Bamboo #234129 - Ask Extension


Bamboo #234129

Asked April 01, 2015, 10:41 AM EDT

Have a large yard being overrun by bamboo, Leery of herbicide solutions for fear of damaging trees and shrubs. Would appreciate some help. -  Annapolis

Anne Arundel County Maryland

Expert Response

Bamboo is invasive and there are no easy answers.
Restricting unwanted bamboo spread can be accomplished through sturdy barriers and by cutting back new shoots. In Maryland, bamboo has a distinct period of shooting, March through May. If cut back at this time, new shoots will not grow. To prevent the bamboo from spreading in your yard the best solution is installing a barrier in the soil. Even a barrier needs to be inspected periodically to make sure the bamboo does not “jump” over it. Annual trenching around the clump and careful removal of all traces of the rhizomes will contain it as well. Please see the following short video on the subject
and our archived Newsletter of Summer 2012

Sometimes people need to completely eliminate an existing stand of bamboo. This is a two step process. Cut all the stalks to the ground and allow the new growth to emerge and develop leaves during the summer. In October spray the mature foliage with a non-selective herbicide containing glyphosate. (There are some glyphosate products labeled for bamboo). Repeat the application in 14 days. Follow all label directions and be careful to protect non-target plants from any over spray." This may need to be repeated for several seasons. Bamboo is semi-evergreen and has a waxy coating on the stems and leaves so a surfactant (helps the herbicide stick to the leaves) is advisable. If any bamboo is left alive, it will return. See our bamboo publication


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