Tools for Cutting Bamboo

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It's also the Panda's favorite bedtime snack.
It's also the Panda's favorite bedtime snack. (Image: Bamboo image by AzamSa'ad from Fotolia.com)

Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing, most aggressive plants on the planet and can quickly take over your whole yard if you don't work to keep it under control. Because of its natural strength, it can be difficult to cut a bamboo stalk once it gets past a certain size. Some basic cutting tools will work for small bamboo, but for larger stalks, you'll need something heavier.

Hand Pruners

Smaller bamboo stalks are just like tree branches in that, while they're tough-skinned, you can cut through them with a properly sharpened hand pruner. Hand pruners come in a variety of sizes from the small one-handed cutting tools designed for touch-up work and smaller limbs to the larger two-handed variety designed to shear through larger branches. If you have a small amount of bamboo that needs to be trimmed, a small one-handed cutter will take care of your needs just fine. If you have a substantial amount of bamboo that has not grown too large, consider using the larger two-handed pruner to control the plant's growth.

Hand Saws

Hand saws are not generally recommended for large clumps of bamboo, but if you have one or two plants with large stalks -- too large to get a pruning shear around -- then a fine-toothed hand saw can be an effective tool for cutting the plant back to size. The fine teeth will ensure you get a smooth cut on the bamboo, rather than a ragged unhealthy cut. Because of the amount of time it takes to cut down a single large bamboo stalk with a hand saw, it's an impractical tool for more than a few stalks.

Root-Cutting Shovel

While shovels are not suited for cutting off the stalks of bamboo plants, they're instrumental in cutting back the rhizomes that pop out of the earth near the foot of the plant. Root-cutting shovels are often able to cut through the thick root mass of the bamboo and will help control the horizontal spread of the plant.

Power Saws

An electric sawzall or similar tool with a fine-tooth blade is an excellent tool for cutting back large amounts of bamboo. It requires little effort on your part and can cut through thick foliage and stalks in a fraction of the time it'd take you to cut with a hand saw.

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