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Kill that bamboo!!!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by J and M Mowing, May 28, 2004.

  1. J and M Mowing

    J and M Mowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I just picked up a job to clear out a backyard filled with bamboo plants that are close to 8 feet tall. I have never had to do this but I told the lady that I would start out with a chain saw and level it close to the ground. She would like it dug out by the roots, but as far as I can tell, this type of plant has shoots coming out of roots that grow horizontal. Would Roundup work in killing these plants once their cut? She says she has tried Roundup, but it didn't work. Any ideas?:confused:
  2. ArizPestWeed

    ArizPestWeed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,457

    I think the best way is to let it getl lots of leaves and then spray it with RU.

    Don't use the " Ready to Use " stuff.
    Too weak .
    Mix you own .
  3. MrBarefoot

    MrBarefoot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    I attempting to control a patch of Japanese Knot-weed which is in the bamboo family. It is very difficult and I need to make weekly visits in order to have any effect on the plants.

    The most effective thing I have done is cut the plant near the base of the plant and then fill the hollow with a Glyphoste, Diquat combo product. I have plans to add some quicksilver to that mix with the hope of speeding the effect but I have not taken that step yet.

    The research I did showed that even very small bits (.7 grams) of this plant (Jap Knot-weed) can develop into a full plant, so you may want to get to know your weed a little better before you take a chainsaw to it.

    Please post the results of your work, I would be keenly interested in seeing how it turned out for you.
  4. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    What about a combo of, say, RU Pro, 3 Way, Quicksilver, and Scythe?
  5. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    bamboo is not my favorite thing. We have tried everything. Even taking out the root systems, and it keeps on coming back. Next thing is a match and gas
  6. reybarry

    reybarry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Mr. Barefoot: have you experimented with pouring a mixture of Glyphosate and 20% acetic acid in the cup of the cut bamboo? Tests at Cornell and elsewhere show even 5% acetic acid (plain white vinegar) is effective on grasses, and bamboo is a grass.

    I've been using straight 50% Glyphosate on what I think is Yellowgroove (Phyllostachys aureosulcata) and it's knocked this back quite a bit.

    I have 2.5 gallons of 20% acetic acid coming in from Greensense (amazon.com) and will mix that with both 50% Glyphosate and 18% Glyphosate to experiment with on potted cuttings.

    Only been attacking this grove since late April when we began hacking down new shoots. 300 of these thus far, and they're still coming. Only now we're seeing mostly what are called "leptomorph" rhizomes that grow horizontally under the soil. These send up aerial culms from buds that develop at intervals along the rhizome, behind the continually growing rhizome tip. Leptomorphs look like this underground - http://www.freewarehof.org/culmlong.jpg and this is what you see above ground - http://www.freewarehof.org/culmhead.jpg .

    Please post your experiences with killing this stuff. An exhaustive search of the topic shows no one has yet found a way running bamboo can be eliminated in under N years merely by a combination of cutting it down, and using herbicides.

    The more people experimenting, the sooner a workable way will be found that doesn't involve backhoeing the property.
  7. MrBarefoot

    MrBarefoot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    I have been using the "cut stem and fill" approach for a while now. The Japanese Knotweed that I am working on also spreads aggressively through rhizomes and I am working on the theory that this method delivers the control products as close as possible to the rhizomes.

    Prosecutor Swift Acting (Glyphosate and Diquat Dibromide) seems to work pretty good at killing the active shoot. There are new shoots forming every few weeks with reducing frequency so I think I am winning the battle.

    I tried to mix in QuickSilver but I think it was to destructive in the area I applied it and the Glyphosate didn't get to translocate as well.

    One thing I have noticed is that I need to wait until the shoot is about 2.5 feet tall. This stage of growth offers a good sized cup to fill, and is growing quickly to aid in translocation. That is just my opinion, I don't have science to back it up.

    I have not considered using vinegar before, but please update with results.

    Good Luck.
  8. Green Dreams

    Green Dreams LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 593

    Cut it way down into the ground, cover it with plastic (like a tarp or something) and bury it. Worked for me in the past....
  9. reybarry

    reybarry LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    It's interesting to see the similarities between Japanese Knotweed and running bamboo. According to what I can find, such as http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/pocu1.htm , knotweed is not a grass. Therefore it could be that acetic acid's effectiveness on grasses will not carry over to knotweed. Worth a try, though, as 5% acetic acid (plain vinegar) is far cheaper than any commercial herbicide.

    I began using it on pathways and patios this year and vinegar is remarkably fast-acting on invasive grasses. Visible plant kill in 2 to 4 hours. Especially noteworthy is that crab grass is the first to die. And 5% acetic acid is just as effective on it as the more costly 20%, though the 20% treatment may last longer. I won't know for sure for another six weeks.

    I've tested vinegar as a foliage spray on leafy paradise trees, mimosa, and wisteria but it's been ineffective there.

    It was disheartening to note that Monsanto recently diluted the formula for Roundup Concentrate Plus. The Glyphosate concentration on jugs marked "New Formula" is 18%. Those not marked "New Formula" are 27%. Same price. The local Lowe's had them side-by-side until selling out the old formula.

    Super Concentrate Roundup is still 50% Glyphosate. At this time of year in Virginia it gets pretty hard to find any stock of the lower-cost brands that are 42%. Worth searching for, as their cost is but half what Super Concentrate costs.

    Time for the first cane walk of the day.

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