Bamboo is a common name for a large group of plants in the grass family, made up of over 1000 species. The species are spread worldwide, with over 30 available in the UK as ornamental garden plants.
Bamboo makes for a perfect screening plant and has a decorative appearance that many appreciate. However, due to its fast-growing nature, it has proven to be largely invasive and might be challenging to control.
The UK Weed Industry, noted that it has become a nuisance to most homeowners who have planted it or found it on their land. UK homeowners have easy access to seeds from online stores or garden centres throughout the country.
Not all homeowners know its effects on their land or how to manage and control plant growth. As a result, the plant due to it’s invasive nature, risks encroachment and overtaking other plants around them and invading spaces for other uses.
Understanding the different types and their effects is essential before settling on the most effective way to control their growth. This page breaks down everything you need to know about its growth and removal for Bamboo in Cornwall, Devon, Bristol, Dorset, and Somerset.
It comes in many types, some more invasive and uncontrollable than others. However, there are two major types in the UK, Running Bamboo and Clumping Bamboo.
Bamboo removal due to health and safety concerns at local school
Southwest Knotweed, were asked to conduct a full removal of two stands of Bamboo (Arrow Bamboo) at a school in Cornwall, due to the sharp culms which could cause potential injury to children utilising the recreational space. Here we document the proccess.
A fast-growing variety that spreads its root system below the soil surface and can grow as far as 30 meters from the original plant.
The growth is entirely unnoticeable to the eyes. You will only discover it when the lateral rhizomes grow shoots in the new area. This variety can cause significant damage to buildings and the property around them as it can grow through cracked pipework, drains, broken brickwork, walls, and patios. Whilst there is no specific legislation for bamboo, landowners and homeowners are offered protection from potential encroachment issues by public nuisance legislation. If encroachment occurs without action from the property of concern, legal action can and may be taken.
Clumping Bamboo is less invasive as the shoots grow close together.
The rhizomes in the clumping variety grow vertically compared to the running variety, which grows horizontally. Although less invasive than the running variety, it can still overgrow its allocated space, overpower other plants, or invade spaces set aside for other purposes. It causes more damage as it grows and is best controlled from the onset through contained methods.
How Fast Does it Grow?
The growth rate depends on various factors, including location, air, soil, water, and other ground conditions.
Because of the unpredictability of the growth rate in the UK, landowners must be careful during planting.
Additionally, they should seek professional advice who understands the area features for plant growth and how to control it in case it gets invasive.
The running variety attains its mature height fast and spreads its root system even faster. It attains a height of 8-10 meters and produces numerous shoots. To control its root growth, you should put it within a strong pot or with a root barrier system.
You should seek professional intervention, should the plant start to become a nuisance through either encroachment either on or off site or is breaching an installed barrier.
The clumping variety grows shorter than the running variety and can go up to 5 meters high. The turf can, however, grow wide over time if left unattended. They can also grow 30-45 cm taller every year until they reach their optimum height.
A fully developed bamboo’s height can be between a few centimetres and 8 meters. At the same time, the diameter ranges from 1 mm to 30 cm.
Does Bamboo Cause Problems for Homeowners?
Being an invasive plant has attracted the attention of the property market and has been labelled as one of the plants that can devalue a property.
It’s among the most damaging garden plants because new canes sprout from the ground at their full diameter and grow into maximum height in one growing season, usually 3-4 months. It brings more harm than good and should be controlled immediately.
The several problems it brings to homeowners include:
Overgrowing and causing damage to unwanted areas such as drainage, wall crevices, and taking over lawns, flowerbeds, and patios
Fasten the devaluing of property by weakening walls, eating into concrete grounds, and blocking drainage systems
The root systems and runners are often tough, making it hard to use regular Farm tools for lawn or garden grooming
Overspilling into adjoining property might bring disputes between neighbours and accelerate legal conflicts
Control and Removal of Invasive Bamboo
It is hard to control, mainly because herbicides that the public have access to have little or no effect on the plant. Therefore, using a professional contractor such as Southwest Knotweed is recommended due to the knowledge and expertise we have to offer.
Another alternative to controlling it on your own is running its energy low by continuously cutting off new canes until the rhizomes are depleted of energy to sprout. However, this method is slow, time-consuming, and ineffective in most scenarios.
At Southwest Knotweed, we have conducted intensive research on the most effective way to eradicate the invasive plant from your property and settled on excavation. Excavation and removal ensure that all its traces are eradicated from your property.
Southwest Knotweed provides excavation services for spreads of any size and involves professionals with the appropriate machinery and tools. The process is thorough, starting with cutting down all the canes above the ground level. The experts then follow with tools to extract the rhizomes beneath the ground level, screening through the soil until no more rhizome is visible.
Finally, our team will level your ground ready for the area to be landscaped. We are also equipped with treatment technologies to ensure that no new plants sprout after our services.
Do you need the following services?
Bamboo Removal Devon, Bamboo Removal Bristol, Bamboo removal Somerset, Bamboo Removal Dorset, Bamboo Removal Cornwall, Bamboo treatments by specialists and excavation services on your premises?
Call your local Southwest Knotweed branch or use our free identification service across Cornwall, Somerset, Devon, Dorset, and Bristol and get all the help you need.
Bamboo Herbicide Treatment
Treatment can be carried out in situ without risk of spreading the plant further
Quickly reduces the capacity of the plant to spread on/off site
Quickly eliminates the capacity of the plant to impact built structures
Easy to administer
Can take many years to achieve acceptable results, especially where Culms are mature
Management plans that rely solely on herbicide treatment must include at least 2 years of monitoring after all evidence of growth has ceased
Herbicide treatment alone should not be recommended on sites with future development plans that involve the soil being dug and disturbed
Construction works cannot continue in areas still containing the plant and the risks associated with landscaping treated soils, e.g. stimulating regrowth, should be made clear to the client and mitigated for
The use of some herbicides is restricted near waterbodies and desired vegetation
Some herbicides can persist in the soil
If soil is disturbed at a later date, regrowth can occur
Effective control requires expert knowledge of herbicide treatment of Bamboo
Herbicide treatment can induce temporary dormancy
Can be cost effective but not always
Less material needs to be disposed of
The treated soil can be re-introduced on site as fill or in soft landscaping areas
Where soil needs to be imported, less is required from elsewhere to fill voids created by excavation
Small fragments of Bamboo will still be present in the soil and could lead to re-infestation
Area where screened soils are re-used must be monitored for regrowth
Follow up herbicide treatment or manual removal may be required
Plant material can be accidentally spread during movement
Soil type and makeup dictate if it can be screened or not
Does not require a set-a-side area for control
Work can continue immediately after burial
Quickly removes Bamboo from an undesirable area
Restrictions remain on the site, e.g. in some areas deep excavation would interfere with buried material
The use of the area above burial site is limited
Typically requires a large hole to receive material, so it may not be possible if soil is shallow or water table is high
The appropriate environment agency must be notified
Plant material can be accidentally spread during movement
When time is a major factor e.g. when a developer wants to build on a site where delays will add significant costs to the project, then spraying and mechanical removal are usually resorted to on the basis time is short.
The best method is to spray the affected area several weeks prior to excavation to attempt to get herbicide into the root system.
It is essential that all Bamboo runners/roots are removed from the site and carefully transported off site.
In some cases Geo Membranes will be used to line the excavated area to prevent the spread of any remaining roots.
With all Bamboo work, BIO SECURITY must be applied;
All equipment washed down in a designated area
Pathways of spread (risk evaluated)
Even after mechanically removing bamboo it is advisable to continue to monitor the site and be prepared to spray for re-growth.
The one major drawback with Excavating is cost. However, this method is the most proficient and efficient compared to the options above.