questions from folks who actually need to treat a stand of bamboo. Otherwise don't expect me to waste another second of my time defending my reporting of what actually worked (just ignore the crap folks).
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On Wednesday, December 24, 2014 9:22:08 PM UTC-8, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Quite correct. The key is repeated applications on any new shoots seen. It took me about 4 years of diligent patrolling to finally kill the last shoots of a Black Locust (they have a bad 'copsing' habit).
Anyone advocating mass applications of salt has rocks in his head.
Harry K
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replying to Harry K , BillN wrote:

took me about 4 years of diligent patrolling to finally kill the last shoots of a Black Locust (they have a bad 'copsing' habit).

Black Locust isn't even bamboo you horses a**.
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On Thursday, December 25, 2014 2:44:05 PM UTC-8, BillN wrote:

But the process is identical. You gotta kill the roots and that is what RU type stuff does. Your recent example of trying it for two years! Of course it failed. It takes many years of patrolling, not a half assed 2 year attempt.
By now you should be doing something about that stupidity attack you are having.
Harry K
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On Monday, February 6, 2012 11:54:09 AM UTC-5, Elliott Plack wrote:

well theoceans are full of salt that orignally came from the land, cleveland ohio has a huge salt mine under lake erie.
it not like apply salt will end the world, sometimes the solution to pollution is diulation
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replying to bob haller , BillN wrote:

ohio has a huge salt mine under lake erie.

pollution is diulation
Here here! Thanks Bob.
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wrote:

And should possibly have a good dose of rocksalt applied to his rear end coutesy of a 12 guage
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replying to clare , BillN wrote:

hahahaha.......Ouch!
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replying to Elliott P , BillN wrote:

I've been scouring the internet for anything about killing bamboo, and it is very clear from hundreds of examples that any method other than salting is both very labor intensive and expensive, and in the end usually doesn't work. The forums are riddled with stories from poor souls who think they have killed it off after killing themselves to get rid of it, only to have it return in a year or two. Folks using heavy salting though have had good success (only the folks that were wimpy about it have failed).
The discussions group bamboo into two basic categories, "clumping" and "running". Everyone agrees the really bad type is the "running", which has rhizomes (roots) that fan out in all directions as far as 2 feet underground. As is found again and again, killing the stalks with even the most powerful herbicides does NOT usually kill off the rhizomes. Indeed, what happens when you hit a stand of running bamboo with anything (digging, chopping, herbicides, burning, covering with plastic etc.), the rhizomes go shooting off in all directions as a protection mechanism. So basically all you do using the "non-salt" techniques is "piss it off", making it come back with a fury down the line. Some experts recommend digging a deep trench (2 feet) around the stand to cut off its escape, but this is very expensive for the large stands we are talking about here, and again folks have found this may or may not work (the rhizomes go under or across if they have to, or just wait in place and grow new stalks later). The "old hands" at these forums (who have dealt with bamboo a lot) scoff at the techniques put forward by the so called "experts" (horticulturists and academic researchers), pointing out that commonly rhizomes will survive for years underground, only to grow new stalks in new places.
Yes some folks have met with success using the non-salt techniques, but usually for small stands (say 10 x 10 ft or smaller) where they can concentrate a lot of effort conveniently and at low cost. But even for small stands, the forums give story after story of long term failure (they think they got it at first, only to come back in two years and report that now it’s everywhere). But for the big stands (what we are talking about here, say 1/2 acre or larger), the stories using non-salt techniques sound like nightmares, with people waging exhausting and expensive multi-year wars that they lose half the time (and as the old timers point out, the so called "winners" are usually fooling themselves, cause it will usually come back).
So WHY, WHY, WHY kill and bankrupt yourself. The non-salt techniques are usually only practical for small stands anyway. Stop being some tree hugging environmentalist and just SALT that puppy. KILL IT. KILL IT NOW, before it has a chance to multiply. Use LOTS of salt, it’s cheap and easy. Salt a 10 foot wide perimeter around it to prevent its escape, its cheap and easy. (Might want to do this about a month before salting the stand itself to already have a deep and wide barrier set up, and then salt the perimeter again when salting the stand). I’d say we used about 3 lbs per square yard.
Don't worry, grasses will start growing back in about a year, and you can likely plant shrubs and trees a few years after that (remember, new plantings will have their own fresh soil to grow in for a while, so by the time their roots reach the old soil, the salt will be pretty washed out). We have a beautiful Maple tree in the middle of the salt area, so we used a half dosing around the root area. It was shocked initially (leaves turned and dropped like it was fall), but it bounced back. Evidently, it has enough deep roots below the salt to do fine, and likely the salt will dissipate before it ever reaches them. It’s realistically going to take two or more years to clear a stand using a non-salt technique, so you won’t be able to grow ANYTHING for at least two years. At least with salting grasses will start in about a year.
So all I can say now to folks trying to kill large stands of bamboo without salt is … “heaven help you”.
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you are taking the entirely wrong approach:
http://sunsetbamboo101.com/wp-content/gallery/bamboo-tiki-huts/bamboo-hut-6.jpg
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replying to Pico Rico , BillN wrote:


hehe.....Wish I had seen that sooner.
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Hello Elliott,
I'm an environmentalist. I were you i would keep it but restrain them to gr ow larger if you do not want more of your property be covered by bamboo. I' m thinking to experiment using bamboo in house building and may be able to help clear them if they are suitable for construction, but would also need funds to start the experiment. So if you like you can keep in touch with me . Thanks
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