What can I use to kill bamboo?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lee Homan, Sep 9, 2001.

  1. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    I`ve got a customer that has bamboo growing in one corner of her yard because her neighbor planted it for privacy. Now it is taking over that part of the yard. Any ideas on how to get rid of it for good?
  2. MuskTurfKing

    MuskTurfKing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 338

    Could you try the all-purpose ghetto killer? Yes, I'm talking about my expensive friend, gasoline.
  3. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 993

    I have tried with Roundup, after a few applications it seemed to disappear.
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Once that stuff in there its almost impossible to get rid of. Try the roundup first before you go to other options.
  5. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 340

    I dealt with some bamboo earlier this year. A little old lady hired me to weed an iris bed. The bed was next to a stockade fence and there was a patch of ten foot tall bamboo on the other side of the fence. Little shoots of bamboo were in the bed and also in the yard. I started weeding and had to get her and show her what I found. The bamboo roots and runners had totally infested this bed, so I suggested that the iris would have to come out and the bamboo roots removed. Wow, this was a project. You know how bermuda grass has travelling roots, well the bamboo is the same - there were thick roots travelling sideways all over the place just an inch or two under the surface. These runners were as thick as bamboo, like 1/4" to 1/2" inch diameter. I pulled stacks and stacks of this stuff out of the 4' by 30' bed. I was advised by many people to put a border under the fence. I used 12" metal flashing. This would seem sufficient since the runners I found were so shallow. In talkng to people about this, many suggested that the border would have to be 3 feet deep! Some people say that if you are going to plant bamboo, you need to first pour a concrete barrier 3 feet deep around the area. I've been told it will travel under streets and pop up on the other side. Anyway, I cleaned up this bed pretty good and it will take a little while for the roots to get through the holes in the border at the fenceposts, but we did not address the lawn. The shoots are just mowed down with the grass, but they grow fast and I assume it is spreading through the lawn. She isn't happy about it and her neighbor suggested that if it was her she would sue them to make them clean it up, but I don't think you can do that. (plants don't respect
    human's property lines) So anyway, bamboo is quite a mess. If you spray it, I don't know how effective that is since whatever you spray may be connected to lots of tall plants on the other side of the fence. It would be a huge project, but it probably should be dug up and a border installed under the fenceline. Of course this would tear the lawn up quite a bit and it would have to be replanted too.
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    If you use Roundup, make sure that the concentrate is mixed properly, as to handle brush, as opposed to just grass and weeds. You may even just want to look into Roundup's Brush Killer. Also, don't expect this to work after the first application, because Bamboo rejuvenates so well. You will probably have to hit it a dew diferent times, (like now, and again in Spring) to even see some permament effect. You may see results immediately, but this doesn't mean that the job is done. Wild Onions, for instance are the same way. It takes several applications at different times of the year to be effective. It has to do with reproduction of cells within the plant. Asd far as using gas, well, that's just completely ludicrous (for obvious reasons) and another thing you want to consider. Do you ever plan on growing anything else in that area? If so, then stay away from certain herbicides such as Pramitol. Good luck with it.
  7. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Posts: 4,831

    Bamboo sounds like the Obedient Plant. It has underground runners that go all over the place. After finding this out, I sprayed mine with roundup, but it did not kill them all, just what was above ground. I also had to dig out all the runners that had even gone under the sidewalk.
  8. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    well in the past they used agent orange and napalm.
    course the sprayer needs to be attached to a helicopter.:)
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

  10. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Thanks for the replies guys. I mow this yard every two weeks and when I come back the bamboo is 12" to sometimes 2 feet in places. I've never seen anything like it. The next door neighbor planted it for privacy. I think he got more than he bargained for, his back yard looks like a jungle. He did cut it all down about a month ago but it's starting to shoot up again.

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