Invasive bamboo along creek

Asked June 6, 2017, 3:59 PM EDT

How do we get rid of some decorative bamboo that someone upstream planted and that has migrated down river due to flooding? We live on the south fork of the Yamhill along highway 22. The root system on these plants is ridiculous. What is the best time of year to try to eradicate? Unless the homeowner above us is identified and a thorough plant removal is performed on the creek, these plants will not be eradicated.

Yamhill County Oregon

1 Response

Bamboo versus Japanese Bamboo(Knotweed). It is very important to identify your neighbor’s “Nuisance Plant”. I have included a picture comparison as a reference. Bamboo is on the left knotweed on the right.

(See file below )

State laws regulate use of herbicides and pesticides in and around waterways including waterways on private land and homes fronting waterways. Homeowners can not apply herbicides that would contaminate the water. Systemic herbicides can be used to kill bamboo and knotweed, but they may require several repeated treatments. This is not the end, 2 teams of experts maybe able to help you and your neighbor. And they may not have planted the offender either!

Please contact the following organizations:

Yamhill soil and water conservation district

Yamhill County watershed

Just a little more information to help you understand how the soil and water conservation determines what “weeds” they can work on eradicating. The state develops a noxious weed group for removal after determining many factors. They list these weeds according to 3 groups A listed weeds (most economic importance) B listed weeds of economic importance but due to abundance management not feasible, managed case by case. T Designated weed of focus can be selected from either A or B list.

Knotweed is a B listed weed and not T designated at this time.

Your County may have a Rule of “Nuisance Plants Required Removal Program” which the Soil and Water district should be aware of. Also, civil penalties can be imposed by the Oregon Water Quality under the Department of Agriculture Program but may not exceed $10,000.

If you attempt to control the “Bamboo” that is not on or near the water (50 foot set back). Here are some suggestions.

Eliminating bamboo plants starts with a shovel. The creeping rhizomes and roots of bamboo are virtually immune to the herbicides people normally use on unwanted plants. In order to start to get rid of bamboo, you must physically dig up the offending clump. Make sure you remove as much of the roots as possible. After this, you are NOT done in your efforts to control bamboo spread. This is just the beginning. Even if you think you remove all of the bamboo roots and rhizomes, it will return. From here you have two options in how to eliminate bamboo. You can either diligently kill bamboo plants as the plants reemerge or you can get rid of the bamboo by mowing it down frequently. If you opt to get rid of bamboo with chemical controls, as soon as you see new bamboo shoots emerge, spray them with the strongest herbicide you can buy. Eliminating bamboo plants with this method requires that you be very diligent. If you allow a bamboo shoot to grow for too long without treating it, you will have to start over in your control bamboo spread. If you would like an organic method of eliminating bamboo plants and shoots as they emerge, you can also use boiling water on the shoots. As with the chemical method, you must treat any bamboo shoots as soon as they appear. If you decide to get rid of bamboo with the mowing method, mow over the area where the bamboo was as frequently as you do your lawn. Use the lowest deck setting on your mower. Regardless of the method you use to kill bamboo plants, expect that it will take you two to three years of treating the infested area before you will completely control bamboo spread. How to Control Bamboo Spread from Neighboring Properties If you find your efforts to kill bamboo plants thwarted by spread from a neighbor, you will need to build a barrier to keep the bamboo from spreading to your yard. The barrier can be made of concrete or metal. Wood can also be used, but be aware that it will eventually decompose and the bamboo will push through again. The barrier will need to go down 2 feet deep and should come up at least 6 inches. Inspect the barrier every few months to make sure that no bamboo has crept over the barrier.