In the proper setting, ornamental bamboo is useful as a specimen plant, screen or windbreak. Unfortunately, some bamboos SHOULD NEVER be planted this side of Hell!!! But some species of bamboo are aggressive creepers and become a real nuisance when spreading to areas where they are not wanted. From this uncontrollable, rampant growth pattern comes the common name for bamboo in this area -- Damn-boo. The aggressive bamboo can indiscriminately emerge through concrete walks, home foundations and even in darkened garages! There is more than one way to control bamboo. The choice of a method or the combination of methods depends on the circumstances under which it is growing.

A large clump of bamboo looks as though it would be hard to dig out -- but it really is not. Its many horizontal rootstocks are close to the surface. All pieces of the shoots and rootstocks should be removed or regrowth will occur.

Cutting bamboo shoots close to the ground, then removing the regrowth each time it reaches 20 to 24 inches in height will eventually kill established plants. Success with this method depends on exhausting the food reserves stored in the roots. The prompt removal of the shoots as they reach 20 to 24 inches is essential It will have to be performed many times over a period of a year or more.

The length of time required for eradication can be considerably reduced by using the right chemical in the right way. There are several types from which to choose:

--Sprays that kill only the foliage they contact, such as cacodylic acid, should be applied each time the regrowth reaches 20 to 24 inches in height. These chemicals substitute for the cutting of the shoots; their application must be repeated to starve the root.

-- Sprays that are taken up by the leaves, such as dalapon, MSMA, DSMA and glyphosate, and carried down to kill roots. Dalapon is available as Dowpon and glyphosate is available as Roundup, Klean-up and Weed-and-Grass Killer. Spray the actively growing leaves to wet and allow a six hour drying period. Even with these herbicides and mixing a double strength solution, repeated treatments will be necessary to completely eradicate established plants. To prevent these chemicals from injuring roots of trees and shrubs in the area, irrigate thoroughly before treating. Then do not irrigate again for 7-10 days.

The bamboo should ONLY be planted in an inclosed, "containable" area from which this devil-plant can escape. The majority of "problem" bamboo originates from a neighbor's planting. So BE CAREFUL and BE CONSIDERATE when planting bamboo or better yet, NEVER plant DAMNBOO!

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