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Posted on: July 5, 2019

Invasive Plant Control: Bamboo Removal

bamboo

Recently, the  Board of Commissioners voted 4-2 to ban new bamboo plantings, joining other area municipalities in regulating the invasive plant. Bamboo that is already planted will be grandfathered in but must not be allowed to spread to neighboring properties.

Bamboo is a very complex land species to eradicate. Consumers looking to remove, or in the event maintain, an existing strand of bamboo must consult with a licensed tree firm or landscape firm with expertise in invasive plant control. Control methods may include chemical herbicide treatment, mechanical mowing and excavation of the rooting structure.

For Radnor residents looking for immediate and more guaranteed results, complete removal of the root & rhizome is recommended. With a pruner or saw, start off by cutting down all culms at ground level and then removing them. This will give you better access to the ground below. The next step is to dig up and completely remove all the rhizomes. If possible, follow every rhizome in the ground and remove it. The use of a sharp spade or axe may be needed to break up the root systems of older more established bamboo groves. Try not to leave any fragmented bits of rhizome in the ground. Pieces of rhizomes left in the ground can potentially have energy stores to produce tiny new growth which can revive itself.

For clumping bamboos, the removal is a bit less laborious. Because clumping bamboos do not have the running rhizomes, the majority of their root system is situated in the immediate perimeter of the bamboo grove. Start off by cutting down all culms at ground level so that there is better access to the ground. First, dig around the perimeter of the bamboo plant and then working towards the center, removing the main root mass. The use of a sharp spade, axe or saw may be needed to break up the root systems of older, more established bamboo. Make sure to not leave any fragmented bits of rhizome in the ground.

Long Term Strategy

1.) Cut and Remove All Culms (Using a pruner or saw, completely sever all exposed culms at ground level. Be as thorough as possible as this step is essential to the eradication of the bamboo.)

  • Removal of the culms prevents the ability of the bamboo to photosynthesize and produce energy. 
  • With no culms or leaves, essentially we are taking away the ability of the bamboo to produce energy.
  • Remove all new growth or shoots.

2.) Destroy All Future Growth (Even with all the culms removed, the root system below ground can still have energy reserves to produce new growth.)

  • Monitor the area and immediately sever any new shoots or growth that emerge. The constant removal of new growth will eventually cause the bamboo to exhaust all its stored energy and die off. The key secret here is to be thorough with the removal of any new growth. Any new growth that is left unchallenged will just replenish the energy reserves in the root system and revive itself.
  • The time of full eradication will depend on the bamboo species and how established the bamboo grove is.

For more information, please contact John Hosbach Jr., Radnor Township Arborist, at 610-731-7969 or john@rockwellurbanforestry.com.

Radnor Township Public Works: The mission of the Public Works Department is to enhance the quality of life in the Township by maintaining the township's roads, storm and sanitary sewers, parks and other infrastructure; enhancing public health; the collection and disposal of household solid wastes; promoting environmentally sound living by collecting leaves and recyclable materials; and maximizing operations by maintaining the township's fleet of vehicles and equipment. Visit Radnor Township at: http://www.radnor.com Like us on Facebook: http://Facebook.com/RadnorTownship/ Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/radnortownship Follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/radnortownship

For more information, Press Only:

Molly Gallagher
Public Information Officer
Radnor Township
610.688.5600 x 197
mgallagher@radnor.com

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