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Bamboo Control & Removal

Aug 14, 2009 | Lawns

A plant that causes many problems in our landscapes and with our neighbors is bamboo. This grass grows in two forms clump and spreading.

The spreading bamboo is the most troublesome because of its new shoots that pop up in our lawn or planting beds. It is a common misconception that these new shoots come from seeds. The new shoots that you see are actually sprouting from the rhizome roots.

If you are interested in installing bamboo, there is a way to contain it. The ideal way to install bamboo is to install a 60 mil thick, 24″ deep plastic bamboo barrier with 2″ exposed above the soil that completely surrounds your intended planting area. This will ensure that the roots do not spread beyond the desired area. This barrier must be maintained be cutting roots that try to jump over the exposed barrier.

If you already have out of control bamboo you can use several methods to keep the bamboo in check. One possible control is to cut the exposed roots that are moving away from the existing bamboo. Once a root is cut it will not grow beyond that point but will branch out behind the cut, so you must be diligent in cutting the roots. You can also control new shoots that are just sprouting by stepping on or kicking over the shoot while it is still tender. If the new shoots are over 3 feet tall, you can treat with Round up to burn the stalk back.

If you can no longer stand the bamboo, you can eradicate it. This is very difficult because of its aggressive nature. Cutting all of the bamboo down will only provide temporary relief. The stalks and roots must be completely removed manually or with machinery. It is impossible to remove every root initially; you must continue over several months to watch for and remove roots and new shoots. Additionally, you cannot kill the bamboo by only treating it with herbicides, as they are not yet a proven method of treating bamboo.

Johnson’s Landscaping is ready and able to install, control, or remove any bamboo for you. Please contact us if we can assist you with your bamboo needs.

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About the Author

Matt Johnson grew up in a family of landscapers and gardeners as the grandson of Raymond Johnson (Founder, 1933, Johnson's Florist and Garden Center) and son of James and Carol Johnson (Founders, 1960, Johnson's Landscaping Service, Inc.). Since 2007, he has led Johnson's Landscaping Service with his brother, Charlie.  Matt and his wife Jaime live in Petworth in Northwest DC with their 3 sons and 2 big dogs.

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5011 Olney-Laytonsville Road
Olney, MD 20832