managing bamboo (and black birds!) #402777 - Ask Extension


managing bamboo (and black birds!) #402777

Asked May 27, 2017, 11:35 AM EDT

Hi, I have a large stand of typical bamboo...maybe 12' deep x30' long. It is getting too thick in the interior and stalks are brown inside and leaves brown and yellow on the ends..and the black birds have invaded it so there is tons of bird poop so bad you can smell it in the back yard, which all seems unhealthy. I want to cut it all back and start again if possible. I've started cutting it away...with help from a man with a chain saw...about a fifth of it is gone. If I cut most of it away will it grow back? I can leave some of the new growth. Also if it grows back can I keep it trimmed to a shorter height (it's probably about 12 feet high) to discourage the black birds? Thanks so much!

Talbot County Maryland

Expert Response

There are two types of bamboo (running or clumping). We can't tell for sure from your photo, but it looks like you might have the running type bamboo. If you want it to regrow after pruning, do not cut it between March-May, as you would be cutting down new shoots. 

Take a look at our web page and publication on bamboo:

If you want to control the overall height in the future, you can experiment with cutting a section of it back to the desired height. There is no guarantee that this would control the blackbirds, but there is no harm in trying it and seeing if it helps.


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