How to Cut Down Bamboo

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Bamboo is a grass, so it will just keep growing after it has been cut. Find out how to cut bamboo by working from the top down in one foot increments with help from a sustainable gardener in this free video on cutting down bamboo.

Part of the Video Series: Bamboo Plants
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment we're going to talk about how to cut down bamboo. Now bamboo is a grass; it's no different than the grass in your lawn. So you know what happens when you cut it; it just keeps growing and growing and growing. So you can cut down bamboo, but once you've cut it down it's still going to be growing from the bottom and the trick is just like any other tree; if you have a large large forest of bamboo, start from the top and work your way down. So just cut; if you can get a ladder that tall or try to pull the branches down; go from the top, just one foot at a time and cut them down and then hopefully you can trim them all the way to the ground. But the point is, you're still going to have the roots and they're going to keep growing and you got to remember there's two kinds of bamboos, there's the running bamboo where the roots will just take over to the neighbor's yard and everywhere and just get really crowded. Then there's the clumping bamboo that stays more compact. Now that's much easier to deal with and much easier to take out. So once you've trimmed it all the way down from the top; just keep wacking it down and the winter times better than growth of the summer time because once you got it cut down in the winter time it might slow down and have more chance of digging all the roots out. And so once you've trimmed it down, you've got to remove every single root and dig it out or try to cover it up with a raise bed material or you can put kind of plastic on top and put a raise bed on top of that and hopefully you can kill the bamboo that's there that way. So in the fall and whenever your bamboo looks really dirty or clumpy or ratty, it's great to cut it down. So simply just trim it down all the way to the top of the root line. You don't want to get into the roots too far either 'cause as long as you've got a stem and a root, you're going to get new bamboo. And just trim it down, the fall is the best time for the winter; but you can really trim about down anytime of the year. Once you've got bamboo there's no real easy way to cut it down. Just trim it back far as you can to the ground and remove every bit of root. You can try boiling water right on the root; if you can have a large patch that's going to be hard to do; as long as you remove the roots, you'll remove the bamboo. That's as easy as that.


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