How Can I Control Bamboo?
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There were some excellent questions that came into the Caldwell Extension Center this week, and I’d like to share three of them with you. I hope you find these questions and their answers helpful. If you have a specific question not answered here, please contact the Caldwell Extension Center.
Question: How can I control bamboo?
Answer: Bamboo is difficult to control. Once established, some varieties can spread up to 20 feet in one season. Controlling bamboo requires persistence. For total eradication, the first step is to cut down the bamboo. If practical, remove as much of the rhizome and root mass as possible. This will improve control. Rhizomes are kind of like big roots. Botanically, they are actually underground stems. These underground stems can grow into new bamboo plants. It is impossible to remove all rhizomes in the ground. Any pieces left behind can grow into a new plant. A follow-up treatment strategy will be needed to keep the little pieces from re-establishing the bamboo stand. The follow-up treatment plan can be herbicides or mowing.
Bamboo cannot survive weekly mowing. Converting the bamboo infestation area to turf grass will keep the area from reverting back to bamboo if mowed weekly.
Herbicides with the active ingredient glyphosate can control bamboo. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in RoundUp and many other products. Apply as a wiper application (1 part glyphosate with 2 parts water) to new shoots as they emerge. Be sure to read the directions on the herbicide label. The shoots should be treated with herbicide in the husk stage. The husk stage is when the shoot has emerged but before leaves develop on the shoot.
Getting bamboo under control is not easy. It will take 2 to 3 years for full control if you remain vigilant. Giving up before total control is achieved will allow the bamboo to reestablish.
For answers to your agricultural questions, call the Caldwell County Extension Center at 828-757-1290 or visit us online anytime at //caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu.