Bamboo Removal - Seattle Bamboo Services
Bamboo removal is a labor intensive process that involves the removal of the visible plants and as many rhizomes under the soil as possible. Reasons for removal usually involve stands or groves that were not planted correctly with a barrier, where the barrier has failed, or where the bamboo has not been maintained or has become invasive to neighbors or other areas of your garden.
Bamboo removal is best done by professionals, there is a great deal of liability in that the weight of the culms and root balls is considerable, and the tools that are necessary for proper removal are sharp and usually heavy and awkward. Most "home" removal efforts result in future problems that can be quite difficult to mitigate.
Once a grove is "attacked" it will "fight back". The plant definitely has a survival instinct.
We use what many call a bamboo slammer, a heavy shovel, and a long pointed, heavy bar. We also use a reciprocating saw with long, sharpened blades. If there is evidence of prior work done to kill or smother the bamboo we may even have to use heavy equipment, though the soil must be sifted by hand following this process.
Smothering bamboo, poisoning it, trying to starve it, bury it, or dry it out DOES NOT work. Bamboo is a hearty, robust plant and can send shoots to find water and nutrients in other places on your and your neighbor's property. There is a tremendous amount of energy stored in the rhizomes, and bamboo is able to photosynthesize with a minimum of light, even under concrete.
Irate neighbors have been known to sue for damage to their property from bamboo rhizomes that have traveled onto their property. It is important to have State licensed, bonded, and insured workers remove bamboo, just like any other professional service. Of course, Seattle Bamboo is licensed, bonded, and insured.
Removed bamboo can be potted or transplanted very successfully if removed correctly at the right time of the year. Most other times will yield some good results. We shred discarded culms and leaves for compost and mulch.
The Woodland Park Zoo receives freshly cut bamboo culms and leaves to feed the elephants, orangs, and gorillas. According to Pat, the lead elephant keeper, they accept the bamboo provided:
1. It is freshly cut, leaves still green and vibrant,
2. No spray pesticides have been used for AT LEAST three months,
3. No chemical fertilizers have been used, and
4. Absolutely no systemic pesticides have been applied to the ground.
The process is to call the zoo at 206.548.2500 and access extension 1701, talk to Pat to make the arrangements. Also ask about the composted "zoo doo" to organically fertilize your garden. Please note: the zoo does not pick up the bamboo, nor do they have the staff to come and cut your bamboo for you.