I have a huge stand of bamboo that was apparently started by the previous homeowner perhaps as a screen. Over the years it has taken over and we want to get rid of it. A landscaping contractor's proposed approach it to cut it all back, fill the bottom stalks with Razor Burn (glyphosate/dicamba mixture), let sit 2-3 weeks, and then follow up with excavation of the whole mess. I am thinking if we are going to excavate, would the chemical application be necessary? Could we just cut back, excavate, and then follow up with treatment of any new growth? Maybe some additional excavation? It is definitely running bamboo and covers about 1/4 acre. I know this is a difficult issue and I want to eradicate the bamboo, but I also want to limit the amount of herbicide used. Thank you.
Montgomery County Maryland
Hi- we don't have research-based information to support one approach over another. Based on our collective experience we suggest a three-stage approach: cut down and remove all top growth. Dig through soil to lift up and remove rhizomes, remove re-growth through cutting/and/or herbicide applications.
So to address your specific question. It is not essential to treat the cut ends of the culms with an herbicide. The advantage is that re-growth will be reduced: the rhizome pieces that escape the excavation process will be weakened and have less energy to produce new shoots.
If you do not want the herbicide treatment you can stress with the company that rhizome removal is your priority. Eliminating the herbicide step and expense may also mean an increase in expenses to ensure more complete rhizome removal. In any case, there will be some re-growth to address to achieve 100% eventual eradication.