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).
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
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.
replying to Bill N, Bamboointhepark wrote:
Bill, I have a bamboo issue in Severna Park. No standing bamboo on my property,
just traveling rhizomes. Do you feel the salt treatment would be effective in
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
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.
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
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
On Wed, 24 Dec 2014 14:54:01 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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).
replying to BillN, Mary K. wrote:
Hi Bill N., I see your post is over 4 years old, so I wonder if you or anyone
will see my post now. I live in Maryland and we have a stand of bamboo 20ft tall
on neighbor property at edge of our property at fence. We have been stomping it
down as it shoots up for years next to our driveway and near our garage. It
causes a real mess from droppings on our side and on our vehicles. Now I
understand the roots which seem as hard as steel to try and cut, I'm afraid for
our foundation of garage and house. I've read the roots can hurt the foundation
of buildings. So my question is what to do. I'm trying to get neighbors to
understand the problem. So I think you are saying the solution is to cut it all
down and apply large amounts of plain salt. My question is the roots have
spread further out than the stand and I think under ourdriveway. So will salt
kill all roots?
On Wednesday, December 24, 2014 9:22:08 PM UTC-8, email@example.com 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.
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.
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
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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