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Question DetailsAsked on 9/12/2013

Removing bamboo

Our house has had bamboo in the backyard for 50 years. before we moved in the house was vacant for maybe 3 years and it seems that the bamboo was allowed to grow untamed. Now I find shoots all over the backyard. This has basically made the backyard unusable. I want to remove all the bamboo and relandscape it all. Any ever done this before? how much time, cost should be expected for a job like this? Anything we should be considering before moving forward?

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6 Answers


There was actually a question on here a few months ago that had some good information about this. Check out what answers were given here:

Thanks so much,


Answered 7 years ago by KielH


The link Kiel gave you seems to have a defect in the string - brings up an error message.

The correct referral is to question 53880 - that similar question generated a LOT of comments and good (and depressing) info - I have notified Angie's List of the defective link and hopefully it will be fixed in a day or so - try again daily till it works, or try searching for Bamboo in Search Now - yellow button at left (will not work for me right now - must be during update cycle).

Short answer - not cheap, not easy, not quick - do you have an friend in the Air Force that can napalm it for you, or maybe have some Agent Orange lying around - those worked fairly well on it in Nam, although it was still the first thing that came back - sort of a Southeast Asia equivalent of our Dandelions.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Ugh, that was my mistake. Here's the correct link:

Answered 7 years ago by KielH


I had missed commenting on one thing in your question - you mentioned totally relandscaping. Because there are going to be roots all over the place, and they sprout new plants off the roots all along the root length, any excavation, tilling, moving of dirt, etc you do in the yard will have those new plants and roots, and will start growing again. Therefore, once you poison the main plant to kill it as much as possible, the only relatively safe way to landscape would be to remove as much dirt as you can afford - preferably a foot or so (and dispose of it at a landfill, NOT on-site or be trucking to someone else's yard job), pull up as many roots as you can find, spray the entire area with kill-all type Roundup, and bring in new material (general fill + topsoil) to cover that area - hopefully burying it deep enough it will die before working up through a foot of soil to find sunlight. Then do not plant anything expensive or deeper than annual flower seeds or grass the first year or two, or their roots will hit the Roundup and die.

Of course, that process costs more, and is no guarantee some rootlets will not take hold and grow in the new material and make it back to the surface. By making the new material crushed rock or washed gravel except for the top 2-3 inches of topsoil you can make it hard for it to regrow, because the material in direct contact with it will not be good growing material. Be sure to use landscape fabric (biodegradable) under the topsoil to keep it from washing on down into the general fill for a year or so, so it does not feed the bamboo rootlets.

Of course, if you have tree roots in the same area and you want to save the trees, this is not going to be good for the trees - especially if you cut major roots or use the roundup.

Before getting started, I would curl up with a laptop or iPad and do some serious web browsing through the articles you find with this search phrase - killing bamboo

Get a good feel for what has worked for other people, and I would really recommend trying the poison route this year, and wait till you see if it pops up again next spring before going into an extensive relandscaping project. It may well take through next year with repeated spraying or painting of roundup to truly kill it off - and that assumes you can kill it ALL - including any that grew into your neighbor's yards.

I personally would not hire someone to do this - because of the repeat application nature, this is more a do it yourself job, except for rooting out the remaining trunks and major roots once dead (and be sure to warn them about the roundup use, so they wear gloves).

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Is it more than 75' from a structure? if yes have an Arborist co-ordinate with your Fire Dept and BURN it. It is an invasive plant. Or continually cut it down

DO NOT agree to any work without a guarantee that it won't grow back. Or make arragments for a plan when it does grow back.

Current laws don't let proper weed killers to be sold anymore.

Or dig down ~4' and remove all the soil/

Good Luck

Answered 6 years ago by help1968


About prior comment - having lived in Southern California where brush fires came through every few years, bamboo is one of the very first things that sprouts back up after a fire - and far more shoots or trunks than it has originally, because it puts out stress growth all along the roots to try to survive, so a single trimmed 3-5' mature clump will come back as a 20-50' diameter clump after burning. Really hasno more effect on it than cuttingit all down - just converts it to a mowable condition to try to control it.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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